A cautionary tale about Foam...and Great-Aunts: Happy New Year!

One of the joys and blessings of the holidays is the chance to get together with relatives that you may not see all that regularly, and reminisce about past Christmas' gatherings or other family get-togethers.  This Christmas, I was reminded of an incident that occurred when I was about 8 years old.

One of my great aunts had come over for a lunch-time get together one Sunday afternoon, bearing a gift of grapes. She was a woman who lived on her own, and she had some unusual quirks about her, such as never throwing anything out, or taking dozens of different vitamins every day. Her hallways at her house were lined with every newspaper she'd ever been given (and consequently was a health hazard), and she had every health-related book ever written stored somewhere in her house. She was always telling me and my brother about some new marvelous health treatment she'd discovered.

This time, it involved grapes.

My great aunt piled our plates with grapes and started talking to us about their many benefits and healing properties, chief of which she explained would be to help us have bowel movements the consistency of foam.

At this point my mouth fell open in shock.

She started talking about the hazards of constipation and of not being regular, and what this would do to our bodies. She shared that she used to wish that she could go regularly! She hated having to push and push and just not being able to go. But then she discovered the power of grapes "to make it come out like foam!"

Oh. My. Word.

I would like you to imagine what a typical 8-yr-old boy would do having a kindly, elderly woman going on and on about her bowel habits, and then thundering on about the need to eat more grapes. "Foam, my boy, foam! Simply wonderful!" My brother and I eventually overcame our shock and broke out into laughter, soon finding excuses to escape from the table and collapse into giggles. And whenever I see grapes to this day, I still remember my remarkable great aunt and her sage advice.

So as you face the New Year and contemplate new diets and exercise habits, don't forget to eat those grapes. My great aunt swears by them.

But maybe keep your bowel habits to yourself....

Happy New Year!


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