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Time Will Have Been Told



In two days I will have completed four weeks on my low iodine diet (no chocolate, no salt, no dairy, no bread) with four days remaining until my one-night hospital admission and subsequent seven-day medical quarantine at home. If I remember correctly, the substance of the hour-long phone conversation we had with a doctor from the Nuclear Medicine department previous to my beginning this thyroid cancer treatment process, on Friday--the day after my "radioiodine therapy"--my eating can return to its previous abnormal. I just have to hope that the supermarket shelves are fully stocked that day. Unfortunately, in our present pandemic pressure cooker, the chances are above average that my hearts of desire will be missing and not in action.

To assuage any anxieties I have concerning this non-military "D-Day"-type invasion by yours truly, perhaps I should try and set an appointment with the store manager for my local Giant Food to prepare them for the onslaught and provide a list of my demands. I know they're open and sensitive to customer requests as under vastly different circumstances, I have made them with excellent results.

These requests would not be for items unfamiliar to their inventory. It would be more about dotting all the "Is" and crossing all the "Ts" and avoiding any slip-ups to guarantee as much as possible the delivery of my future prized possessions. Though I'm not a commercial customer, I am nonetheless in the desired demographic, the one who primarily makes the food-buying decisions in our home and who's interest and consumption of said items would make me most definitely a person of interest.

The items to which I finally refer are branded by Nabisco, Keebler, Hostess, Drakes, M&M/Mars, Entenmann's and Tastykakes. I won't self-indulge myself any further by offering any more specifics as I'm still almost a week away from "the return." But suffice to say, it's likely any adolescent would offer fairly similar details if asked. However, in addition to the availability issue, there is one extremely important challenge remaining: the actual shopping. Given my underlying lung cancer and/or thyroid cancer, I am an ideal target for the COVID-19 virus: over age 65, lung disease and a weakened immune system. In fact, I hit the trifecta. As a result, and according to Dr. Birx's most recent press briefing about the virus, Maryland, my state of residence, is one of the few states not exhibiting the kinds of statistical declines that many other states are. Ergo, by order of Dina Lourie, I am under lock and key. And while under lock and key I will not be doing the shopping - and buying, and therefore will be unable to soothe the savage beast raging inside me.

That's not to say I won't see a family size bag of Nabisco's Double Stuf Oreo Cookies on her shopping list; it's more that I won't see any other Kenny preferences on that list. Nor is it likely that while in-store, she'll wander around the pertinent aisles - as I might, and update me by phone on what other potentially interesting items might be stacked on the shelves/end caps. And quite frankly, if she were to surprise me with some other Kenny necessities, she would likely monitor my intake ("Kenny, what happened to that bag of Oreos I brought home yesterday?") and my joie de vie would be mort. Not exactly would she be denying a dying man his last wish, but for a few weeks at least, after such a long, world-record-breaking interval (for me, anyway) of not eating any of my go-tos, let me have some time to myself. Granted, it won't be pretty, but it's not entirely your business.

After all, if the roles were reversed, I would definitely do the same for you. Desperate times call desperate/uncharacteristic measures. What's good for the gander would certainly apply to the goose. Please don't fowl up this future feasting. Just leave me to my own devices, for a bit, anyway?


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