Archive for April 21st, 2011

Four And Twenty

Yesterday, the 20th day of April, was Adolf Hitler’s birthday.

This is a bummer for other people born on April 20. Because it’s like you’re supposed to be sort of embarrassed, being born on the same day as Hitler. You can’t really, fully celebrate. For it’s just too shameful, sharing a birthday with Hitler.

I know somebody who was born on April 20. And throughout her childhood it was a happy day indeed. Because, well, it was the day on which she was born. Then Hitler showed up. Then he got bad. Then he got worse. Then he became The Colossus Of Evil Who Bestrode All The World.

Even today, 66 years after Hitler went up in flames, she has to hear every year that she was born on the same day as Hitler. It’s like she’s expected to be ashamed. To keep it secret. Like her birthdate is some mad aunt stashed up in the attic, or a peculiar porn collection burrowed away in a disused drawer.

Similarly, I know a guy who was born on November 22. And that was a good day for him . . . until 1963, when John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Now he’s expected to hang his head in sorrow, to have been born on such a day. And I know a young one born on September 11, who had that day ripped away from her before she ever entered her teens: how can she now celebrate such a day, a day when America Was Attacked?

I myself was born on a date upon which occurred an event that, when I was young, was in this nation considered a Good thing . . . but is now regarded as Shameful and Wrong. I can’t tell you what that day is, because there are Mean People out here on the intertubes, some of whom Hate me, and, if they had my birthdate, together with my name (which some of them have), they might embark then on Great Wrongness. Hack and Ruin me. Destroy, say, my credit rating. If I happened to have a credit rating.



Gut Check

This is interesting. Science Men have discovered that “human gut ecosystems may fall into distinct types.” That is, just as there are four different blood types among human beings, so too do there appear to be distributed among people three distinct bacteria-worlds roiling around in human innards.

As the New York Times archly put it: “blood type, meet bug type.”

And so we are reminded again that Western medicine is still in a primitive stage of development. Science Men and their sawbones adjuncts have been peering and pawing at guts for centuries, and yet they’ve just now figured this out.

Just as everybody once thought they knew everything there was to know about blood . . . until the early 1900s, when it was suddenly Learned that there is an A, a B, an AB, and an O, and that correctly typing a person’s blood would result in more efficient and beneficial medical treatment.

As it is now presumed that gut-typing will produce its own benefits. Such as designing diets or proffering prescriptions based upon a person’s gut culture. The new gut wonderment may even offer an alternative to the waning efficacy of antibiotics: “instead of trying to wipe out disease-causing bacteria that have disrupted the ecological balance of the gut, they could try to provide reinforcements for the good bacteria.”

There does not appear at present to be any official names for these three gut cultures. Instead of something boring like A, B, AB, and O, I suggest dubbing the variants Curly, Moe, and Larry. Or Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, with D’Artagnan reserved in case the Science Men happen to run across a fourth type.


When I Worked

April 2011
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