After a dog or cat eats something that seemingly makes it sick, it instinctively avoids that food henceforward. Likewise human beings: Paulette and I, ca. 1978, got violently ill after consuming carry-out pastrami sandwiches from a "Lucky Boy" hamburger shop in Pasadena, California. Probably they were tainted with salmonella or some similar bacterium. It took Paulette a decade or more before she could try pastrami again; I never have (but then, I've been a vegetarian since the mid-1990s, so the clock stopped ticking then).

In the other direction, certain foodstuffs become associated with goodness for idiosyncratic and circumstantial reasons. When our kids were tiny, for instance, we would give them Gatorade (an electrolyte-replenishment drink, ostensibly for athletes) if they were sick. So Gatorade became for them an elixir of life. In my long runs during the past year Clif Bars have been my manna, ambrosia, and nectar --- particularly the crunchy peanut butter variety.

Logical? Not at all! But positive mental associations seem to help, regardless of reality. It's doubtless a placebo effect, the same as my experience with Vitamin C, which seemed to help me avoid common colds as long as Linus Pauling was alive. After he passed away, the pills lost their efficacy. Too bad ...

/* Re. Vitamin-C cold treatment method: One classmate of mine regularly uses that treatment whenever he senses a developing cold, and he claims that it works consistently - RadRob */

TopicHumor - TopicPersonalHistory - TopicRunning - 2003-12-01

(correlates: RecombinationEra, CountermeasureAndGodshatter, BeYourOwnCause, ...)