Caveat emptor: today’s musings may suffer from sleep deprivation.
I woke just before first cheese. It was light but overcast, very grey. Dublin Port was handling at least two cargo ships, one leaving, the other arriving. My mind was jumbled. Outgoing stolen cars and animal flesh? Incoming vaccines and fruit pickers? Pigeon toes above the bedroom ceiling scratched me wider awake. I picked up a book but it was too early for the whores who were grabbing fistfuls of jewels in the hallway as they left 738 Keizersgracht. I changed books. It was better to be reading of pancakes whose menu depictions tasted better than the real thing. Probably.
I had a bad night’s sleep, full of anxieties and fitful, waking horrors. I wondered if it was the cashews before dinner. I had long ago been recommended serotonin tablets to offset jet lag. I only did it twice because I preferred the jet lag to the anxieties and depressive thoughts that crossed the Atlantic in the jarred tablets. What else is affected if my pee stinks after dining on quiche with asparagus? Visiting a friend in Aachen (was that two years ago already?), we dined on wonderful deutscher spargel and boy, the renowned giant white, seasonal asparagus delivered seriously strong odours later. Perhaps I smell it because I can. Maybe not everyone has the ability to smell whatever sulphurous compounds come from asparagus. Probably methyl mercaptan, with an odour like the hydrogen sulphide you know from rotten eggs. Similar in concept to the ethyl mercaptan, the odour of decay that I wrote about back in 2017.
I force-dozed beyond the hair dryer that an awake someone else was using in the bedroom. But then, time passed and into the silence came first bark. And shortly after that, I heard first cheese.
Our dog Gus has been affected by Brexit. He much prefers wensleydale with cranberries to the apricot variant he’s forced to eat due to interruptions to the supply lines from Yorkshire. I think it unfair that the canny British are offloading their failed cheeses on unsuspecting Irish dogs. Why apricot in wensleydale?
Gus needs his tablets to survive. But he hates them. So we experimented with masks. Cheese was the winning mask and an easy wrap for the tablets. Cheddar looked strong for a while but he’s not so mature that his nose can’t detect the hidden drugs. His circulation may be slowing, his lungs congesting but his nose works just fine.
Thank you. Good boy. There. Well done. Hand claps. What, second cheese already?
An hour has passed and second cheese has crept up on me while I’ve been exorcising my demons, strong coffee close to hand.
‘How will we cope when we are capable of keeping humans alive longer than our optimal life expectancy?’ asked Richard H Thaler in The Last Unknowns. And to think, just a few hours ago I was anxious about how to coordinate the undertakers given that a rogue internet bot had renamed our bank accounts to benefit itself.
Today seemed written off before it could even get underway. But then I went out hunting magnolias.
- The Data Detective by Tim Harford (the whores)
- Why Did I Ever by Mary Robison (the pancakes)
- The Last Unknowns edited by John Brockman (life expectancy)