In my case, acid reflux tolls inside me like a grim, interior alarm clock that reminds me it's time to diet. The feeling is, as if I stuffed myself so bad that the food is backed up into my neck. In the beginning, I get a burning sensation in my chest, at its worst, I get a continual warped, tingle (not in a good sense) near my heart. Therefore when the symptoms, like heartburn on steroids, become a tidal wave of pain, it becomes a survival instinct to immediately knock off some of the poundage.
I talk about acid reflux on New Year's Eve as a reminder to avoid over doing it. We all need to make 2013 a big comeback year. So don't crush the positive vibe by ushering it in...painfully.
In the early 90's, there were so many employees at my job that on every break, I had at least one person to chat with. The big bonanza...which was common...was when big groups of friends had the same break. The ensuing "laugh-orgy" drew many dirty looks from outsiders who craved quiet as well as the curious and the envious, who wanted to break into our clique. So to insure that our esteemed, late arrivals didn't have their seats taken by mopey undesirables, it became necessary to reserve seats.
I bet seats haven't been saved in our cafeteria for fifteen years. Today, most of my coworkers do nothing but complain. That means, I seek quiet, (further proving...we mock, what we are to be). Occasionally, I get lucky and find the right person to chill with but overwhelmingly, I prefer to sit alone and watch sports highlights, CNN, cartoons or infomercials, (I'm kidding about the infomercials...not all the TV's have remotes).
The fading memories of my round-table laugh-a-thons are put on a high pedestal. That's why I appreciate the opening scene of Woody Allen's 1984 comedy, "BROADWAY DANNY ROSE." Because the spirit and hilarity I once experienced, is captured by a group of comedians who meet for lunch in Manhattan's, Carnegie Deli. These veterans of show business get on the subject of Danny Rose (Woody Allen at his pathetic, lovable loser best) and swap anecdotes of this fourth-rate theatrical agent.
We soon learn that Canova's play list specializes in Italian standards like, "FUNICULI, FUNICULAR," "TAKE ME BACK TO SORRENTO" and "MY BAMBINA." However, his show-stopper is, "AGITA." Agita, is derived from the bastardized Italian-American word for agitation...more specifically food indigestion. The song is the centerpiece of the movie and we eventually learn that agita is also symbolic of emotion distress or turmoil...similar in that regard to "tsuris," in Yiddish.
CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW, FOR THE 2 1/2 MINUTE YOUTUBE VIDEO OF NICK APOLLO FORTE SINGING, AGITA.
Broadway Danny Rose also has a Thanksgiving theme. So even though the lyrics to the Agita song are stuffed with every Italian specialty dish you can imagine, it's still easy for me to think of Lou Canova belting it out when I overdo it on Turkey Day...or any holiday...like New Years Eve.
Due to acid reflux, it's important that I carry generic antacids, (I discovered that the no-names have the same curing power as leading brands like; Tums and Rolaids, so why pay more). I keep antacids handy because through the years, I have gone on a shaky, indirect path to neutralize my excess stomach acid by taking seemingly toxic products like; Bromo-Seltzer, Pepto-Bismol and Maalox. But when I pull away the layers of my negative discoveries, it is clear to me which poison was first and which one was the granddaddy of nasty.
I was fifteen when I first had a need to settle an adult-sized upset stomach. Unfortunately for me and my parents, my adult-sized upset stomach really meant I was hung-over and nauseous, (that aspect was strategically glossed over ...omitted....in my January 9, 2012, "BABY OTT, MAN OF A THOUSAND NICKNAMES," blog).
I woke-up that morning with my head and stomach spinning in different directions and my folks lecturing me. They included words like; disappointment, trust and punishment. When they were finished reading me the riot act, they went to work. Thus, leaving me to my own devices.
By 1:00PM, my head was still pounding and I wasn't sure which end of me was going to get the next volcanic eruption. I was doubled-over on the toilet waiting for that decision when I swore for the millionth time, to never touch another drop of alcohol. That's when I was led astray by what seemed to be an epiphany...Alka-Seltzer!
|THIS EFFERVESCENT ANTACID PAIN RELIEVER WAS DEVELOPED IN 1931. IT WAS MARKETED TO SOOTHE MINOR BODY ACHES, FEVER, HEADACHES AND INDIGESTION. (Above) ICONIC "SPEEDY ALKA-SELTZER" WAS THE FACE OF THE PRODUCT, IN MANY 1960's COMMERCIALS.|
I staggered to my feet and found the foil Alka Seltzer's packets in the medicine cabinet. Click on the link below and see how a kid can be lured in by a cute, animated spokesperson.
It should be noted that I knew the stories (probably urban legends) of spiteful spinsters who targeted kids, by disguising horrible-tasting Alka-Seltzer in candy wrappers during Halloween. So I understood that I was taking hard-core, icky-tasting medicine but I figured I'd be okay because I really needed it.
Just like in the commercial, I dropped the two tablets in a glass of water. I was fascinated by the fizziness and it looked like 7-UP, so I took a big swig. At no point in my life did I ever taste anything as revolting as that. I swallowed a little and spit out the rest. Seconds later, I started gagging and soon there after, I was introduced to the "dry-heaves." That disgusting, recurring gift would last for hours and spurred the concept of, the cure being worse than the sickness.
|PHILOSOPHER, STATESMAN, SCIENTIST, FRANCIS BACON (1561-1626) BEAT ME TO THE LINE BY ALMOST 400 YEARS WHEN HE SAID, "THE REMEDY IS WORSE THAN THE DISEASE." BUT I THINK HE WAS REFERRING TO HIRING HIS WIFE'S KID BROTHER.|
Click on the link below to see the animated,"When you and your stomach disagree" commercial, featuring a man arguing with his belly.
When I was hung over, this (1969) Hall-of-Fame Alka Seltzer commercial was fresh in my mind. This advertisement, is about the taping of an Italian food commercial, that requires countless takes. With each take, the actor takes a bite before delivering his line and eventually gets a stomach ache. Of course those of us who lived back then remember the catchphrase, "Momma Mia, thatsa spicy meatball." But watch till the very end because you'll be rewarded by the pure genius of the oft-forgotten, voice-over punchline.
From the ads above, you can see how a teenager would be influenced to use Alka-Seltzer, (once). I'm glad I never had to use it again (or anything else for the malady mentioned above). Even better, after 1970, I'm thrilled that Alka Seltzer continued making their clever ads into an art form. Such as;
From 1971, please notice that only the mid-sections (no faces) were shown in the, "Whatever shape your stomach is in," commercial. Interestingly, the song was based on the 1966 rock-n-roll hit by, "THE T-BONES."
Soon, Alka-Seltzer added another catchphrase into 70's pop culture; I can't believe I ate the whole thing.
Because I was a picky eater and my mom was always trying to add to my sophistication, she single-handedly wore-out the next slogan.
Guaranteed to put a smile on your face, it's Sammy Davis Jr., (1978), singing the ever-popular, "Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz, Oh What a Relief It Is," jingle.
So tonight, while you regale in the end-of-the-year festivities, try to avoid eating every Italian dish mentioned by Nick Apollo Forte in the "Agita" song...and washing it all down with cheap strawberry wine...we wouldn't want you to hurt your esophagus. So in such emergencies, please keep some supermarket brand antacids in your pocket. After all, wouldn't you want some relief before you found yourself sitting in a phone booth vomiting between your legs, (not like it ever happened to me). Isn't that right E and E? (I would hate to think that I'm the brunt of your humor when you and your friends have your round-table laugh-a-thons).
More importantly, just remember...sometimes the cure is worse than the sickness. That means, there are better options than Alka-Seltzer...HAPPY NEW YEAR !