March 14, 2011

Is Sylvester Graham a Quack'er'?

Written by Rosa Morgan Lockwood

Sylvester stood at his larder, his fists clenched, blood rushing to his temples. He knew it was immoderate behavior to raise his voice, but he couldn't damper his rising anger. He hollered to his wife, "Come here!"
Sarah put down her ironing, loathe to respond. She regretted having married her tyrannical husband.
Sylvester pulled out the items hidden behind the cabbage heads. "Pepper, garlic, sugar?
You know pernicious seasonings excessively excite the genital organs. It's what I've preached against my whole life! And what is this? Horrors, white flour?!"

She sighed, "Sylvester, I know you suffered as a child; your father dying young, your mother institutionalized."
Trembling from head to toe, Sylvester crumpled onto the chair. He'd just turned fifty-seven, and he felt as if he were about to die. "Don't you understand? I've
grievous concern for society's well-being. Man has deviated from the primeval simplicity which was his birthright, becoming a victim of disease and uncontrollable passions. I put forth my Pythagorean regiment, despite butchers and bakers threatening to riot, in order to enlighten mankind."

He continued ranting, "Newspapers ridicule my methodology, slandering me a zealot, but only look to the thousands of loyal followers who have gained good health from my advice. The greatest minds of our time, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Joseph Smith, are all loyal followers."

Sarah countered, "Look to your own ill health as proof to the efficacy of your theories, as well as my good constitution I've achieved by not listening to you." Sylvester shuddered, "You're not a Grahamite?" She shook her head, confessing, "Each morning I have a hard-boiled egg for breakfast and two hot rolls made from white flour, slathered in butter." "But hard-boiled eggs are indigestible as bullets, and white flour causes visual anomalies and giddiness," he shrieked.
Sarah added, "I also have a cup of coffee with sugar. And when I feel especially adventurous, I pour a drop of brandy in."

Sylvester went pale, his mouth dry. "Imbibing of spirits allows one to succumb to his basest urges; the most vile being masturbation, a certain catalyst for blindness." Sarah stood her ground, arms akimbo. She'd never openly defied her husband, and she was not about to back down. "I like to be giddy and I'm not blind."

Suffering a paroxysm, Sylvester was put directly to bed. After an hour of rest, his wife brought in a tray of stale Graham crackers and a carafe of water. "Your lunch, dear."
Sylvester tired to comfort himself, "Hippocrates, "father of medicine", proclaimed water is the
only fitting drink of man". If it were humanity's chosen drink, along with a regular dose of fresh air and exercise, poverty and debauchery would be wiped from this earth." His words rang as empty as his growling stomach. He whispered, "Will you pull the blinds down. And Sarah, please get me some of those hot rolls?"

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