The Prairie Spy

Alan “Lindy” Linda

I got the mail, and the vitamin catalog that came said: “2 for 1 Sale–Buy 1 get 1 free.” It said some other stuff, like “this is a good deal, etc., etc.” They also said they’d help the customer, so I called.

“What kind of vitamins do I need to take,” I asked. That drew what I believe is called a “pregnant silence,” whatever the heck that means.

The lady said, in an East Coast New York City accent just west of snotty: “Well, how old are you?”

I didn’t think that was any business of hers, and I told her so.

She came right back and said: “Are you not telling me because you don’t want to, or do you got Alzheimer’s and can’t remember whether you’re coming or going because your brain is shrinking.”

I thought about that for another pregnant moment–(my new favorite word)–and said: “Would you repeat the question, please?” Which must have helped her decide because she said I should atl least order something called “Ginko Biloba,” which couldn’t hurt, in my case.”

I said: “Bingo Go Lobo? Is that supposed to be good for memory?” Then I asked her how to spell it, and then I asked her if there were any spelling vitamins, because for me, once in a while they’d come in handy. (Especially if one had to spel werds like Bingo Go Lobo. She got quiet on me again.

Then she said: “Yes! Ginkgo Biloba is very good for stuff like that.” She added: “It’s a memory vitamin, for sure.”

So I said: “What if your memory is so bad you cannot remember to take it, what then?” That’s the problem, as I see it, with this memory medicine. On bad days, I cannot remember my age. I’d like to know how fast I’m forgetting stuff, before I start taking stuff for forgetting stuff. That would tell me at what exact predictable date I wouldn’t remember anything. But to know that, I have to compute some sort of loss curve. But to know that, first I have to know when I remember first forgetting.

I have good days, though. On my good days, I forget that I forget stuff. That’s not a totally bad condition, given that one can get one’s pants on and maybe some shoes and a shirt. On days like that, one can only hope that the people around me are in pretty much the same condition. That’s fun. You can have contests, show up and say: “I bet I forgot more stuff today than you did.” Maybe answer the phone and ask, before they can complain about something you forgot to do, and say: “How much stuff did you forget today.”

Then I asked her: “Do you have any feel-good vitamins, along the lines of Prozac or cocaine? She got quiet on me again. Then she said, kind of tentatively: “We have St. John’s Wort.” She added: “I’m not sure if someone like you should consider taking something that makes you feel better about yourself…” She kind of conversationally drizzled off as she was saying that. Maybe she needed a vitamin.

I said: “I don’t think St. John’s Wart would do much for me, you know?” She might know more about this stuff than I do, but just because St. John feels good about his wart doesn’t mean I do.

“Right?” she said. “This isn’t something you have, it’s something you take, in a capsule form.” Well. Maybe some people like warts in a capsule, but I’ll pass.

“How about?” I went on, “Something in the political line?” She seemed confused, but then she said, quite pleased with herself: “Here’s a very nice colon cleanser.”

She was sharper than I had given her credit for. Yeeeesssiiirrreee, just what the doctor ordered, a good colon cleanser when politicians started waving their lies and false promises in our faces.

But not for me.

For them.

I asked the lady for something to keep me from falling asleep every time I’m faced with politicians, something I could take every four years. “You got any vitamins for that?”

She hung up on me. Too bad. That’d be a genuine money maker.