Hypertension leads to moral decay

Imagine the scene in my pulmonologist’s office a few months ago. A spirometry reading indicates that I have pretty significant airway remodeling going on in my lungs, which is irreversible. Nothing serious, really, just that my lungs have been permanently damaged by a lifetime of asthma, and my lung capacity is lower than it could be (but, surprisingly, actually better than average for people my age and size). The nurse looks at the results of the spirometry and says, “You’ve got plenty of obstruction there.”

“Yeah,” I joke. “I keep telling people that my asthma is going to kill me some day.”

The nurse checks my chart again. “Well,” he says, “if that blood pressure doesn’t come down, it won’t be your asthma that kills you.”

Okay, I’ve known for years that I have hypertension, but I admit that I’ve only taken a half-hearted approach to getting it under control. Take a few pills, then go back to my bad-for-me lifestyle of little exercise and too many cheeseburgers. But this time, something clicked in my brain and I finally realized that this is something I have to take very seriously, and that lifestyle changes are required.

Hence, the cauliflower that I am snacking upon at my desk while wrestling with Oracle.

And let me tell ya, raw cauliflower is one of the least inspiring foods you can possibly inflict on yourself. It’s healthy, sure, but it sits on my desk, in a little Tupperware container, amidst a few carrots and bits of broccoli, looking a little bit like a brain with an engorged brainstem.

“Yeah,” it says cheekily, “you want me.”

It lies. It’s like a whore who stands on the corner, saying the same thing as she wipes a booger from her upper lip and scratches her behind.

Not that I’m comparing cauliflower to a whore, mind you. I’m sure the whore is much more wholesome.

My soul longs for something better. Steak, maybe. Prime rib. A chocolate sundae piled high with strawberry ice cream and hot fudge and whipped cream and nuts, probably as dessert to the aforementioned steak or prime rib. And a big mug of a good stout beer to the side.

But my heart betrays me. Cauliflower it is. There’s something deeply poetic in that, I’m sure.

I’m sure that I could bring some light salad dressing in to dip the cauliflower into, or steam it a little so that I wouldn’t have to eat it raw, but I think of these as exercises in self-deception. It doesn’t even alter the flavor, all that much. All it does is try to convince you that it’s not really cauliflower you’re eating; but God and your conscience know better, and the taste remains.

Cauliflower, I know, would taste much better if it were brown in color, sweet, chocolate flavored… in short, if only it weren’t cauliflower.

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