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On Healthy Living

Sunday, December 11, 2011
Lemon curd with plump blueberries and real whipped cream.
Hattie's Chicken Shack, Saratoga Springs, NY

Editor's Note: Once again, Dr Sanscravat has thoughtlessly spewed the sort of comment that is bound to attract unwanted attention from people who feel strongly about such things. The man is a mass of unbridled self-indulgence who cares little about the well-being of himself -- let alone anyone else. Since he's so fond of quoting Mark Twain, perhaps we should preface his rant with Twain's advice on the subject: "The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not."

A while back, I read an article that said that coffee contained something-or-other that increases one's chances of contracting cancer of the pancreas. It took about two seconds of reflection before I understood the import of this news: enjoy coffee today, and everyday, and -- just possibly -- contract a nasty disease sometime in the future.

After those two seconds passed, another thought occurred. Imagine that, when I finally arrive at the last moment of my life -- after carefully eschewing coffee for decades -- I discover that I'm dying with a perfectly healthy pancreas, a pancreas for which I no longer have any use, earthly or otherwise. How would I feel about that?

Obviously, I'd be pissed-off for having cheated myself out of years of pleasure, just because of the possibility of something unpleasant occurring.

I know that some people actually enjoy exercise, and there are folks that just don't care for cream, butter, wine, rich desserts, and similar indulgences. I know it but don't really understand it. I can live with that level of uncertainty.

What puzzles me is all of those people who do enjoy such things, but deny themselves out of concern for their health. They struggle to add five years of unsatisfactory old age to their lives by sacrificing five years of pleasure when they're still young enough to appreciate it.

What's the sense in that?


Anonymous Cynthia Bertelsen said...

I can’t eat or drink for pleasure anymore,

December 11, 2011 at 12:45 PM  
Anonymous Cynthia Bertelsen said...

Whoa, something happened to my comment - here's the rest of it:

I mentioned Christophet Hitchens, who said that he can't't eat or drink for pleasure anymore,because of his vocal chord cancer. And there was also Tony Judt, who also suffered the loss of the ability to eat normally before he died.

December 11, 2011 at 12:48 PM  
Anonymous Deborah Begley said...

Christopher Hitchens said it best (here reposted from NYT Hitch obit): He also professed to have no regrets for a lifetime of heavy smoking and drinking. “Writing is what’s important to me, and anything that helps me do that — or enhances and prolongs and deepens and sometimes intensifies argument and conversation — is worth it to me,” he told Charlie Rose in a television interview in 2010, adding that it was “impossible for me to imagine having my life without going to those parties, without having those late nights, without that second bottle.”

December 19, 2011 at 1:34 PM  

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