I’ve been the man behind many gaffes; words meant to just fill space and get something out there until the next attempt at immortality or infamy; whatever you’re offering this week.
My confessional columns sometimes get referenced back to me, both good and bad. The ones in which I have chronicled my recovery and alcoholism are good examples; I’ve been told they are inspirational and I’ve been told TMI, keep it to yourself or just plain “wah.”
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Surprisingly, though, some of the farcical, fictional confessionals have gotten run as well. None have been repeated back to me in public more than a made-up piece about changing my name, identity and sex, in homage to an L.A. Times sports writer who did it for real. Five-plus years after writing this, I still get stopped to talk about it over the chicken cutlets at Vons.
Sometimes even inanity (as if most of them aren’t) gets remembered, too, and deserves a little updating.
A handful of eons ago I wrote a column about my ability to drink a minimum 20 cups of coffee a day. Friends and associates assumed I was lying, but I wasn’t. I still drink a lot of coffee, but not nearly as much as back then.
Today, however, is about vindication and a little explanation (and hoping this column itself passes through the brain unremembered while a better forms for next week).
My intestinal fortitude has suffered on occasion (if you get my downward drift) with so much coffee being consumed on a daily basis, but apparently my prostate is very happy with the outcome of a Joe-centric lifestyle.
Last week the upper-crusty Harvard School of Public Health released the findings of a study that says “men who drank six cups of coffee per day had a 60 percent lower risk of developing the most lethal form of prostate cancer — and a 20 percent lower risk of developing any form of the disease.”
Even a more “modest” amount of one to three cups a day was found to cut the risk by 30 percent.
If that is true, then my prostate is plump, pink, shiny and smiling, as opposed to an old shriveled, dark prune of an internal appendage.
Of course that’s assuming prostates are in any shape to take personification. Frankly, I don’t know what a prostate looks like, and I don’t want to know.
I’ve got a few more years before the testing process becomes required of me. Until then, I shall avoid the gloved hand and the thought of prostate manipulation.
But I digress, again. My coffee consumption is strange animal. My drinking problem tells me I always have to be drinking something; like an oral fixation. If it’s not coffee, it’s water. I try to avoid a lot of soda.
But coffee served a scientific purpose for me before I ditched the alcohol and I didn’t even know it. I did my drinking at night, and lots of it, to the point of blackout more days than I’d like to admit. I was not a morning drinker, and a doctor specializing in addiction medicine told a group of fellow alkies that coffee and cigarettes, or caffeine and nicotine, taken in mass quantities was a method many of us likely used to hold alcohol withdrawal at bay for half a day.
So, while my liver may face an uncertain future, my prostate is probably good to go, but the gloved jury is still out.