July 16, 2014
Why is it that all our viruses and bacteria make us sick and miserable? I know, of course, that at any given moment we each happily coexist with some 5 pounds of benign bacteria who are either helping us out or just along for the ride. But my question is: why hasn’t good old Mother Nature come up with a bug that makes us feel good with no downside? It would be very adaptive, as they say in biological circles. Everybody would want to catch that infection; that particular bacterium would be very much in demand, a superstar among single-celled organisms.
Now, individually these little one-celled or no-celled organisms (or whatever describes a virus, which isn’t even technically alive) aren’t very smart because, you see, they have no brains. But collectively they can be fiendishly clever, outsmarting entire pharmaceutical conglomerates staffed with geniuses. Phalanxes of doctors are helpless battling with these little demons, who are way too small to even see. Now, I know they don’t subscribe to my newsletter and most of them can’t even read (the bacteria, not the doctors), so I’m jut putting this idea out there, hoping that it might somehow get through:It could be argued, of course, that yeast already occupy that niche and have us working for them simply by providing bread and alcohol—a simpler but arguably more cost-effective version of the bread and circuses that the Roman emperors employed to keep the masses in line. But I still think there is room for a bacterium delirium that would simply make us feel better instead of worse. Making us sick would seem like a really dumb survival strategy—the unwelcome houseguest gambit. If you want to be invited to stick around you bring presents and make yourself useful. But most of these little buggers bring garbage and make unreasonable demands.
Mother Nature, if you’re listening, I think a feel-good bug would be a big hit, and I’d like you to send me some as soon as they’re ready.
Tomorrow night, Thursday July 17th: Natick, MA, Center for the Arts Natick (TCAN for short).
Friday the 18th: The Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (the Kate for short)
Saturday the 19th: back to TCAN (see above)
Monday the 21st: Music on the River, Goodspeed Opera House, East Haddam, CT. FREE SHOW outdoors at 6:30 (with an indoor backup location in case of rain).
Come if you can, if not send a friend. Summer’s happening – let’s have some fun!
All the best,
Quote of the month:
“A sad soul can kill you quicker, much quicker, than any germ.”
–– Henry David Thoreau