Never Die

The Weekly's incomplete guide to an almost eternal life

Plus, Silver's format makes it so easy to implement. She lays everything out, day by day, meal by meal, Oxygenation Cocktail by Diuretic Tea, Antigravity Tone-up by Alternate Hemisphere Breathing drill. The recipes and activities are worded simply and are constantly page-referenced throughout the book so they are easy to locate. The tone is conversational, upbeat-and tolerant. My favorite part of the book's Q-and-A section: Q. "Do I have to do it perfectly to get results?" A. "Definitely not."

But the prospect of throwing my own personal Lollapaloozit festival never crossed my mind. And even after Elvis had left the building, I couldn't find the possibility of it mentioned anywhere in Silver's book, including the index, no matter how many terms of endearment for reverse peristalsis I looked up. (By the way, did you know that one of the definitions of "vomitory" is "the entrance or exit to a theater or stadium"?)

Finally, I gave the Rejuvenate program the ol' heave-ho.

Even now, deep in my gut, where some unexpunged traces of beet, carrot and celery tops, sesame-seed milk, dried chaparral herb, and sweet white miso undoubtedly remain, I suspect I somehow just missed Rejuvenate's rewards. Because, for three days, I felt fine.

Of course, on Day 1, I wasn't actually on the diet. As Silver prescribes, I spent the day making all of the necessary preparations-shopping for what I would need and disposing of what I would no longer need. In practice, this meant devouring all the leftovers in the refrigerator, including a half-bucket of drummettes that I ate cold and a taco I reheated in its to-go container. I didn't actually make it to the grocery store until 11 p.m., an hour before closing. But I felt pretty good out there exploring the produce section, and I figured I'd done okay when I went through the checkout counter and the clerk said, "I used to know a guy in Santa Cruz who ate like this."

On the way home, just before midnight, I stopped at the Donut House's 24-hour drive-through window and bagged a coffee and a couple of old-fashioneds. The coffee spilled as I placed it in the cup holder, ensuring that the first cleansing I'd be doing would be the coin well on the car's console.

Day 2 was spent around the kitchen stove-well, actually, around my grandfather's old hot plate because the plumber hurried over to shut the valve to my stove after I woke up smelling gas. Luckily, one of the hot plate's burners still worked. So I perched it on top of my dead stove and spent the day boiling the hell-technically, the potassium-out of weird vegetables and blending them into goo. All the while, I sipped strange drinks, ate fruit salad, and by dinnertime started glugging down the potassium broth. I felt, I don't know, kinda cool.

On Day 3, it was fresh apples for breakfast, tofu with steamed vegetables for lunch, some yam kinda thing for dinner. I felt, I don't know, kinda different.

On Day 4, it was another potassium fest. For a late lunch, I dove into the potassium bisque, glopping a bunch of it on a plate with some steamed vegetables, eating that, and then glopping on a little bit more. About the time I finished the second plate, I felt, I don't know, kinda like I was coming on to some wild blotter acid. You know, with the wavy, TV-flashback-type visuals and that kind of duck quack that gets tacked onto every kind of sound? Remembering that Silver is from San Francisco-well, actually, from Sausalito, that quaintly hoity-toity marina town just over the Golden Gate Bridge but close enough-I was kind of encouraged, assuming this meant the diet was actually working.

And then came the long Technicolor yawn.

With its many temptations and responsibilities, late December may not be the most opportune time to set out on a diet-and-life change. Then again, if you're really serious, there's something to be said for incorporating it into our holiest season. And as I knelt next to the toilet, I was saying it. "Jesus Christ!" I moaned exhaustedly between involuntary guttural roars of what my neighbors said sounded like "Hanukkah!"

Also, it was the holiday season that got me back on my feet, back into the mainstream. I had to go Christmas shopping. But at the mall, amid the bustle of gift-givers, I nearly revealed my inner self again. Luckily, when my girlfriend saw me getting pale, she hauled me over to the food court. While I waited numbly at one of those drilled-to-the-concrete picnic tables, she zipped through the line at Peking Express, returning with a couple of egg rolls and a big order of pork-fried rice.

In no time at all, I was rejuvenated.

-Dave Wielenga

Amazing Fast Food Diet

Hi. My name is Rich, and I'm a McDonald's-oholic.

["Hi, Rich!"]

A saturated-fat-slurpin', cholesterol-chompin', fast-food feastin' junkie.


I don't have a lot of bad habits.

[Hoots of knowing self-recognition]

In my 30 years, I've probably smoked about two packs of ciggies. Never been drunk, which nobody believes, but I swear it's true.

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