The Eighth Page

Features Gets Well in 1801

My time machine is out of gas – in other words, I ran out of beans to feed the engine – so it sputters and comes to a stop. The screen informs me that I have glided into Andover in 1801. Stepping out, I trip over a potion bottle and fall head-first onto a dirt floor.

“Are you ill?” an old, wizened man inquires. He wears a blue cape emblazoned with silver stars.

I begrudgingly say I am not. “It’s called acne, you jerk.”

“Then you must exit the apothecary,” says the old man, “or you may catch the plague. Go to the Chapel. You must attend today’s Wellness Week workshop: How to Be Mindful of Your Meat Pie by Sniffing It.”

Hey, if it’s 1801, this must be the first ever Wellness Week at Andover! I wonder if these students are as annoyed as I was when they lost their first period free on Tuesday. Suddenly, I feel a growl within my belly. Ugh, I should not have eaten that catfish for lunch.

“Actually, mister, I think I am a tad ill,” I tell the old man.

“Please, call me ‘The Wizard.’ You’re in luck, young one,” says the old man. “We’re about to commence with the Health Seminar. Follow me to the Armory. It’s where we typically treat people with broken arms.”

The Wizard leads me down a dim stone tunnel, heading deep underground as stinky droplets fall upon my freshly-straightened locks. My claustrophobia kicks in; it’s almost as if I’m back in the Elevator Single. We enter a room filled with young men wearing stiff vests with pocket watches dangling from their trousers. I feel a bit out of place in my new Aquinnah Aqua Shep Shirt. I feel like how Saint West is going to feel when he hangs out with people who have normal names. Anyway, I digress…

In this dungeon-like room, The Wizard brings out a set of goblets and a jug of something pungent. He calls it “rattlesnake oil” and claims that it will do away with any and all of my discomfort. It tastes rather like cough syrup. Soon enough, my Achilles tendon stops aching. I begin to feel woozy.
Next thing I know, The Wizard has carted out a pot of squirming leeches and he has begun applying them to my face. I’m like, “NAH!”

“Whoa, hold up, Wiz, what do you think you’re doing?!” I demand, peeling the slimy creatures from my skin. I mean, I’m all for experimental skin care, but this is, like, not even holistic. My head is still spinning from the rattlesnake oil.

“Calm yourself, child,” Wiz says soothingly, continuing to apply leeches. “According to a study by the ‘Salem Coven Medical Journal,’ this treatment will filter your bodily liquid until you’re sprightly and renewed, like a lotus blossom after rain, or like me after a healthy dose of rattlesnake oil!”
At this point I feel so woozy I’m kind of freaking out. I dart away from Wiz and, dodging his waistcoat-wearing cronies, sprint back up the tunnel to my time machine. I speedily enter the coordinates for 2016.

I’m not saying I enjoy Beyond Meat, but anything is better than this.