The Neurasthenic And His Inner Concrete Lining

“Appendicitis was a disease that I spent much time in battling. I read up on it and knew all the symptoms. I went to the public library and hunted up a Gray’s Anatomy and studied the appendix. It seemed to be a little receptacle in which to side-track grape-seeds and other useless rubbish. I would no sooner have knowingly swallowed a grape-or a lemon-seed than I would a stick of dynamite. I would not eat oysters lest I get a piece of shell or even a pearl into my vermiform appendix. I was exceedingly careful never to swallow anything which I thought might contain a gritty substance. I had once heard a lecturer on hygiene and sanitation speak of the limy coat which forms on the inside of our tea-kettles from using ‘hard’ water. He stated that in time we would get that sort of crust inside of us from drinking water which contained mineral matter. I thought how easy it would be for some of it to chip off and slip into the appendix and set up an inflammation. So to be on the safe side, I thought I would try drinking spring water for a while, but it gave me a bad case of malaria. I then came to the conclusion that between being dead with chills and having an inner concrete lining I would choose the latter, which seemed the lesser evil.”

William Taylor Marrs, Confessions Of A Neurasthenic (1908)

Did the neurasthenic make the correct choice? You decide!

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