Cousin Myron and the Sweet Smell of Success

Cousin Myron and the Sweet Smell of Success
I was surprised when Cousin Myron called and asked me to meet him at the specialty deli across from the library downtown. Myron, the rich, red-headed math whizz, had instructions from his wife, Marsha, to improve his diet to lengthen his life or she would end it quickly and painfully. To hear him tell it, he was living on mashed cauliflower and lentils.
By the time I arrived, Myron was well into his third sampling of Italian hams and brined vegetables. His face was the deep, bright red of someone whose systolic pressure had just peaked at 250, but his smile was contagious.
“We all know,” he said, “That our sense of hearing—particularly the high frequency sounds that our wives make, fade as we age, but I never saw that as a huge advantage.” “Marsha is fully capable of speaking as loud or louder than she has to—she once shattered two windows in the dining rooms by shouting “Myron,” moderately by her standards, from the guest bedroom.” “But I just read a research report,” he continued with a smile, that says our sense of smell peaks at forty and goes downhill from there.” “Smell and taste are intimately related, so that it limits appreciation of many foods as well. By the time we are age 65 or so, we can only stand to eat very highly seasoned or very sweet things,” he said with his mouth full of prosciutto
“I tested her yesterday,” he said with his mouth still full. “I added salt, salt and more salt to her egg-beaters and ersatz sausage patties when she wasn’t looking.”
“Know what she said,” he asked?
“She said this tastes better than ever today.”
“The loss of smell can be dangerous for us old folks,” he said looking much like a puppy that has just devoured your slipper. People have been known to unknowingly starve themselves—particularly those on a kia seed and squash blossom diet to start with.” “We can’t have that. I need to save Marsha at whatever cost to my health, and to do that I need to start pushing for a return to our old, more highly seasoned and diverse diet.”
“I see corned-beef in my future,” he crowed as he stuffed a very large piece of it into his sense-impaired, yet joyous, self.”

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