The Tangential Thinker

Assorted coloured pills by pill bottle, close up

Paul Tearle

So I went to a health food store last week to shop for an herbal supplement—and unlike in college, that’s not a euphemism for anything. My children Cranky, Whiny and Punch thought I could use something to boost my memory. You leave a kid behind at a movie theater one time—forget that I can quote every line from The Godfather—apparently it’s time for the ginseng. Never take sides against the family, indeed.

    As I wandered the aisles, I realized there might be some other supplements I needed—I’m not getting any younger, after all—and the salesperson was quick to agree and offer suggestions. I will list them alphabetically. There was açai berry extract for weight loss. Did I need it? Absolutely. Does it work? Most definitely. Then there’s blue green algae to bolster the immune system and lower cholesterol. Did I need it? Without a doubt! Does it work? You better believe it!

        Then there’s echinacea, and the oils, both flax seed and fish. Got to keep that heart healthy. I need green tea to increase my metabolism and lycopene for good vision. How am I sleeping, you ask? Well, between the recurring nightmares that my 13-year-old is dating an arms dealer and Punch yelling that he needs a drink of water, not very well. Turns out Melatonin is what I need for that. Next comes a multivitamin, just because.

        I need peppermint for heartburn and red clover for strong bones, tea tree oil for clear skin and selenium because I like saying selenium. Then of course, there’s St. John’s wort for mood enhancement. Finish off the list with wild yam for bumps and bruises and zinc for digestive health. Wow. There’s $300 I didn’t know I needed to spend. I don’t care, it’s worth it. The sales clerk assures me that in two weeks I will be able to lift a car. So after all that, I can’t even remember why I came in the darn store in the first place. Maybe I should see if they have something to help with memory.  LN

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