I'm new to the whole Fast/Cleansing diet business, so I don't know a lot about what's going on. In an effort to learn more, I discovered that my doc had recommended this cleanse because it dealt with the body's reaction to acid ash and alkaline ash foods. I won't bore you with the details of the diet, but a couple of nights ago, I went to the pharmacy to buy pH test strips. I wanted to know if I was doing everything right, to get the effects I was looking for.
Like I said, I've no real clue about these things and figured I was just looking for glorified litmus paper. So I ask the fine, young pharmacist if he has any pH strips. He was pretty beautiful, so I was pretty patient when he looked at me funny.
"Mhmmm," I smiled.
"To determine the acidity and alkalinity in the human body." All hope was lost.
"I have ketosis strips," he tried.
"Those won't measure alkalinity." I resisted the urge to call him 'hon.'
"Al-ka-lin-i-ty," I enunciated.
"I wish I could do that," he said. "But there are no tests for pH, anyway."
"Well, there are," he explained, "but it takes a really big machine that costs about a million dollars."
That's what he said.
The magic of the web, though, allows me to purchase them for $18 per 100
strips. Oh, internet! Is there no end to your miracles?
Words have a lot of power and they are misused so often. Hyperbole can detract from a message, 'love' is bandied about with abandon, lessening its meaning. Same with hate. "I don't know" is replaced with stories and lies, because somehow we decided people who don't know are weak or not cool. Handsome pharmacist would have gained my respect had he just said, "Dude, no clue," though.
I find myself looking for courage to admit when I don't know something. I have to fight the urge to nod and smile, take a deep breath and ask for an explanation. I always come away glad, and it feels great to learn something new.
As writers, we never know what new information we may provide to the reader. As readers, I bet, we've all learned something from a novel or story we read. The last new word I learned (and am embarrassed to admit) was Ibid.
I had to look it up to understand how it was being used in a play I was reading. Thinking about ibid
, lead to thinking about inertia
, which lead to a story. Thank you, Mr. Edward Albee! I've learned new recipes (Like Water for Chocolate
), understood better the Vietnam war (A Prayer for Owen Meany
), learned why one should never eat cold food with hot food (The Hundred Secret Senses
), and that sneakers will give you blisters faster than anything (The Long Walk
). To name a few.
Have you learned anything new from reading fiction? Are you inserting any info into your writing that will have the reader sitting up, thinking, "Aha!"? Do you have a hard time saying, "I don't know"?
And the fast is over Saturday morning. Have the cheeseburgers and beer at the ready.