Oregano and Mugwort on SpaghettiOs.

I’m all for changing the things that have held me back in life—as long as it doesn’t take a lot of effort on my part. That’s why a recent article extolling the virtue of herbs caught my attention. If simply getting in touch with my “roots” was the answer to a longer and more fruitful existence, then count me in.Symbolically, I took down my “better living through chemistry” poster from the 1960s, and replaced it with a “better living through herbs” poster, which, oddly enough, featured the same longhaired group. Only now, they were wearing exercise tights instead of bell-bottoms, and carrying cellular phones instead of flowers.Then, I headed off to the health-food store determined to find that perfect combination of herbs that would quickly undo four decades of total physical and mental neglect.Trouble was, I didn’t know what to buy. My only previous herbal experience had been to occasionally put a dash of oregano on my SpaghettiOs. Now, I was faced with the most unusual group of names I had seen since attending an alternative rock concert. I was confused.That’s when I noticed Big Mike and Conan, two guys from the Community College gym I had recently joined. Between them, these two had more muscles than a four-star seafood restaurant.They were also quite intelligent. Whereas some of the larger members of the gym seemed to consider studying themselves in the mirror as mentally stimulating enough, Big Mike and Conan were both actually enrolled in classes at the college.These were my kind of guys—sort of. I didn’t really know them or anything, but one time, they did pick my bench and me up easily, and move us back to the women’s section. I’m not sure that qualifies us as good buddies.So, I formulated a plan. Rather then approach these two behemoths directly, I decided I would just follow them, and buy whatever they bought.Conan picked up a small package.“Slippery Elm Bark?” Conan asked.“Perfect,” Big Mike said. “Grab some White Oak Bark, too.”Strategically, I stayed just far enough to observe their selections without their noticing me.“Here’s the Alfalfa Leaf,” Conan hollered out.“Good,” Big Mike said. “Now, we need to find Burdock Root, Capsicum, and some Kelp Tablets.”“Right”I jotted down the names on a piece of paper. As soon as they moved on, I started tossing two or three of everything they had mentioned into my basketNow that I was this close, I was in a hurry to obtain a slimmer, firmer new me. I caught up to them as they entered the last aisle.“Anything else?” Conan asked.“Yeah. Better grab some Ginger Root and Mugwort,” Big Mike answered.“Got it,” Conan responded.I waited until they left the store, and then brought my purchases to the counter. The clerk looked somewhat amused by my choices, but I just smiled. He’d understand in a few weeks when the tarnish of neglect began to melt away, revealing my inner Amazon.I left the store, found an unoccupied bench in the mall, and methodically began pulling out all the ingredients for my new lease on life.I read the names again, contemplating whether I should mix them all together into one great amalgamation of therapy, or take them one at a time and savor the improvement.I took a deep breath sucking in my stomach, flexed all my muscles, and looked at my reflection in a store window. I decided to rush home, and take them all.That’s when I bumped into Big Mike. He looked into my bag.“Rough getting older, isn’t it?” he asked.“Huh?” I replied.“The herbs,” he said. “I noticed you bought the same ones I did. You know, for postmenopausal blues, arthritis, constipation, and colon cleansing.”I looked into the bag that held all the little bottles and packages I had spent an entire week’s grocery money on.“Well, gotta go,” Big Mike said. “Gramma’s waiting for her herbs. See you at the gym.”I watched him walk away. Right, I thought—I’ll be the flabby gal with the clean colon and the good disposition. Wonder how Mugwort tastes on SpaghettiOs?Ironically, I did manage to “drop” a few pounds in an unexpected way. But, hey, consider the source.Bye for now.Kiss, kiss.

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