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Mailbag day

As anyone who's been kind enough ever to send me e-mail can attest, I am a lousy correspondent.  My intentions are good, as a screenshot of my mail program proves; I mark messages I plan to answer as unread to remind me to go back to them.  And 1531 messages later, here we are. 

To all of you who've written without receiving the courtesy of a reply, I apologize.  But five messages are in the works right now!  Will you be among that lucky, lucky handful?

Um, anyway, some of you have recently brought certain items to my attention that I'd like to share.  I'm leaving out names because I haven't asked for permission to use them.  My thanks for sending them along.

  • First, an article in the Australian press warns that over-the-counter pain medication may elevate the risk of miscarriage.  The study in question links the use of aspirin and NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen around the time of conception with an 80% increased risk of miscarriage. 

    My infertile friends inside the computer have, I am sure, already been advised by their doctors not to take anything but Tylenol prior to and during a cycle, but just in case any of you are, you know, fecund and might conceive without sacrificing an ungulate or two, I thought I'd pass this on. 

    I must add that the doctor quoted in the article also says that there's been no conclusive evidence that NSAIDs alleviate the pain of endometriosis, but my anecdotal experience says otherwise.  To show my displeasure, I will be murdering a small, defenseless hyrax and depositing it on his doorstep unless he retracts his statement immediately.

  • Next comes a link to an article about a couple who had quintuplets after the woman was apparently put on Clomid to improve a skin condition.  "I was told there was a chance I could get pregnant, but I became pregnant almost instantly, after less than a week of treatment, which is not common," the woman said.

    The person who sent me the link to this article astutely wondered whether there were facts left out:   "Clomid as acne treatment?  Pregnant after one week of treatment?"  What I want to know is this: Who the hell gets five follicles on Clomid?  Jesus gay, I was lucky to get one.

    But then maybe I'm just jealous of someone with five preemie newborns to care for on a single income in a two-bedroom house.

    (Shout out to Cricket for her take on the article, too.)

  • One reader asks, "How bad are Lunchables?  I was just curious, as someone who has descended into the pit of lunchable-like freeze dried fake food meals for my child.  How bad are they and why?"

    A short story on CNN's site points to the sky-high sodium content of Lunchables as the main reason why they should not be consumed, ever, by anyone.  (I admit I amplify that a bit, in accordance with my well-known bias.)  Predictably, Oscar Mayer objects to this conclusion: "... Feed four rats all the Lunchables they can eat for three weeks and then use that to make a sweeping conclusion," the company statement said. "Nobody would eat a diet of all Lunchables, or any other single food."

    Okay, can I just point out the infelicitous juxtaposition of "rats" and "Lunchables" in that sentence above and move on?

    Moving on!

  • Another kind reader wrote to pass on a programming note.  A few weeks ago, CBS's CSI featured a murdered woman who'd had a child after receiving embryos from an outfit remarkably like Snowflakes.

    Thanks to the wonder of TiVo — one of the few subjects on which I am downright evangelistic, the others being the Wacoal BodySuede 85185 and a separate freezer for stockpiling provisions against the coming apocalypse — last night I watched the episode in question.

    What struck me most was the baby who played the child of the murder victim, a baby about Charlie's age.  He stands in his playpen, crying, waiting to be rescued as his mother's corpse cools on the floor before him.  We infer that he's witnessed the murder.

    And I thought, how awful that that baby had to see that.  For the rest of his life, that precious tiny being will be tormented by nightmare visions, unable to eradicate his memories of the gruesome spectacle that's been put before him.  Could any college fund truly be worth such a devastating, soul-curdling sight?

    What?  Oh.  No, I didn't mean the corpse.  I meant the unbearable overacting of that bearded lump of suet, William Petersen.

Thanks for the mail, everyone.  Now back to answering that kindly gentleman from Nigeria.  I think it's just terrible what happened to his $76,000,000.00 (SEVENTY-SIX MILLION AMERICAN DOLLARS).  Gee, I do hope I can help.