A Drink (or 8) with Dr. Babooner

We are ALL Dr. Babooner

Dear Dr. Babooner,

For years I have been following the old dictum about drinking 8 glasses of water every day.  I know others have moved away from it, saying no rule is iron-clad.  But I enjoy the healthy feeling of being well-hydrated, so it’s no hardship for me.   Also, I’ve become something of a public restroom hobbyist, so  I know how to find relief just about anywhere.

And I drink just about every kind of water – from bottles, water fountains, sprinklers and the kitchen tap.  I feel lucky to live in a country where I can do that without risking my health or even my life.

But I’m not so confident when it comes to food.  I’m suspicious about everything  and I always, always check the “use by” dates so I don’t wind up putting things in my mouth that are in the process of going bad.

I have this recurring nightmare that I’m watching myself eat a meal in a restaurant and I can see that the food that arrives at my table had been dropped on the kitchen floor just moments before.  The cook stepped on it, picked it up, flopped it back down on the plate and sent it out without telling anyone.

In this nightmare, I’m a silent observer so I can’t tell myself not to eat it .   I just have to watch.


At least I know the water is reliable.  But just last week I heard a rather alarming thing – that there is a lot of water on Earth that is remarkably old – and in many cases it is even older than the Sun!

Dr. Babooner, I can’t quite stomach the idea of swallowing something that was floating untethered around the universe that many billions of years ago.   I don’t know if space aliens have feet, but now whenever I take a sip of liquid I wonder who (or what) might have stepped on it or brushed up against it in the pre-solar system days and who might have swallowed (and excreted) it before me.

The very thought of it makes me shudder.

Friends tell me to stop being so weird and they say I’m overreacting.  But I think the age of our water matters.  Do you?

Feeling A Little Parched

I told F.A.L.P. that there is no way a modern person with a lively imagination can comfortably ingest anything these days without turning off their “what if” engine. Lots of things could have happened to your water before it got to you. Much more will happen after it leaves you. The only way to maintain your sanity (and your weight) is to eat in the here and now, without supposing anything at all about where the food and water came from.

But that’s just ONE opinion. What do YOU think, Dr. Babooner?

36 thoughts on “A Drink (or 8) with Dr. Babooner”

  1. To Mike’s Butcher Shop employees I’m known as Margaret “the NO bag lady,” because I bring my own tote bag so don’t want extra wrapping or bags. They also know that I, from time to time, request what most Americans would consider strange meats; sometimes they can accommodate me, more often than not, they can’t. That’s when I head to the one of the Asian markets. Too many wonderful foods not to try.

    Considering the number of vegetarians on this trail, this will probably gross some of you out, but you all know I love Freecycle. Several years ago, a guy named Pete posted that he had purchased half a cow and including some parts that he wasn’t going to use, so he offered them on Freecycle. I was the lucky “winner,” and made the trip to his house to pick up beef heart, beef liver, and beef tongue – delicacies all (trust me on this), if you know how to cook them. Since that initial offering, I’ve received an email from Pete offering me his next selection of left-over beef parts. I’ve always been impressed that he has been able to “remember” who picked up that first offering. In this email that I received on Saturday, is the key, I think, to where I’m filed in Pete’s email system:

    “Hey weird food lady 😉

    I got 1/2 a hog, so i have the heart and liver. Do you just eat weird stuff from beef, or do you have weird stuff from pigs too? …Pete”

    Do I need to tell you, I love this man? Turns out he also has the pig tongue. We’ll be feasting at our house the next few weeks on weird foods.

    It goes without saying, I don’t worry too much about what I eat, FALP. I think you should just relax and enjoy the ride.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. my dogs used to love the bones that were left over from the butcher. now the damn stores sell them for serious money. 4 little bones for them to munch on are 7 dollars or some ridiculous amount. too bad but i guess they must be able to sell them or they wouldnt be putting them out there.


    2. This will sound weird to everybody but you, PJ, but liver is possibly what I miss most- there is no vegetarian substitute and it is tricky to find when I am out on my own (yup, I fall off the wagon when no one is looking and I get a craving).

      Liked by 1 person

        1. One man’s opinion.

          I also know people who have quit smoking who have a cigarette once a year. They are beset by people who contend they haven’t really quit smoking too.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. i was glad to hear she was a little parched and not feelin a raspy throat..
    pj i think it was the annie hall that had the joke about eating tongue. one guy said to the other he couldnt eat it thinking about where it had been ok sad his friend what are you going to have. egg salad.
    at my house i have always felt like things dropping on the floor was similar to putting it on the counter. my wife is a maniac. i also embarrass my kids and gross out those around when i pick up cheese curds that drop at the state fair or other similar scenarios. i beleive itf it doesnt kill you it makes you stronger. the dinasour pee in my water is not an issue for me. the filtration system from centuries of layers of limestone and underground caves feel almost the same as the filtration of the virus bacteria as it falls in the dog bowl. (we save all our inedable food for the dogs) they never ever die. when they start dying we will rethink the process. we love our dogs and we love our children. kids are next for the leftover process. thye most likely wont die and chili hides many sins…. oops i shouldnt have mentioned that. see you all at the next book club. ill bring some clean chili that hasnt been infused with other items. maybe i should define other items…..


  3. Good morning. FALP, I share your concern about the purity of the water I am drinking. However, I am still willing to drink water which may not be as pure as I would like. Even the bottled water that is sold as being top quality might not be very pure so I don’t see any way to drink only pure water that would not require a very big effort on my part.

    Perhaps I could restrict myself to drinking only very highly purified water. I’m not willing to do that, I could do that if I wanted to be sure that I am drinking pure water. What kind of water are you going to drink to avoid water that might be extremely old? Couldn’t that very old water be mixed in with just about all of the water that is available for drinking? I don’t see any way a water purifier could separated out very old water and leave you with the newer water for your use.


  4. Americans are so weird about contaminants and fretting about where substances come from. About the time I moved Out West there was a flurry in the press here. Near my daughter’s home is a mountain, Mount Tabor, where the city maintains a reservoir of water ready to be shipped out to thirsty city customers. It is a pretty place. I’ve hiked there. But then security cameras documented a bunch of kids scaling a fence so that one of them could pee into the reservoir. (Ominously, this was referred to as a “kidney-shaped reservoir”.)

    Having studied the security tape, city officials decided they “had” to flush out the reservoir to get rid of the contaminant. Which is to say, to get rid of maybe a cup of pee they were going to throw away 38 million gallons of water.

    I was struck by the language used. Officials say the tape clearly shows this kid leaning way out “to get his little weewee close enough” to let him hit his target. I think the kid should sue the city. He is guilty of an indiscretion, to be sure, but that doesn’t give them the right to inform the world he has a small weewee.

    Worse, water officials announced that the kid ignored a sign telling him not to spit in the reservoir. The actual quote is “unless he had just come from North Dakota or something, he had to know he shouldn’t do this.” When I read that, I was embarrassed for Renee and other innocent citizens of North Dakota who didn’t deserve to be slandered like that.


    1. I read that story, Steve, and can’t get over what an incredible waste of water that was. About the kid, to my mind when you climb over a fence to accomplish relieving yourself, I think that elevates this deed to something more than an “indiscretion.” The size of his weewee would be the least of his problems if I’d caught him.


    2. l really shudder about sharing this, but my own precocious son once did just that: peed into the Minnetonka water tank. He and his friends used to climb up there and even sleep overnight (he told me he was staying at a friend’s). They actually even swam in the huge tank. lmagine what would’ve happened had the city found this out?


    3. pooping i can see. adding a little salt water is no big deal. i think the kid can go prove himself innocent by whipping out his proof that hes not so small. any jury would find him innocent


  5. Morning all. I think FALP can relax… if the old water hasn’t gotten him by this time, he’s probably safe. I drink a fair amount of water these days – not because I believe the “8 glasses a day” myth but because other drinks have too many issues (artificial sweeteners, caffeine, carbonation, etc.). Water just seems easier!


  6. I have news for FALP that should fuel neurotic speculation for a good long while: matter can be neither created nor destroyed. You and everything you eat and drink is made of recycled materials and at some time or another those molecules have probably passed through some worm’s gut.

    Bon appetit!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I sometimes pick up fallen produce around the farmers’ market downtown. More often than you would think, someone will drop a potato out of their bag and just walk away from it. I suppose their thinking is, you can’t eat food that’s been on the ground. Even if it’s something that was grown in the ground.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Our notions of cleanliness are about as irrational as those of any “primitive” and unscientific culture. We have all been raised to dread “germs,” but our grasp of what they are is usually mythical and anything but scientific. If you ask someone to spit in a glass several times and then challenge them to drink it, they will be horrified. “I can’t put that in my mouth!”


    1. When I was a kid my mother would pour boiling water over the dishes after they were washed to sterilize then before drying them and putting them away. I haven’t heard of anyone who does that currently. I’m sure my mother would approve of the super markets that provide hand wipes you can use to do some cleaning when you enter their stores.


  9. l agree – most of us grew up in an environment where our mothers (YES mothers) were saturated with warnings of germs everywhere. All l can say is that l’ve never worried about water, food, or cleanliness and l’m still alive. My guess is that all of these messages have come from someone making profits through advertising.


  10. Another story about hygiene.

    A woman I know traveled from Minnesota to Georgia to see her new grandson, a baby recently born to her oldest son and his new wife. The baby was cute. When she put her arms out to pick him up, her daughter-in-law was horrified. “What?!? You were going to pick up the baby without washing your hands first?!?”

    We raised our daughter differently. When she was little, Molly crawled around on the floor in space she shared with our two hunting dogs. I remember her popping things in her mouth that had recently been in the mouths of the dogs. We did not wash our hands each time we meant to pick her up.

    FWIW, the grandchild grew up sickly. My daughter was and remains in superb health.


  11. One of our science lessons was the water cycle and I remember reading my students a book that ended by saying, “just think about the next time you drink a glass of water – it may be water that was around when the dinosaurs were!” That made quite an impression. After reading today’s blog, am I ever glad no one thought to ask if dinosaurs might have peed in it, or how big do you suppose a dinosaur’s weewee was?


    1. i get angry with ethenol using thousands of gallons of water deep form the aquifer for the manufacture of a little moonshine to be tainted with gasoline and given tax incentives to make it salable. thne the water is gone and the neighboring agriculture has to dnatural resources? ig new wells. i feel the same way about mining and drilling . who says if they call dibbs on it they get it. unbelievable rule. who is paying the indians for taking their resources. they peed in these streams a long time before my people or yours did.


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