Five Horse-Pills of the Apocalypse

"Now I know what you're gonna look like when you're an old man." she said as I hobbled up to the kitchen counter and began divvying out my vitamin regime.


"All slow and puffy and unshaven and taking all you're morning medication."

"You forgot grouchy."

"No I didn't."


And I kind of felt bad for her. Cause who wants to spend sixty years with an old man? I mean, ten, twenty, thirty, if you didn't retire too soon, never smoked and had parents that lived to see their great-great grandchildren? Sure, why not?

But sixty?

I mean she did get almost all of my twenties, and the best half of my thirties, but now I'm a grouchy old man hobbling up to the kitchen counter at 7:30am, slow and puffy faced and unshaven and swallowing a handfull of horse pills.

I'm not taking medications yet, thank jesus, but I am knocking back quite an interesting array multi-shaped tablets all in the name of a better me.


I mean, didn't we all just read the news not too long ago that there really isn't any provable value in taking all that stuff? Didn't we just learn that there is no such thing as a multi-vitamin when you start to calculate for absorbtion rates and individual biology, chemistry, genetics?

In order to honestly capture your own biological improvement, you have to subject yourself to all kinds of tests. Blood work, BMI, a five page questionairre when you got up, and ten page one before bed. There would have to be a control, so anyone who isn't a twin loses by default. And of course . . . placebo.

Such a great word.


It really needs to be Katy Perry's new album title.



Even though we don't know what Vitamins and Minerals do, I mean, we don't NOT know. It takes a lot of money to study that kind of stuff, and for the people with that kind of money, well . . . they're kind of banking on the fact that the consumer can't tell the difference between symptom reduction and actual healing.

Healthy people don't spend $4.50 for two tablets of Aleve at a gas station.

Or maybe they do. What do I know?

I'll tell you what I know.

After five weeks of dosing myself with a handful of question marks four times a day, I have learned quite a lot. Here's what I can tell you about Vitamins that are officially proven fact as far as I can say that:

Fact Number One: Vitamins make you pee all kinds of pretty colors.
Mostly in the neon family. Vibrant yellows, greens, and sometimes - traffic cone orange. I have yet to see anything in the blue category, and if I ever see anything in the red or purplish hues, you most likely won't hear from me until I get back from the hospital. I will take a picture before calling 911, for . . . you know . . . science.

Fact Number Too: Vitamins make you poo all kinds of different shapes and textures.
For the last fifteen years, since I've had a regular job, and eaten regular meals, I've been . . . well . . . regular. Get up, go to work, and halfway through my second cup of coffee, it's off to the throne room with a crossword puzzle and a ball point pen. I was rewarded for my efforts with something about the width of a roll of quarters and about as long as a standard remote control.

Of course I look.

You look.

We all look.

But now . . . now it could be anything. Anytime, anywhere, with degrees of variation ranging from a rottweiler's chew toy to a 7-Eleven Slurpee melting in the August heat.

And what they might miss in volume they make up for with multiple trips. I am now coming close to using as much toilet paper as my wife does.

That's terrifying.

Fact Number Three: Vitamins make you smell.
Especially the garlic ones. My wife doesn't cuddle anymore and has been changing the linens every three days. I don't mind the garlic, but I do hope that Trader Joes will start selling Basil and Tomato extracts so I can at least fool her into thinking I'm a lasagna.

Fact Number Four: Vitamins cost a lot.
Like . . . a lot a lot. And the weird thing is . . . they cost differently at different places. The Vitamine Shoppe (pronounced Vit-Uh-Mean-Shaw-Pay) is the only place that carries the policosinol, but the green-tea and garlic is cheaper at Target, while a few others are cheapest at Trader Joes.

There are deals to be had online as well, but I'm a fraidy cat when it comes to purchasing consumables through the mail. I don't have much life insurance so I want my wife to have brick and morter establishment to sue in the case of my untimely death.

And because they all have their proprietary bottles, they come in different amounts and different potencies. I may find one for five bucks, but I'll have to take seventeen of them to equal one from the $15 bottle.

Why do fifth grade math teachers have to be so right about the later-life usefullness of algebra?

Fact Number Five: Sometimes . . . sometimes . . . they might work.
Let us be totally clear on this. Until restorative and preventative medicines become cash-cows, there will be no conversation with your doctor where he/she won't prescribe something that was invented in the lab to cure fastidiousness in rats but was found to reduce certain types of choloesterol and includes a laundry list of very scary side-effects.

If Halliburtun doesn't see a dime, then there is a good chance we're gonna continue living in a world where we know more about Viagra than we do about Vitamin C.

And yes, there are like, one or two studies that show some vitamins taken to excess can be harmful too, but your body is pretty amazing at grabbing what it needs and flushing the rest away. You're like an ultra-radical super expensive HEPA filter.

So think of taking vitamins not so much as a cure, but like, tipping your waitress an extra five percent. You don't know what she's gonna do with the money . . . but it's there if she needs it.

And you gotta assume that because she's a waitress . . . she needs it.

I started taking a B Complex in the mornings with my eggs and spinach and you wouldn't believe it but my mood changed from constant road rage to cooly happy to be alive.

The two days I didn't, I was back to throwing kitchen utensils at songbirds in my backyard.

That's not an endorsement.

Just an observation.

And I can't say with any degree of certainty what it would do to you.

I don't know you.

In fact the only thing I DO know about you is that you look at your poo.

And that you should contact a doctor immediately if you do it for more than four hours.

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