Memory, in which I’ll tell you…wait, what was I going to say?

Your seemingly “brilliant” thought has vanished in the haze.

I’m watching the quiz show JEOPARDY! earlier this year, and the category for the final was MUSICAL THEATRE: “Before this show hit Broadway in 1964, one of its working titles was ‘The Luckiest People'”. I knew the song to which the clue referred was People. I knew Barbra Streisand was in the subsequent movie. But could I remember the name of the musical/movie? I could not; the answer, of course, was Funny Girl.

I was SO annoyed with myself. I don’t mind being unfamiliar with information, but I HATE it when it’s something I DID know but just can’t retrieve. It happens now and then; Hal Holbrook and Audra McDonald, for example, I could visualize, but the names just left me.

I’ve never been great with names. I see someone I know in passing, I’ll say, “Oh, hi!,” which gives me a few seconds to say, “So how are you doing, X?” where X is, I hope, the name of the person in front of me.

If I want to remember something really important, the worse thing for me to do is to write it on a piece of paper, which I will inevitably misplace. Since I have committed the info to paper, I lose the ability to retrieve it mentally. It’s better if I e-mail it to myself.

I have been taking this statin for high cholesterol for about a year and a half. My prescription ran out at the end of December, but I still have a couple of months of pills left. It may be my resistance to the fact that I need them at all that makes me forget to take them. The good news is that my cholesterol is still in a good range, verified with a blood test on January 31, which I would have forgotten to have done had not my doctor’s nurse called me.

Does this ever happen to you? You’re in a conversation, and you have a really great point to make. But you are being polite and let others speak so that by the time it gets back to you, your seemingly “brilliant” thought has vanished in the haze.

Seriously, there was more to this but I forgot to write it down, which I would probably have lost anyway…

The No Grapefruit Diet?

I did have my nutritional needs to be met, and I switched to grapefruit juice exclusively. And when the boycott was over, I found OJ less exciting, less tangy than grapefruit.

One of my favorite things to eat is grapefruit. I prefer pink to white, but either is fine. I love to drink grapefruit juice as well.

When I was a child, there were these cans of DelMonte blended juices, which were just OK. But it wasn’t until I was in college, and got to consume fresh or frozen juice and fresh fruit that I really became a convert. And, in large part, I have Anita Bryant to thank.

Anita Bryant was a former Miss Oklahoma who became a singer with middling success. “In 1969 she became a spokeswoman for the Florida Citrus Commission, and nationally televised commercials featured her singing ‘Come to the Florida Sunshine Tree’ and stating the commercials’ tagline: ‘Breakfast without orange juice is like a day without sunshine.’

“In 1977, Bryant’s campaign led to a repeal of the anti-discrimination ordinance [in Dade County (Miami), Florida]… However, the success of Bryant’s campaign galvanized her opponents and the gay community retaliated against her by organizing a boycott of orange juice.” I joined in the boycott until she was dropped by Florida Citrus Commission “in 1979 because of the controversy and the negative publicity generated by her political campaigns and the resulting boycott of Florida orange juice,” which was, as I recall, fairly successful.

Meanwhile, I did have my nutritional needs to be met, and I switched to grapefruit juice exclusively. And when the boycott was over, I found OJ less exciting, less tangy than grapefruit. Moreover, the flavor of orange juice too long in the refrigerator used to turn yucky, a problem I almost never experienced with grapefruit juice.

Every year, we order from my in-laws a case of citrus as a fundraiser. It can be all oranges, all grapefruit, or a mixed box. We were about to put in the order when my wife asked whether I should be eating grapefruit because it mixes badly with statins, which I started taking to keep my cholesterol level down. I said, “What?”

As it turns out: “When grapefruit juice is consumed at or around the time you take your statin, the components in grapefruit prevent these enzyme systems from breaking down the drug, causing the drug to accumulate in high amounts in the body. This can be very dangerous and can cause a variety of health problems, such as liver damage or a rare condition called rhabdomyolysis (severe muscle and kidney damage).”

So it’ll be grapefruit in the morning, statin at night, and never the twain shall meet.

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