The Green Mile

The sad tale of a man who has received a culinary death sentence.

The phone call was just like you see on tv… “Mr McAuliffe, we have your test results back and the doctor would like to see you. Today”.

I spent a nervous few hours until my appointment reflecting on my life, only the good times of course, because like many people, according to my Facebook profile life is perfect and I’m awesome.

The environment of the doctor’s waiting room didn’t help either.  The kid sitting next to me was powered by red soft drink and sherbet bombs, while his mother, evidently tortured on a daily basis by this screaming human bouncy-ball, pretended not to notice by searching through her handbag and I can only assume she was looking for a hip flask or some pain killers (prescription or otherwise).

Eventually my doctor called me in, and even he looked a bit frazzled.  His office was also a mess so I could only assume that cordial-boy had been in here before me.

“Take a seat Ash, we have to go through these results” he said bluntly. He pulled out a computer printout with a whole heap of numbers that made no sense, then said “the test came back positive… you have the gene for Coeliac (seal-ee-ac) disease”

The news hit me hard…. the room started spinning, my chest tightened, I broke out in a sweat.  This was the end of life as I knew it!

For those who are unfamiliar with trendy fad diets, Coeliac disease means that your body doesn’t like gluten, so a gluten free diet is required.  Devastatingly, gluten is in almost all of the finest foods on earth, such as pizza, pasta, beer and ham and cheese toastie’s.  I once tried to make a gluten free pizza base for a friend, and it was so hard that I decided to put it next to my bed to use as a weapon in case a burglar broke in…. seriously, if this thing fell on you from any sort of height it would kill you.

My wife suggested a ‘paleo’ diet, which means that you only eat and drink things that our ancestors had available.  My mind immediately envisaged Fred Flintstone style brontosaurus steaks with a garnish of salad… and maybe chips… they had chips back then didn’t they?

Knowing that i have a strained relationship with vegetables, Lisa happily (a little too happily i might add) prepared a paleo meal for dinner.  To my disgust, there was no brontosaurus steak or spicy pterodactyl wings, it turns out that the word ‘Paleo’ is secret code for a pile of veges with a token piece of meat at the side.  The McAuliffe clan were better hunters than this! Surely we could have caught some potatoes.. and surely a bit of dressing wasn’t beyond them?

The good news is, that I need to have a few more tests, and they can’t test a reaction to something that I’m not eating so there will be one glorious month where I need to ‘get my gluten on’ so the trusty pizza oven will get a work out and the bakers and restaurateurs of Bendigo can consider this fair warning.  It will be kind of like a last meal before a life sentence of meat, salad and veges… or should I say, salad and veges with a bit of meat.

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