I think it was Mark Twain who said it was a good idea to obey all the rules when you are young so you have enough stamina to break them when you are old. I am in my late 50s (oh the horror!) and intemperate living has taking its toll.  Mr. Twain also said a sick man with no bad habits to discard is like a sinking ship with no freight to throw overboard. I thought I would discuss a few vices I should probably scuttle (at least for a while) if I want to see sixty.

Hot sauce.  Living in the Southwest as I do everything edible has chiles and is doused in salsa or hot sauce.  This is delicious and makes all other foods bland and dull in comparison. The taste buds have become jaded and the tolerance for ‘heat’ has slowly crept up over time. Alas, Babylon! My tongue may be impervious to heat but the rest of my GI system is becoming snippy about such sauces. Far from it. It seems to be developing a sort of allergy to capsicum that my innards remonstrate though out the duration of the voyage. Oh the pain. I should lay off the hot stuff for the sake of inner-peace.

Carbohydrates.  Please don’t feed me buns and things and nasty chips no more. They may be oh-so-delicious and don’t get me started on pasta.  The Good Doctor has advised I ‘lay off carbs” for awhile for the sake of my blood sugar.  Oh no! Say it ain’t so! And I just order several boxes of uncommon and fabulous pastas! I am not sure what I am supposed to eat instead – carrot sticks and radishes I suppose. No fun this.

Late night television. Or anything else ‘late’. What qualifies for such is creeping earlier and earlier to the point 11PM is considered ‘in the middle of the night”. It reminds me of the line from one of my favorite short stories: 

‘…was a consolation to an age when night had turned to no purpose but sleep.” 

News apps. ‘Doom scrolling’ may be more meddling to my wellbeing than carbohydrates, so I have stopped doing this awful past time. Mind! It is an excellent remedy for falling asleep too early. Doing so keeps me up. 

Restaurants – noisy ones to be precise.  Back before covid stopped our going to restaurants I was beginning to assess them not by their menus but by their noise levels. I’ve developed the hearing of a bat that I pick up and hear everything. I cannot tolerate joints with loud talking, dishes clacking, and (worse) music and television screens. Oh the pain. I tell Someone ‘we can’t eat here”.  Restaurants that do not resemble The Kingdom of Noise are hard to come by.  Best to order to go or stay home and make it yourself.  

Spo-fans: what don’t you tolerate anymore?