double vision

As I’ve blearily mentioned, I am dealing with the shingles. Experiencing the disease has caused me to question some mainstream medical conclusions, namely the assertion that the reason old people are more susceptible to “the shing” is because they have weakened immune systems. That’s a bunch of hooey. My immune system is great. The real secret to getting the shing is curmudgeonliness, the accumulation of poor humor manifesting itself in ungodly awful pain.

This is real old school medical, like blood-letting or the removal of melancholy stones. Shingles is caused by an abundance of yellow bile in which the accumulation grows beyond a mere choleric temperament and causes the development of braised pox. Prodrome symptoms include general bad humor that’s followed, naturally, by the manifestation of bilious sentiment.

What I’m getting at is the shingles is my punishment for being a bastard.

And, like all violent punishments, it does nothing but reinforce the bad behavior it was meant to correct. My writings have been even more rambling lately, even grumpier. For example—and I swear I’m not joking here—about two hours ago I suffered a blast of post-herpetic neuralgia pain that was like the entire left side of my body was having an ice cream headache. The pain was so intense that I literally threw up. No kidding, no bullshit, it hurt so bad I stumbled into my bathroom and vomited.

How do I deal with this? By writing 750 words explaining, quite poorly, why Chris Dorner wasn’t really a bad guy. Again, no shit, that’s what I did. (I didn’t, like, publish it anywhere, but still…)

Lately beer has been medication. And I don’t know if pharmacists have some sort of method for making sure that their own ailments don’t leak onto the drugs they suggest to patients, but the Yellow Bile had soaked into my choice of beers—fiery, alcoholic stouts and the kind of double IPAs that can be used to dislodge zebra mussels from the cleat of a barge. They had worsened the disease. They fed it.

What’s necessary—vital, even—is to embrace sun and sprightliness and green grass and little baby bunnies. Springtime just fucking kills Yellow Bile.

This is Teton’s re-release of what is rated as the best doppelbock any American brewery has produced since the late 90s. Believe the hype. One sip and the world gets all blue-eyed and pastel, like the artwork on a Paas kit.

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