Blog o’ the Humours

In which one modern American man, semi-permeable in both mind and body, through rarefied feats of biochemical introspection (powered by an impeccably cursory knowledge of contemporary biochemistry in admixture with an equally negligible grounding in thoroughly discredited medical theories of antiquity), (a) pinpoints the one internalized substance that has bested all others to govern his thought, temperament, behavior, and overall mojo on a given day, and (b) offers random ruminations on same.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

They whisk. Down inside the toughest neighborhoods on your arterial map, where the killers congregate. Like Eliot Ness, mopping up the mob in old Chicago, or Travis Bickle, delivering on his promise of “Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets” with a bloodletting chez “Sport” the pimp, they wipe away the undesirables with forthright purpose, and without remorse.

Of course, by name, they sound like they have much more nefarious ends in mind, these Omega-3 Fatty Acids—something from the plot of a never-filmed ’50s Sci-Fi movie: A pair of teen sweethearts—he letterman-sweatered and safety-coiffed, she bobby-soxed and pony-tailed—wander in the post-crepuscular end-of-season gloom toward the obscure end of the boardwalk, past the B.B. shooting galleries and cotton-candy stands that are winding up both the evening and the summer, most of their customers already en route to warmer, indoor entertainments, when the young couple—perhaps looking for a secluded spot to foster some inner warmth of their own, or maybe to close the shutters on their seasonal fling—notice an aluminum-sided snack shack that, somehow, they had not come across before throughout a whole long summer of strolling these boards. “Cheeseburgers,” the sign across the top of the shack reads, so dimly footlit that passing moths won’t deign to orbit it, “Deep Fried. Tasty.” Intrigued and more than a bit appetized, they order two of these novel delicacies—she a single, he a double-patty-with-double-cheese—from the squat, be-head-scarved, just perceptibly smiling woman (or man?) of obviously foreign extraction (Slavic? South American? Chinese? So hard to tell, since the same few Angeleno actors tend to play all the non-Anglo parts in these old B-movies) and are fascinated and, if the truth be told, aroused by the hot, crispy, golden, undulating-lumpen masses presented to them in wax-paper pockets. They nod to the now-overtly-smiling Xeno-American shack-keeper, turn, and exit the meek pool of light for the truly dark and certified romantic end of the boardwalk, savoring their first-ever bites of deep-fried tasty cheeseburger as they walk, touching elbows along the way as new lovers need to to remind themselves of their intimacy. But wait, what’s this? This sensation in their toes… tingly—no wait… painful! Excruciating! They want to cry out, but can’t. [Cue the theramins!] The deep-fried “cheeseburgers” seem to’ve glued their mouths shut. And their feet can no longer lift from the boardwalk. In fact, as they gape down at their feet, they see that the flesh there is liquefying, spilling over their shoe-tops, running off onto the boards, and disappearing from sight into the gaps and knot-holes. [Now the ondes Martenots!] Those self-same knot-holes are now growing larger to their eyes [and to ours, thanks to a shift to the POV camera], and, horrified, they/we realize that they are slowly but surely dissolving from the bottom up, sinking into and spreading across the boardwalk, hands now fused into the suddenly luminous deep-fried cheesy-meaty masses, elbows now flapping in mad frenzy like chicken wings on a newly headless body, reciprocally knocking and funny-boning (though, because this is the ’50s, there’s nothing “funny” implied here). Now the camera swings off to the side and sinks down, down, below the boardwalk, to reveal a vast aluminum-sided hopper into which the lovers’ bodies are dripping, merged now as never before, and as the camera continues to pan down and then abruptly draws back, we see that both the hopper and the under-luminated snack-shack are mere protuberant accessories of [Brass! Strings! Tutti, damn you Maestro, tutti!] a giant aluminum space ship—shaped like, oh, let’s say, a cigar thrust through a donut—emblazoned with the insignia “Ω-3.”

But it’s quite the opposite, really. These Omega-3s are the good guys of the fatty realm, delivered not by deep-fried cheeseburger of celestial or Slavic origin, but by the salmon sashimi and spicy tuna roll at Miyabi Sushi in SF, whisking away the ever-threatening LDLs and triglycerides from my genetically challenged arteries even as I chew, and freeing my mind for the entertainment of… healthier thoughts.


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