Sunday, March 29, 2009
Acquire the Taste
The latter of these revelations may escape the native Tennessean while he lives in the relatively clean, agrarian-based economy of his home state. It may be introduced with vivid clarity, however, when he arrives in a nation like Korea, where air pollution is not a threat to future generations or a leftist interest group’s talking points, but rather an annual event coinciding with the onset of spring.
This Tennessean may not have devoted a special degree of thought to how to solve his sinus problems while in his home state, merely dismissing his annual difficulties in breathing through his nose as caused by the arrival of winter; something that will pass after a really long nap. While in Korea, however, these disruptions may metastasize into an event that takes place three times annually and requires special means to be counteracted.
Because of Korea’s geographical location, its occupants are likely to suggest traditional herbal medicine (which I shall henceforth refer to as Oriental medicine) as a solution. Now, for an indication of what you’re getting into when you try Oriental medicine, you may need to consult your handy medical dictionary, which defines it as being “like Western medicine, but tasting unfathomably worse.”
This is not merely the perspective of the Westerner; as soon as they advise taking this traditional remedy, Koreans will tell you that it tastes bad. They would be remiss if they didn’t; the qualities of its flavor are as integral as its brownish-green hue (come to think of it, those two qualities are probably related).
The problem is that words such as “It tastes bad” are just that, words, and scarcely an indicator of the ordeal that this subjects the taste buds to.
Oriental medicine comes in small plastic packets and should be warmed up before one ingests it. Once heated to the desirable temperature it may be placed in a coffee mug, of which it only takes up about three-fifths. This relatively small quantity does little to help the experience become more bearable, though; to say that you drink “only” three-fifths of a cup of Oriental medicine is like saying that childbirth “only” takes up the better part of a day.
When preparing Oriental medicine, it’s critical to heat it to just the point that it is warm, and thus can be swallowed in one quick sequence of gulps. If too cold, you will be subjecting yourself to the anti-flavor for naught; if too hot, you will make it impossible to take in all at once, thus prolonging the suffering of your taste indicators.
One Oriental medicine packet ought to be taken after awakening and another at night before sleeping. If you can remember this schedule and maintain it, then your Oriental medicine experience may be complete in no more than a month and a half.
Thus far, I have provided only abstract indications of how strongly this traditional remedy affects one’s sense of taste. You must surely be thinking that I exaggerate in describing its unpleasant qualities.
Well, if you want a more concrete sense of what occurs when you tip the mug back and send the brownish-green liquid flooding into your oral cavity, first imagine the most delicious food or drink you’ve ever consumed. Now, imagine believing that you would have to eat/drink that particular dish/potable just to return your sense of taste to a state of neutrality.
Then try imagining that this most delicious of entrees is not available to you, and all you have to access is water, which you must employ in attempting to wash the brownish-green liquid away.
While you’re at it, imagine being handed a Polaroid of Joe Theismann’s leg after Lawrence Taylor delivered his career-ending tackle on Monday Night Football in 1985. Picture yourself being catching a glimpse of this photo of the great quarterback’s compound fracture at precisely the same time you bite into a mouthful of lemon. After drinking Oriental medicine, you’ll have an expression similar to this on your face for much of the morning.
Having described its less-desirable qualities, you may now be asking whether or not it works. The answer is yes, taking Oriental medicine boosts the immune system of the sinus-infection-prone individual, reducing the occurrences of sinusitis from three times a year to no more than two. If may also reduce the severity of its occurrences, thus preventing the need for other Eastern medical practices, such as having needles stuck into his various pressure points and left there for 15 minutes.
Well, assuming that sounds worse than the taste I just described. That’s up to you.
That's gotta be the funniest thing I've read in 2009. I woke the neighbor's dog, and by syllogism, the neighbor.
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