Well, I have once again received a completely clean bill of health from the doctors, after extensive tests of blood and other bodily fluids I'm sure you'd rather not hear about.
My blood pressure is spectacular, my cholesterol low, I am (astoundingly) in no danger of diabetes, and am totally free of venereal diseases.
In short, I am in perfect health.
Which never ceases to astound the shit out of me, given the treatment I put my body through and have put it through over the years. Between the history of serious drug use, the over-drinking and overeating of bacchanalian proportions, the massive massive consumption of Sugar, Caffeine, Tobacco, and monosodium-whatever and transaturated-whatnots from all the junk food, I should legally be dead by now.
And yet, I'm not. I'm not even ill. I'm not even unwell. I'm not even particularly at-risk.
How the fuck did that happen?
Hell, the only thing my doctor could recommend to me, on account of my HGL cholesterol (the "good cholesterol") being kind of low, was to drink MORE alcohol. Apparently it doesn't matter what kind, any kind will do, but to drink at least one glass of hard liquor or a couple of wine or a beer at least four times a week, compared to my present one night of drunken revelry every couple of weeks.
I had actually cut down on the whiskey here because even though there's a ton of whiskey around (Uruguay has the highest per-capita consumption rate for whiskey in the world), hardly any of it is any good. But ok, there's always Jamesons, that's palatable, and I still have half a bottle of the Glenfarclas 12 year old Scotch I won at the Masonic Debating competition in April. Plus there's always Grappamiel, the excellent mead-like liquor they make here. And the Uvita, the great cocktail you can get at the Fun-Fun bar, one of the oldest bars in Montevideo, where Gardel himself used to get wasted and once dedicated a tango to the famous drink.
So, I'm going to have to go get pissed.
What a lesson this is: I have long worshiped the god Bacchus. He of all the manifestations of divinity slung around in history or present times is the one that seemed most reasonable to me. Hedonism is a virtue not a vice, it is the constant celebration of an existence none of us have earned, none of us deserves in any way, and yet here we have it, and why be here if not to revel in it?
And lo, Dionysus has spoken to me. He has rewarded me for ignoring all the bullshitting nanny-stater health freaks; the vegetarians and the vegans and the airitarians and the full-of-crapatarians that advocate limiting ourselves; the constant large-scale social hypochondriacs that are convinced that we must be saved from ourselves and punished for enjoying our existence too much. For eating too well, for drinking too fondly, for smoking with pleasure.
I mean, look at fucking Gerald Ford. The guy is 92 fucking years old. Do you know that he's the last pipe-smoking US president? He smoked 10 pipes a day during his time in the white house. 10 a fucking day!! I consider myself hardcore, and the MOST I've ever smoked in a day is 7 (3-5 most days). And here he is, only just now getting to his last moments in the world, at the age of NINETY-FUCKING-TWO.
And I will make anyone a serious bet that when poor old Gerald Ford finally kicks the bucket, some asshole nanny-stater is going to actually say, with a straight face, that it was the "years of smoking that killed him". Yes, clearly, the years of smoking, at fucking NINETY-TWO (or 93 or 94, hell, he ain't done just yet).
So take my health advice: fuck them all. Screw anyone who says you shouldn't eat what you enjoy eating, smoke as much as you fucking like, drink whatever you want to drink, and screw as much as humanly possible.
Because none of the so-called health experts know one fucking thing. Your time is your time. For all my good health, I could drop dead tomorrow, or be hit by a truck, or have a violently angry internet-swine hunt me down and pop a cap in me. But it seems blatantly clear to me that statistics are just statistics, they are meaningless at the level of the personal; and while if you know you have certain genetic predispositions you may want to watch yourself, in general, you should just let go and take the roller coaster ride as much as you fucking can, because you'll only have one shot at doing it. None of the so-called "healthy lifestyle choices" guarantee you a fucking thing, so why bother?
The stupid fucker who wrote "the joy of running"? He's dead.
The Atkins diet guy? Dead.
Gerald "ten pipes a day" Ford? Still kicking a little longer, at 92.
RPGPundit? In perfect health and full bacchanalian swing.
Currently Smoking: Ben Wade Rhodesian + Image Latakia
(originally posted December 16, 2005)