I don’t like to talk. This, as my therapist and assorted other adults would have it, is bad. The spoken exchange of ideas is good. This is all lovely in theory, isn’t it? But actual applied talk is often dull and terribly fucking trying. And this, I have learned, is down to two key factors.
The first is that I am not very nice. The second has nothing whatsoever to do with me and can trace its roots to the garden of hope.
There is a viral weed that feeds on the manure of optimism. There is a popular topic of conversation that has driven me indoors.
Natural effing medicine.
Seriously. Everybody’s smack bang into natural effing medicine. If I had a loaf of ancient grain bread for every person who has offered me a fish oil capsule this year, I could open a bakery. A caring, sharing, giving biodynamic bakery that offers fifty free micrograms of St John’s Wort for every chakra sold. Bakery? Half-bakery, more like. You people with your herbs and your aura colour adjustments and your phyto-chemical pseudo-science whatsits. It’s all very well and good if you keep it within the margins of the commune. But now, it seems, you’re everywhere.
Back when I was a girl, it was only lactating women in cheese-cloth tops who could pronounce the word “chamomile”. Now, it’s every sod; even conservative old pluggers who consider Sarah Palin a bit too progressive and racy. They’re all on the valerian and the slippery elm and the asshatted FISH OIL. Honestly: is there any ailment fish oil doesn’t solve? Fish oil. Fish oil. Fish oil. It’s good for your cardiovascular doozits, your neural thingummy and your mental malarkey. It can cure anything from hives to erectile dysfunction to world effing hunger.
FISH OIL. If it’s so effing miraculous, here’s an idea. Next time there’s a G20 Summit, let’s buy an effing enormous hose and attach it to the world’s biggest vat of precious cocking fish oil and spray it all over the free-market’s most traded currency and we won’t have any more economic disasters because FISH OIL IS THE SHIT.
Everyone, including the formerly staid, has become an herbal hobbyist. It’s not enough that they’re hurling decalitres of ill-researched, over-priced waste into their own gobs. They want to drench me in it, too.
Once, at the urging of a “friend”, I bought a great big jar of the unctuous dribble. I can’t remember why it was “prescribed”. Probably to curb my burgeoning hatred of natural medicine. Anyhow, after I choked down a few domestic-cat-sized globs of stinky promise NOTHING HAPPENED. Or, nothing aside from the worst farts ever produced by male or female colon.
When did we all become (a) naturopaths and (b) shameless in our flatulence?
A distrust of pharmaceutical companies is reasonable. In fact, it’s terribly healthy. When profit governs research, our health is likely to ebb into the red. But, this is no reason to distrust evidence-based medicine altogether in favour of huge, bollocky fish oil pills that make your fluffies smell like a decomposing dolphin.
If one is not careful, natural medicine seeps into every unguarded crevice of conversation. How are you, Helen? I am very well. Oh, well, then you probably need FISH OIL. How are you Helen? Troubled by the cynicism of our parliamentary system. Oh, well, then you probably need FISH OIL How are you Helen? Ready to manually kill the next shitter who forms the phrase “fish oil”. Oh, well, then you probably need FISH OIL.
I don’t like to talk.