I was having lunch with my husband in a semi-fancy restaurant when I had an epiphany. Y’all, I am a freaking magician. I can turn a lightly grilled piece of cow haunch into human thigh fat without any apparent effort.
It’s a good thing we don’t have to know how our bodies do these things. Imagine having to know what chemicals break down a Dorito into its molecular elements, and then knowing which other chemicals, or physical forces, or voodoo, or whatever it is, causes those molecular elements reform into skin cells or heart cells or (in my case) the cells that make up the bat wings underneath my arms. The one thing I remember from taking biology and/or chemistry back in the mid-80s is that water (H2O) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) somehow mush together inside of plants, combining the H’s and O’s and C’s together to form C6H12O6 (sugar) and a few extra O’s (oxygen). Photosynthesis, y’all! If I had to remember more than that, there’d be no room for the important things, like the lyrics to every single song released between 1984 and 1986.
I mean, seriously, how does it know? How does the brick of cheddar I accidentally ate tiny piece by tiny piece know that I needed a liver cell here, a lung cell here, and thirty-five million fat cells on my backside? How did cheese learn to differentiate between a cell that filters out toxins, one that takes oxygen from my bloodstream, and one that provides surprisingly little cushion on a hard bench?
I’m not here to get into the whole evolution vs. creation debate, science vs. religion debacle. I want us all to get along and just be grateful that whether it was a billion wrong starts of trial and error or a divine stroke of genius, it flipping works, and I appreciate the heck out of it.
It even works when it doesn’t work. The other night my son went to a sushi buffet and even though he had reason to question the quality of the sushi he plowed ahead enthusiastically, trusting his twenty-one-year-old gut to take care of any problems. It did, all right, purging the problems every half hour for the next twelve. That’s the system functioning properly – identifying microscopic intruders and showing them the door.
I’m well aware that things don’t always go so great and people suffer as a result. I’m just saying that one billion Big Macs served and the continued existence of all-you-can-cram-in-your-gullet sushi buffet restaurants prove that more often than not, it does work. It’s an amazing automated system that works better than any automated system I’ve ever had the joy of trying to make work for customer service purposes.
So a moment of silence, please, for Roberta the chicken, who used to be a good chicken, and now does a great job as cells in my pancreas. I guess she’s a magician, too.
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Lori B. Duff is an award-winning author who practices law on the side. Her latest book, “If You Did What I Asked in the First Place” was awarded the Gold Medal for humor in the Foreword INDIES awards in 2019. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here. If you want Lori to help you market your book, click here.