According to the popular press, there are countless things that will make us die immediately and horribly; or, alternatively, that will condemn us to a lingering and painful death. A recent candidate is preserved meat. 

In that same popular press, there are however “healthy” foods that will make us live forever, or at the very least, preserve our vitality into extreme old age. The Mediterranean diet is much touted, with fish, vegetables and olive oil. 

Recently, I ate both killer food and healthy food on the same day. Brunch was air-dried ham, which everyone knows is like playing Russian roulette with five chambers loaded. I had figs with it. These may have been healthy fruit, which will make me live forever, or disgustingly sugar-laden, which is even more dangerous in both the short term and the long term than the ham. I forget which category figs fall into this week.

That evening, though, I cooked baby squid with lemon juice and olive oil: a Greek recipe, and you don't get much more Mediterranean than that. This was obviously Good For Me, though I ate it because I like the taste rather than because I expect to live forever. Then I realized. If I am eating food that will kill me on the one hand, and make me live forever on the other, perhaps I am unwittingly turning myself into a zombie. I will die of the ham, but the squid will grant me eternal life. In other words, I shall join the ranks of the living dead.

Now, I have already tried a brief foray into the the kingdom of the undead in my 20s, when I took another classic path: I was articled for a few months to a firm of chartered accountants. I didn't enjoy it very much. When I went to the training partner and said, “I'm sorry, Malcolm, I don't think I was cut out to be a chartered accountant,” he replied, “I wouldn't argue with that. Let's call it quits.” 

But maybe I have an appointment with a zombie king in Samara. If the undead can't recruit me into their ranks via accountancy, perhaps they'll succeed via dietary advice.

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Words and picture copyright (c) Roger Hicks 2016