The Inhospitable Host TheorySubmitted by bart at 2004-05-05 02:49:35 EDT
Rating: 1.54 on 126 ratings (126 reviews) (Review this item) (V)
Excess ain't rebellion,
You're drinking what they're selling.
Your self-destruction doesn't hurt them.
Your chaos won't convert them.
They're so happy to rebuild it.
You'll never really kill it.
- Cake "Rock & Roll Lifestyle"
I beg to differ.
I was out to dinner with a lovely young lady tonight, and we got onto the topic of diets. We talked somewhat about "diets" as in weight loss programs like Atkins, Weight Watchers, and Richard Simmons' Deal-A-Meal, but the broader topic was "diets" in the more general sense - the food we eat and the beverages we drink.
This evening, I passed my theory on to her, and now tonight, I pass it on to you.
The Inhospitable Host Theory
Everywhere you go, people are telling you what to eat, what to drink, which drugs are good, which drugs are bad, and how you should exercise more if you want to live a long and healthy life. You shouldn't eat red meat, but you need protein. But wait, you need to balance it out with fruits and vegetables and vitamin supplements with at least twenty minutes of cardiovascular exercise and a hot cup of ginseng tea. Or was it green tea. Chai? Damn it, am I going to die if I drink chai?
Fuck all that.
I say this with good reason, but before I get to my good reason, I'd like you to answer a simple question for me:
Somehow, you've miraculously released yourself from all of your responsibilities. You have plenty of money so you don't need to stay at your job. Your kids, pets, and other family members have all become self sufficient. You've just found a buyer for your house and they're willing to purchase it with all your furniture and that 1983 Oldsmobile adorning your back yard.
You are free to do whatever you want with your life, move wherever you want to move - NO STRINGS ATTACHED.
Where do you want to live?
A) The lush tropical climate of St. Vincent in the Caribbean with unspoiled isles, golden sands, blue waters, and coral reefs as well as an average temperature ranging from 79 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit year round.
B) Mount Erebus, Antarctica. An active volcano, spewing lava, ash, and poisonous gas, all the while resting on an uninhabited block of ice with an average temperature of -4 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer and -76 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter.
This is a tough one. On one hand, I could learn how to scuba dive, start surfing, and lounge on some of the world's most beautiful beaches. On the other hand, I could live in isolation with a nearly 100% chance of getting killed by frigid cold, hazardous toxins, or an angry penguin who's still pissed off about an oil spill.
No brainer. A. You choose A. The beautiful sun, the water, the women, fruity drinks with umbrellas, it's perfect. This is everything anyone could ask for. This is where you want to be.
Now, back to the theory. Let's pretend that you're a deadly bacterium, perhaps, oh I don't know, Vibrio parahaemolyticus:
"The bacterium, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, causes diarrhea, usually within 24 hours of eating infected seafood, along with abdominal cramping, nausea, and headache in most people, according to Dr. Nicholas A. Daniels and associates at the University of California, San Francisco."
You're a free roaming bacterium out looking for a good time. You just broke free from a diseased oyster shell and now you need someplace to settle and start a family.
Where do you want to live?
A) Judith Moore - Winter Park, FL. Judith is 33 years old 5'7" 135 lbs with light brown hair and bright blue eyes. Judith lives on a healthy diet primarily consisting of nutrient rich fruits and vegetables along with a solid combination of starches and seafood, but no pork. Occasionally, Judith will splurge and have an extra yogurt cup for dessert at the Winter Park Cafe where she has lunch with her husband David each Sunday after church. Judith works as an instructor at a local health club during the week and spends her spare time jogging and playing competitive tennis.
B) Bart Cilfone - Chicago, IL. Bart is 28 years old 6'0" 185 lbs with light brown hair and green eyes. Bart lives on a diet primarily consisting of coffee, Pringles, and fast food pizza along with a solid combination of beer, rum, and red meat, but no vegetables. Occasionally, Bart will splurge and have an entire box of Oreos for breakfast which he eats on the train on the way to work after a late night drinking binge. Bart works at an engineering job where he spends eight to ten hours a day sitting in front of a computer drinking Pepsi. In his spare time, Bart enjoys competitive sleeping and spending eight to ten hours in front of a computer eating Pepperidge Farm Goldfish.
Again, tough decision. On one hand, I could go to fertile Judith where I could plant myself in her lush healthy intestine or perhaps colon and guarantee a home for myself and children for decades to come. On the other hand, I could go to the toxic wasteland stomach of Bart Cilfone where if I don't get buried under the grease from a fried chicken leg, I'll probably get shredded by a stray Pop Rock or poisoned by a shot of Johnnie Walker Black.
No brainer. A. You choose A again. The healthy pink lungs, the steady balance of vitamins and nutrients, it's perfect. This is everything any bacterium could ask for. This is where you want to be.
Thank you healthy Judith for playing the good host for those deadly bacteria. While you're bedded up at the hospital with diarrhea and abdominal cramping, I, bitter cynical Bart Cilfone, will continue to wash down my Ben and Jerry's Wavy Gravy with this glass of Bailey's Irish Creme on the rocks.
Bacteria have been on this planet for a lot longer than human beings, and they will continue to be here long after we're gone. They know how to play this game much better than we ever will. We get stronger and healthier and the bacteria just multiply faster than ever. The only way to win is war of attrition.
The inhospitable host theory.
If you can't beat 'em, poison 'em.
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