The Soapbox Papers

The Soapbox Papers is my two-cents worth.

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Location: Beloit, Wisconsin, United States

I am a cross between Tinkerbell and Calamity Jane.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Saying It Again

Those old adages never seem to go away – and I think I know why. We keep proving them true. The latest I have personally proven is “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.” That’s for sure.


I recently had my innards checked out and found two separate conditions which each require a diet opposite the other, plus a hernia I must have had since I was born – I can’t remember not having a small rising where the ribs meet on my chest – but there it is, a hiatial hernia. And I got a full color report of the goings on of my tummy – seems the ulcer I was developing for twenty-odd years is really there, lying in wait to erupt like the small volcano it resembles. (how do they get those tiny cameras IN there, anyway? Something to do with a long tube and things they do to you when they knock you out with some delightful stuff and while they are at it, they check the lower end as well – we are hoping they use different implements for that – although there were pictures of that, too)


All in all, then, my annual Upsy-Daisy look-see was enlightening – since I’d not had one in four years. The good doctor prescribed one of the new anti-acid drugs they are pandering these days, and told me I must eat like a bird – a little bit very often. Then he said I can’t have seeds or nuts anymore. That was bad enough. Then he took away my dairy products.


Now – I believe I am a fair minded woman. I believe that when drug companies develop a product that takes care of excess acid and heartburn they look around and discover a new disease for it to cure – like all the hype about Acid Reflux Disease. You’ve seen the commercials. I guess that’s only fair. That’s what they are in the business to do. But come on – people have been having heartburn and sour stomachs for decades. The cure for that was Alka Seltzer, pure and simple in the old days. Plop plop fizz fizz – it worked. It took care of a body just fine. But since we have a super remedy, we must upgrade the problem. Now we have expensive stuff our doctors have been convinced will solve our ailment(s). Some doctors keep a closet full of samples, which they share with poor folks like me, whose drugstore bill, if everything I was prescribed was purchased with no benefit, could be the rent on a New York City penthouse. Fine. I can handle little cards with tablets stuck on with plastic bubbles that require a knife to get into. No problem. I can live with samples. But take away my dairy! Well!


My daughter tells me what dairy stuff seems to be okay – she has been lactose intolerant for years. Not me, though. I never have had such an affliction – for which I have been ever-so-grateful. I told the doctor It didn’t matter what I ingested, my poor tummy would thrash and grip and contort itself into all sorts of callisthenic poses. It’s not dairy, I insisted. The good doctor said, “Nevertheless...”


And that is what I really started out to say. There is nothing – nothing! – like the real stuff – real milk. I haven’t told my mother about this yet – she is safely tucked away in Wisconsin, which is The Dairy State. Milk is a staple. Milk is life itself. My mother loves milk. Butter, Sour cream. In fact, potatoes are good by themselves, but the real purpose of the potato is to be a vehicle for butter and sour cream. And ice cream. Real ice cream. Not that flimsy low calorie low fat low carb stuff either. Real ice cream. Ice cream so good it doesn’t need cookie crumbs or cookie dough in it. Plain vanilla – maybe with a bit of fruit on top or underneath. And chocolate on top, with peanuts or – better yet – cashews. Oops, No nuts. Anyway, no ice cream, either.

Every year my mother sends a birthday card to me in July and she includes a five-dollar bill. She won’t not send it, bless her, but she can’t afford to do it – but she does. And I always tell her in my thank you letter that I used it for a special ice cream treat – and that is what I do.


I guess those days are over. But how does all this tie in to the adage? Well – a woman has to try. I went grocery shopping and thought I would try Lactaid milk for my cereal. It was like white water. Then I tried soy milk. I tried a rice drink that was supposed to be a milk replacement – and it was really really bad. It was so bad even Ovaltine couldn’t save it. You can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. A sow’s ear is a sow’s ear, and it probably makes a lovely change purse – but it certainly isn’t silk. And in this case, even a pigskin change purse doesn’t seem real likely.

I have to go take a Prevacid and a glass of something non-milk and think of another adage for another day.


Yours for The Real Thing,

Smokey

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