The recent news about the Blue Bell Creameries recall hit me hard.
Three people died in Kansas from eating ice cream. Eating ice cream is my favorite thing to do and finding out I could suddenly and unexpectedly die from it is disturbing. I mean, Evel Knievel could die from doing his favorite thing, but he jumps over canyons on a motorcycle so he’s asking for it. Enjoying a sweet frozen treat on occasion shouldn’t pose a death threat.
The reports said a sinister bacteria called Listeria monocytogenes was found in cartons of Blue Bell ice cream causing three deaths and several people to get really sick with flu-like symptoms.
Doesn’t every illness, infection, virus, disease, disorder and syndrome begin with flu-like symptoms?
So how in the heck are we supposed to know if we have an uncomfortable but harmless case of the flu, or a life-threatening scourge of Listeria invading our innards?! Should I take ibuprofen and sleep it off, or update my will and tell my family where I stash the good chocolate?
It’s all so upsetting.
The news reports didn’t mention who died, but they did say Listeria is usually only life-threatening to the elderly, the very young, and pregnant women. Good thing this outbreak didn’t occur during my childbearing years since the odds of consuming contaminated ice cream would not have been in my favor.
Of course it’s sad when anyone dies, but I do hope the people who died were elderly people, like really elderly people who lived full happy lives because then death by ice cream wouldn’t be that tragic, right?
There are much worse ways to kick the bucket than to have a tasty bite of Triple Chocolate Chunk melt in your mouth then wake up at the Pearly Gates. Sure, you’d have to endure some flu-like symptoms and naively think you’re going to take some meds, a nap and recover, but that’s the only bummer about it if your will is already updated. Your family will find your chocolate stash eventually.
I guess this story hits too close to home for me because it eerily resembles a final request I’ve made. Just before I die, I want my last bite to be an Oreo shake. I’ve made my husband swear on his life (which is slated to end after mine) to make this happen. I don’t know what the food situation is on the other side, but in case it’s all loaves and fishes I want to savor one final mortal indulgence.
I’ve told my better half, whether I’m sprawled in an alley bleeding out after a gunshot wound or reclining in the adjustable bed of my assisted living suite describing spirits of ancestors hovering above beckoning me home, before I go toward the light it’s his duty to shovel a shake into my pie hole.
But when I take this final taste, I’m supposed to know it’s my final taste. Not be blind-sided in the prime of life by a fluke consumption of polluted ice cream!
Moral of the story: Life is short and unpredictable, so eat ice cream. If you have flu-like symptoms, take two ibuprofen with a glass of water—unless you live in Nibley.