Dead Acorn: But doc, since both my systolic and diastolic numbers are high, doesn’t that mean my ratio of good:bad blood pressure is okay?
Doctor: Well, that’s cholesterol, which reminds me ... A) your numbers on those are too high, too, and 2) you’re an idiot.
Dead Acorn: I’m not the one who had to go to some off-shore medical school.
Doctor: Doing an internship in infectious diseases in a developing nation after graduating from Harvard is not generally considered going to an “off-shore medical school.”
Dead Acorn: Whatever. I want a second opinion.
Doctor: Fine, but every physician in town will agree that you’re an idiot.
Anyway, I usually buy a bunch of cans of soup at one time and keep them in my desk drawer, and I generally only eat three kinds: Chicken and Wild Rice, Chicken Noodle, and Chicken Gumbo. I usually stock up more on the first two flavors, as they are more conservative in flavor, while the Chicken Gumbo is a bit spicy (dare I say bold?), which is somewhat antithetical to my rather pedestrian approach to midday sustenance. Nevertheless, I do maintain a small cache of the Gumbo just for those days when I feel like "coloring outside the lines," so to speak, just a little (I think I get this tendency from my Great Aunt Selina, who, every few months, goes on a whisky bender and talks some naïve college freshmen into driving her to Vegas, unfailingly landing in jail (though almost as unfailingly talking her way out of it) … we’re pretty much kindred spirits, she and I (but in spirit only; I don't regularly seduce college freshmen)).
Today was such a day, and to my surprise, there was nary a can of Gumbo to be found. Six cans of Wild Rice, four cans of Noodle, but nothing to sate my yearning for the 1 1/4 alarm heat that only Progresso can provide.
This, of course, got me thinking. I hadn’t altered my shopping list at all – I still bought the same ratio of the three flavors, which for years, has perfectly met my needs and desires – on most days, something safe and comfortable, but every once in a while, something just a little zany and dangerous. So if my buying habits hadn’t changed, the premature depletion of Gumbo could mean only one thing: my lunch, and, by extension, my life, is venturing more and more often into the wilder realms. I must be, without realizing it, bustin’ out of this cocoon of familiarity in which I've entrenched myself … throwing away this security blanket to which I cling … finally removing the safety harness I’ve been wearing my whole life, and goddamn it, walking the wire free of inhibitions, and to the devil with timidity.
Next up: switching to Crest Gel toothpaste, and having a beer in a bar south of State Street. Crazy talk, I know, and I'd be lying if I said I'm not scared. But watch out, world … there’s a new shooter holding the dice.