So I’m leaving my doctor’s office in Greenwich Village feeling pretty pissed. I’ve come all the way to Washington Square from Jersey just to be told to eat bland food.
I used to go to a doctor in Jersey, but he left. It took me six months to track him down, but when I finally did, I told him if he ever moved again, I’d hit him with my cane.
He told me I already hit him with my cane. That’s why he left in the first place. He doesn’t scare easy. But his frequently revolving secretaries do, so I can still scare them pretty easy.
The point is, he says my ulcer isn’t cleared up yet. “Constance, Constance. I’ve told you to stay away from the Tabasco sauce.”
I hate it when he calls me Constance. I think that’s why I have an ulcer.
So now I’m schlepping all the way back to the subway to take my sorry butt back to my boring kitchen to eat toast and butter. Or potatoes. Or hard-boiled eggs. And whatever other “wide variety” of incredibly bland food is “available at my local grocery store” to make my life insufferably boring.
And then I see it.
My Dosa cart. Of course. I should have a Dosa for lunch. (Or second lunch, but who’s counting?)
I’d even be following doctor instructions: Dosa’s got potatoes. Potatoes are soft on the stomach. And the crêpe-like thing you stuff the potatoes in is made from lentils (Easy on the stomach? Check) and rice (Easy on the stomach? Check).
Where people get the idea that Indian food is spicy, I have no clue.
Okay, so maybe there is a little spice in there. But don’t all those annoyingly toothpick-thin diet gurus say eating is all about balance these days? Thiru, the Dosa guy, balances bland with spicy, so it’s perfect for my ulcer.
“Thiru, I’ll take my usual, extra spicy, with a Coke,” I scream at him.
“Constance, you’re at the back of the line. I’ll get to you in a minute,” he says.
“Well, duh, I’m at the back of the line. That’s why I screamed my order. I’m an old woman, so everyone will let me pass, right?” I smile. Since I don’t smile very often, I look pained. And maybe a little constipated.
In the South, saying that might work. In New York, it doesn’t cut it. So I hold up my cane and make like I’m going to hit people with it.
It works like a charm. They all get out of the way. Except the one dirty-looking student who has an iPod thingy destroying his hearing. I hit him with my cane. That works.
Thiru doesn’t look happy. “Don’t let her fool you,” he says. “She’s…”
Then I hit him with my cane.
“Here’s one ulcer delight, to go,” he says.
“What do you know about my ulcer?”
“I’m not talking about yours. I’m talking about mine, the one that always gets aggravated when you come and alienate my customers.”
I hit him with the cane again and hobble over to the picnic table. I put extra effort in the hobbling so people feel better about themselves for letting me cut in line. Old age mostly sucks, but sometimes I try to make the best of it.
Potatoes mostly suck too, that’s why you need to pile on the Scoville points, to give them some redeeming value. Since the potatoes have negative Scoville points, and the nice crêpe thingy has negative Scoville points, in the end, my lunch probably has about zero Scoville points, even with the spice that’s as hot as George Clooney.
I bite in and blink back the tears that want to come out. And, no, it isn’t making my ulcer act up, thank you very much.
I can’t see why any friggin’ doctor would complain. Not even mine.
When you get a chance, pass the Prilosec.