Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Don’t Taste Me, Bro

with 4 comments

Everyone should have a list of things they are grateful not to be. I, for example, am grateful not to be a medieval peasant, among many other things. You might be grateful not to be the walls of my house, unless you happen to enjoy being scribbled and scratched on by little kids. The members of most advantaged majorities are grateful not to be members of disadvantaged minorities. The list goes on.

But one thing it had not occurred to me to be grateful for not being, until just now, was a hypochondriac. The events of the last couple of days have made me realize just what a miserable existence that would afford.

You see, since about Thursday night, my wife, my eldest son and I have been tasting everything we eat as bitter. I made broccoli calzones for dinner, and the three of us thought there was something wrong with the dough, because it was just unpalatable. Except that the other three kids had no problem with the stuff, even devouring more than usual. The problem persisted yesterday, and we decided on a course of action to determine whether the condition stemmed from something in our kitchen or something more sinister. Our teenage niece would be with us over the weekend, and we could rely on her to establish whether it was just us or something actually wrong with the food.

So she arrives on Friday and almost immediately informs us that she’s been tasting everything as bitter over the last few days. The news proved simultaneously relieving and aggravating – OK, we now know it’s not something in our food, but what the hell is it?

This is where the gratitude at not being a hypochondriac comes in. Do you know how many scary conditions have bitter taste as a symptom? The internet is a bit too conducive to worst-case self-diagnosis. According to one online resource, it could be gastroesophageal reflux disease. It could be acute mercury inhalation. Or rattlesnake poisoning (which would be impressive, considering that there are no rattlesnakes in the Middle East). Or Jaundice (wasn’t she a character in something?). One site listed no fewer than a hundred possible causes – and that was just on the one site that I happened to see.

So I asked a doctor friend, who said it’s most likely some weird virus, like the one that went around his family at some point, causing them to find all their food yucky – the only symptom. On the bright side, he offered, it has a slimming effect. While I concede that I do not have the same waistline that I had fifteen years ago, its expansion has not reached the point that I welcome pathogenic intervention.

As it happens, I am now grateful not to be suffering from any infection resulting in severe weight loss. Those don’t tend to be pleasant, as I understand. If you wish to try them out and prove me wrong, please. I promise not to clamor to be you.


Written by Thag

November 20, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , ,

4 Responses

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  1. that’s sweet


    November 21, 2010 at 1:14 am

    • There’s no reason to be bitter, you old salt, even if you’ve soured on me. And no, I’m not going to try to work “umami” into this.


      November 21, 2010 at 7:07 am

      • umami’s so fat, she…no, wait.


        November 21, 2010 at 11:24 am

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