Everything I know I learned in the hot tub at the Leisure Centre: It was the weekend and it was crowded and people will converse, of course, because it's just too boring to sit there and enjoy the action of the swirling water and the jets as they work their magic - although, at 96 degrees, it's not quite as magical ( makes the transition to the cold showers less traumatic; where'd they buy that boiler? At a garage sale? ).
The talk is usually hushed and not hard to ignore, unless there's one of those guys who wants to share his thoughts with the entire room by speaking in a voice that requires no amplification. In this case, it was about the curative powers of 'oil': hash oil, cannabis oil, honey oil, whatever you want to call it. The speaker had a friend whose cancer was cured with the oil and is convinced there is a massive conspiracy among the big pharmaceutical companies to suppress this knowledge.
The medicinal properties of marijuana, or more specifically THC, are well documented and often involve relief from pain and nausea caused by other treatments such as chemotherapy; also, it has been known to be used for a whole bag of conditions from alcoholism to arthritis to anxiety.
As far as being a complete cure for cancer, well, I think the jury is still out, man. And who knows, the big drug companies may very well be funding anti-marijuana initiatives because the use of weed is cutting into their profits. Who do you figure helped finance the production of "Reefer Madness" or the prosecution of Mark Emery or the split up of Cheech and Chong? Can all those grow-ops be wrong?
The way this guy was taking. I think he maybe had a little oil on his salad at lunch. Marijuana was used as a truth serum during the Second World War because it made its subject so loquacious.
Nevertheless, when our snake oil salesman left the tub, we all looked at one another in bemused wonderment. What causes people to want to share their stuff with us in public?
When I want information about the causes and cures for cancer, I turn to the sports section in this paper and a column called Get Fit by Adam Francilia, who is president and founder of the Fit Life Centre for Health and Performance in Maple Ridge.
Adam lists 18 causes and cures for cancer, and I'm assuming that he has legal advice because if he's not careful the pharmaceutical companies and the college of physicians and surgeons will be after him much as he claims conventional medicine is after herbalists and naturopaths.
Among the 'things' - Adam is not going to confuse us with medical terminology - that cause cancer: perfumes and fragrance products, which could put a dent in the cosmetics industry and bring back BO as a desirable scent; plastic food containers, which begs the question, "how in the hell am I supposed to get my lunch to work?"; watching television, especially reality TV, game shows and the parliamentary channel; lack of exercise, which goes with the TV thing; stress ( marriage, work, money ); refined sugars ( say goodbye to desserts ); hair colour chemicals ( say hello to grey ); and nail polish remover ( I knew it ); meat and fried foods ( goodbye golden arches ); smoking ( duh ).
More important are the things that prevent cancer, because we're all going to get it sooner or later: mushrooms ( ya, man ); broccoli ( mom was right ); sweating ( saunas, steam, public speaking, first dates ); therapeutic massage ( by a registered professional who is not topless ); deep breathing ( see cannabis ); sunshine/Vitamin D ( drink milk, eat carrots, go to Mexico ).
Those of you who have already had cancer and survived can add good luck, prayer ( I promise I'll go to church ) and a lot of uncontrolled weeping.
Au Revoir, Grandpa: Ruskin lost a good citizen recently with the passing of Gaston Dumas, whose tall, white-haired figure added a little class to the neighbourhood, even as it was bouncing along atop the ride 'em mower. Gaston was also a realtor in town whose face, along with that of his granddaughter Madelaine, could be seen all over the place. I think I still have some of those shopping lists.
Tim Tyler is a local postal worker and freelance writer who lives in Ruskin.
October 23, 2009
Maple Ridge News