A month ago, my wife was watching late, late night TV with only one eye half open. I was writing and occasionally peeking at the screen. An certain infomercial began. Within two minutes, we were both wide-eyed and riveted. It was at this time that we were both introduced to the Magic Bullet.
I pointed out to my wife that the audience members who cried at the emotional recounting of the personal story of tragedy and triumph of a close relative of the “expert” speaker were hand-picked and in on the whole production. I grabbed an entire box of Farkhondeh Dill Cookies from Isfahan and began to ruminate like a buck in mid-September.
Emotion helps to insert a message deeper into a persons mind. Any message. Read Bernays (Freud's evil nephew) to learn more about that. Repetition keeps it cemented there longer. With the benefit of this awareness, we watched the whole damn pitch. They were selling blenders and they weren't going to stop until every kitchen counter from Manhattan to Muskogee had one.
Because this was done in the Sixties and again in the Seventies and again in the Eighties and again in the Nineties, it wouldn't do to call it a blender. Legal considerations kept it from being called a juicer. Besides, there are too many old people watching late late night TV who remember well what a juicer really is. Hell, there was at least one in every family.
Near the end of the show the expert presenter showed us his old pants which would need taking in a bit if they were to fit a grizzly. I was more interested in learning where in Mexico he got his dental work done. That bald man in the black spandex tee-shirt showed us everything he had except his credentials.
On his table was spilled the contents of the cornucopias of the Italian Renaissance. Standing by his side was a blonde woman in her sexual prime, whom I am sure was Ceres fallen on hard times. Together, they fed celery stalks, broccoli clubs, carrot sticks, whole avocados, enough kale to stuff the Queen's mattress, dangling bunches of Chablis grapes, limes, ginger roots, beets, kiwis, lychees, mangoes, pineapples, flax seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, watermelon chunks, apples, pears, oranges and bananas into this vortex of well being.
Ceres would try a dainty sip of each and make squeaky lady sounds as she rolled her eyes in ecstatic memories of Mt. Olympus. Before the show was done, they had turned the annual production of the San Fernando Valley into a drinkable pulp. Between mixing up hits of chlorophyll for his main squeeze, the bald man showed us charts of the human body and of the structure of the cells of plants. Evidently, human teeth couldn't do justice to breaking down the cell walls of most vegetables and fruits. I giggled that he had wasted his own money in Mexico.
When the number to call began to scroll on the screen, several things happened. I was hiding what remained of the box of Dill Cookies and silently telling them to be patient, there would be other times when I heard my wife's sweet voice, “Mike, Call the number. We will try it. Let's get the Bullet. Be quick.”
I'll check on-line, honey.”
“Here, I got it! It's twenty bucks cheaper to buy it at the store around the corner from us than it is to order it by phone. Me Johnny – You save.”
“But wait... If we order in the next three microseconds, they will send us two,” giggled my wife.
Next AM we were down to the store and nearly knocked off our feet by the other people who had spent the previous night in a like manner to us. Luckily the store manager had placed two entire pallets of the product right smack in the middle of the entrance. In a scene reminiscent to the launching of the i-phone, we got ours. We had become keepers of the “Bullet.”
When we got home we both tried it out. Her concoctions were reddish-pinkish and mine were greenish-yellowish. We both felt the phyto-chemicals rushing through our circulatory systems within seconds of choking down the slurry of goodness.
The following week I was doing two Bullets a day which is in keeping with my natural hillbilly tendencies. I kept bumping into people of every stripe whom I came to earn were closet Bullet-heads. Once I was at the food court, guilty as charged and the guy at my favourite stall leaned in close and whispered to me.
“Mike, Dude, all of us... (he looked over his crew) ALL of us are riding the Bullet.”
This fellow is six feet four inches and could bench press a Rabbi. I briefly considered notching up to three Bullets a day but out of consideration for my petite wife, I decided against it.
By the third week, I began to undergo what I have only read about in old books. My hearing became so acute, that when my wife and I visited a deserted beach in West Vancouver for the day, I heard all the conversations that were being held on the dozens of sailboats bobbing in the waters of English Bay. I also noticed that I could smell what mood someone was in from a dozen feet away. My free radicals were now incarcerated and my PH balance was so alkaline that you could pre-soak your laundry in it.
My visual acuity, although I wear glasses was becoming alarmingly improved. I slept like a baby and drove people at work crazy with good cheer. I had an epiphany one afternoon while I pondered the Pre-Bullet Era at the dawn of man.
I saw a poor sod looking like a rain-soaked accountant returning from another unsuccessful spear hunt to face his willowy wife and stick children. The fellow was myopic from squinting in the sun and groping in his cave. He didn't have a dog because pets were for rich people. The children rolled their eyes at another dinner of the grasshoppers and snails they had gathered while dad was away. They didn't own a blanket between the lot of them.
In time, the family got so damn hungry they started to gnaw grass and leaves and roots and berries. In about a week, the man noticed that his eyesight was getting good and he could hear like an owl. The third week he bagged a gazelle, a sheep and a couple of wolves.
While he was inventing the vacuum heat-sealer, his wife was founding the garment trade. The children grew tall, strong and smart on the protein bonanza. By the time they were twelve they could obtain their own pot roast and leathers. One of their descendents invented the blender, while another modified it and yet another invented telemarketing.
The teaching has come full circle now. The omnivores now understand the value and purpose of vegetables and fruits. The mental and visual acuity gained by the ingestion of plants enables one to successfully obtain meat!
Michael Hawes was born in Texas, raised in Louisiana and lives in British Columbia.