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Vitamin Popper

Because this blog isn’t already enough about describing the ways my body fails me:

My problems with vitamins and supplements only began with getting pills stuck in my esophagus. When I was in college, mom was encouraging me to take cayenne pepper. I was supposed to take it at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Common sense should have said that was quite enough, but one day I lost track of how many I’d taken and reckoned I’d take my daily dose all at once, then I went with some friends to a comedy club. I didn’t think much about the fact I was sweating when we got there, but then about halfway through the show, something was really wrong. My anus was on fire. I excused myself once, twice, three times (a lady!); I couldn’t put the fire out. It smoldered all the way home.

Another day, alone in my efficiency apartment in Iowa City, I poured a large glass of orange juice and with it took a handful of pills, Vitamin C, B-Complex, probably a multivitamin, maybe even cayenne again. Without bothering to eat breakfast, I went about my usual morning routine—then, much as it is now: check email, read the Internet—but suddenly, I felt queasy. I laid down on my bed. Ten minutes later, I sprinted to the loo to kneel over the toilet and barf out my guts.

Each time it happened, I stopped taking the pills until the memory of why I stopped taking them, like a newspaper left in the car, faded. Eventually, I would remark that my diet supplies me too little iron or omega-3 fatty acids; that my risk for osteoporosis is so great that I’d be a fool not to take calcium every day; that if I took a handful of creatine every day, I would soon be the one the ladeez wanted to party with; that if I ingested a little beta carotene every morning, I would see better at night. Such reasons were compelling enough to get me back, two months ago, and I’ve been faithful to the pills ever since. I think I even see better at night!

Yesterday morning, however, scuttled it. In a nightmare that was eerily reminiscent of my orange juice misadventure, I swallowed my multivitamin, 500 mg of zinc and 600 mg of Vitamin C. I ate a bowl of cereal. I read the newspaper. Then, my stomach tightened into a knot. There was no slack. I lay down on our purple futon and drew myself into a ball. That worked for a while, until I saw that the floor wasn’t so very far away, and I balled myself up on it. Eventually the knot loosened, and I got up, but I made it only as far as the toilet; later, I climbed into bed, called in late, and took an hour-long nap. By 9:45, I was mostly recovered, and I went to work.

I admit it was difficult to work after that.



Fiery anuses! Yes! There can be no better Friday lunchtime reading.

If I may say so, the newspaper simile was, like a roast left too long in the oven, a bit overdone.

Everyone’s a damn critic. You prefer, “like an old pair of Levi’s”?

“like a use-by date on a year-old bottle of antibiotics”?

“like an original print of Modern Times“?

“like vintage anticommunist toilet paper”?

Ahhh, lighten up; you’re blogging ten times more than anyone else around here, it’s perfectly understandable that you will let loose a few doozies here and there.

You’re Roosevelt’s Man in the Arena, we are mere cackling dilettantes.

I’m light enough already; no need to worry about that…

I, too, recently had a religious experience.

I am an eater of peppers. I love a good serrano pepper, raw, with a good plate of rice and beans, or a quesadilla. The other day we took some Dominican visitors to the farmers market and they thought they bought some Dominican sweet peppers. Only they weren';t; they were habaneros.

I popped one in my mouth and my lips literally turned carmine and I cried like I haven't cried over peppers in the 31 years of my love affair (I started quite early, they say; I started around 2)

I saw the Lord; the only thing that made it worse is that I knew I would be called upon to testify again the next morning.

The worst part is that there is nothing to put out the fire; it simply must pass; only its passing is like a primitive ritual where the shaman rips out your intestines through your anal sphincter with a glowing hot garden rake.

It took all morning, and four visits to the inner sanctum before all I was left with was the inflamed nerve endings of my nether-region telling me that they were not made for fire-breathing.

Awesome—and painful!

If I may say so, the primitive ritual simile is, like a newborn bunny hopping through freshly mown, dewy grass, exciting in its freshness.

I love the Fiery Anus. I have their first three albums.

remind me, are they retro dance punk? or pre-post-metal metal?

Ska, of course, or lite jazz.