By David Perloff
(Published in the November 2010 issue)
In those four little words lay all the vital information the camp nurse needed to assess my health. It wasn’t band camp, but there were a couple kids who brought bugles, and after they’d blow shrill renditions of Reveille each morning, each camper would answer these questions:
How do you feel?
How did you sleep?
Have you had a bowel movement?
How’s your appetite?
After less than a week, our counselor opted to forego the formality of actually asking the questions, and each camper just gave his answers instead.
“Good, good, yes, good,” one kid said, and it went on like that around the bunk...until it got to me. My answers were always the same. “Good, good, no, good.” Every morning, without fail.
“Good, good, no, good.” I ate three meals a day plus snacks. “Good, good, no, good.”
Overnight camp lasted a month. On day 23, the nurse beckoned me to the infirmary. My daily "No” to question three had apparently raised a red flag...after three weeks.
It turned out to be a mix-up. I had thought they were asking if I had gotten out of my sleeping bag during the night to hit the latrine for a numero dos, when, in fact, they really wanted to know if there had been anything to report in that department during the preceding 24 hours. That makes a lot more sense to me now, but I was only eight at the time.
The good news was that the nurse cared that I might be sick. The bad news was the 23 days it took her to catch the would-be gastro-intestinal emergency. There’s irony, too-whether or not it was the nurse’s fault, if anyone was full of crap, it sure as Shinola wasn’t me.
This food-focused issue of PacificSD celebrates the delicious food grown, prepared and served in San Diego. Inside, follow veggies from Suzie’s Organic Farm in Imperial Beach to dinner plates at the Lodge at Torrey Pines (see “Buying the Farm”), learn about all of the beer made here (see "Ale’s Well”) and watch as blind daters take on two of downtown’s hottest new restaurants (see “Recipe for Success”). This month’s cocktail comes with complimentary appetizers (see "Drink to Your Wealth), and the cover offers a farm-to-table look at San Diego’s growers and shakers. (see “C Word”)
Working on this issue has made me realize how much fresh, healthy, organic food is available right here in la ciudad más fina de América. It has also helped me to recognize that, while I no longer have a nurse (for now) questioning my nutritional flow, I do have a wife that cares about what I put into my body. She asks if I’m drinking enough water, when was the last time I ate a salad and whether or not I know what Diet Coke does to lab rats.
She has lots of questions, and when she asks too many in a row, my answer is always the same.
And just like the camp nurse, my wife knows I’m completely full of it.
Eat well, San Diego!