Friday, May 16, 2008

Buried 'treasures' buried in an old desk drawer

ANCIENT ANDY ROONEY, who really is older than dirt, penned a column the other day about "junk" some of his readers had sent him. One suggested there should be a picture of him on the side of a Wheaties box. Another sent him a book called 'Twenty Things You Didn't Know About Everything.'
And so while waiting for the weekend horse pull at the Falkland Stampede I dug into an unopened desk drawer to see if I could find some hidden treasures.
In a large wicker basket, complete with cobwebs and assorted germs, were 68 small paper clips, a box of Staples standard staples, a packet of business cards, starting with one advertising a large real estate firm and finishing up with one telling the world I once was with the Toronto Sun. That had to be from the early 1970s.
And under all those "gems" was a Swan Harmonica, which I hadn't played in years, and five packets of Splenda for tea I never drank.
Then there was a faded column from the Edmonton Sun, from the early, early 1980s about Shiatsu. If you are wondering what that is, let me quote a few paragraphs from the wrinkled copy. It included a large picture of yours truly before my beard and hair had barely started to turn grey.
"Quick, Nurse Goody-Goody, get Ben Casey on the phone. Page Doctor Kildare at General Hospital. I want a third opinion. Medical opinion, that is." (Ed. Note: Ben Casey, Doc Kildare? Now Corbett was really dating himself.)
"And how did all this concern about my health begin? It started the other day when Publisher Agawatchie ordered me to take something called an "executive medical." It was thorough, from blood to heart tests and Doc Mendes even made me cough although I don't have a cold. After the hour-long examination, Doc Mendes pronounced me in reasonable condition, except that I was overweight.
"Overweight? I already knew that, since earlier in the day someone tried to slap a Goodyear sticker on me so I could fill in as the Blimp when NBC televises the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day."
Then I proceeded to consult with David Yawrenko, who specialized in Shiatsu, which is Japanese acupressure.
Doc Y. then told me that acupressure is the simple pressing and rubbing of painful spots on the body by the fingers and palms of the hands. It was determined that instead of needles, direct thumb and finger pressure on the acupuncture merdian points would gain similiar results.
Continuing, the points are, in effect, the floodgates which, when stimulated with steady, direct pressure, keep the energy systems in motion.
Then that column added these words: "While Doc Y. doesn't claim that Shiatsu can cure everything, he said that acupressure's main function is to maintain health and well being. It can help overcome such ailments as fatigue, migraine, tension, eye problems, blood pressure problems, asthma, arthritis, muscle strains and sprains, neck and spinal problems, indigestion, coughing, laryngitis and shoulder and elbow problems." That list certainly covered most of my physical woes.
When Doc Y. gently touched me on the jaw, it almost brought tears to my eyes. "There's a terrible buildup in there. Your diet is a mess."
Now it's years and years later and I had almost forgotten about Shiatsu and about taking raw halibut oil three times a day.
That's when I closed that old desk drawer and promised myself not to re-read that "healthy" column again.
At least, not until after the Falkland Stampede where I'll put on the feed bag with a double order of French fries and ketchup.
ANSWER TO THIS TOUGHIE (From The Straight Dope): Q. Where does belly button lint come from? A: "Your navel is one of the few places on your body where perspiration has a chance to accumulate before evaporating. Lint from your clothing, cottons especially, adheres to the wet area and remains after the moisture departs."
ANSWERS FROM A FEW GOOD MEN (1992): Jack Nicholson (as Col. Nathan R. Jessup): You wants answers? ... Tom Cruise (Kaffee): I think I'm entitled ... Nicholson: You want answers? ... Cruise: I want the truth!... Nicholson: You can't handle the truth!


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