Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Queen of Saline

Do you know how much sodium you’re supposed to be taking in on a daily basis?

I don’t, and I don’t want to find out.

I already know that I’m coming in waaaaay over the limit. Like, way beyond whatever is way beyond the limit. You know how people get busted for DUI, and the police report says that their blood-alcohol level was two-times the legal limit? I’d probably be like that except that I’d be about four basquillion times higher than the legal limit. Lab technicians would throw off their goggles and insist, no, this cannot be. No one could live who ate this much salt. Or to put it another way, I’m sure that if salt were radioactive, they’d rope off my grave like portions of the Nevada desert.

I am a salt fiend. I wash down pretzels with shots of soy sauce. When I cook, I try to tone it down for others, but it’s hard. Never have I eaten anything that I would characterize as too salty, so I don’t really understand what that term means to normal people. "Too salty"? I ... don’t … understand.

I guess I first realized I had a salt thing when I was a kid and saw that episode of “Star Trek” where Bones thinks that blond lady who married his old friend is so nice, but then it turns out she’s this salt-sucking monster that keeps draining all the red shirts of their bodily salts. They keep finding bodies on the ship with weird, red circles on their faces where her sucker-fingers had attached to extract their salt. Totally identified with her. In fact, I used to chase my brother around and try to put my fingers on his face while I made this slurping noise. This usually resulted in his pounding me but good for being super annoying, but this did not lead to a modification in my behavior. Nor did it make a dent in my love of salt.

If you like sweets,there's Christmas and Halloween and Valentine's Day when you can indulge your sweet tooth, but there are no holidays that celebrate the joy of salt. I’m thinking of starting one and calling it Saline-o-ween. It would be in March, of course, because there’s nothing good going on in March anyway, which is why people think that March Madness is an actual, real, month-long holiday like, say, Ramadan. Anyway…anyone so inclined -- grown-ups included -- could go door-to-door and collect things like jerky, bouillon cubes, individual packets of soy sauce, pretzels, and Feta cheese.

So what do you think? Are you with me?


Yeah, it’s all right. I realize massive salt intake is not for everyone, and at times, even I have cut back out of necessity. Once, when I was pregnant, I made the mistake of eating some microwave popcorn (Some? Who am I kidding, I ate the whole bag), and wow, did I ever regret that. After a whole bag of microwave popcorn, it was like I was wearing hip waders that had filled with river water.

Fortunately I have very low blood pressure, but I tell you, if that ever changes and I have to give up salt… Man, they’re gonna pry that box of Kosher salt out my cold dead fingers. Of course at that point I probably won’t need embalming, just a little pepper to make sure I’m well seasoned for the great beyond.