Dear Dr. Boli: What are “antioxidants,” and what do they do for people? —Sincerely, P. H., Famous Nutritionist.

Dear Sir or Madam: Antioxidants are molecules that inhibit oxidation, or rusting. Sometimes, no doubt, you have seen a musician or an acrobat or some such performer give a substandard performance, and offer as an excuse that he is “a bit rusty.” Such performers are lacking in antioxidants. The next time you attend a poor performance of any sort, you should hold the performer down and stuff blueberries into him until he feels better.


  1. Jared says:

    Following your advice, I consumed more than a quart of blueberries before performing Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Tallis Fantasia on the hurdy-gurdy. To my dismay, critics termed the performance “suffocating” and suggested a countervailing “reduction” of my role in the Pitcairn Philharmonic and Pizzeria, where I had once aspired to first chair pie tosser.

    Mr. John Merbecke,
    Monroeville, Penna.

    • You may have gone too far. The basic metabolic process of burning sugar or fat for energy within a human cell is, basically, oxidation as well. Excessive intake of antioxidants may thus have left you without sufficient energy to properly crank your hurdy-gurdy.

      As the collquial use of “burning” in the second sentence of the previous paragraph implies, fire itself is also a form of particularly rapid oxidation. Thus, in an emergency, blueberries, vitamin C pills, or other antioxidants can be used as an improvised fire suppressant or flame retardant.

  2. John M says:

    What is the role of free radicals in all this, and why aren’t they in prison?

    • Jared says:

      A certain number of free radicals is to the health of the body politic, but when they spread, they can be a cancer. In my day, that’s what the Tower was for. Well, that and certain busybodies in the Commons who couldn’t vote a simple subsidy without prying into the Sovereign’s intentions for it.

      And alas, I’ve struck out again on the blueberry thing. Dr. Boli told me that I should stuff blueberries into any performer who disappointed me, so naturally, I took it upon myself to do so with the runner-up in the Braddock Blueberry Eating Contest. I was surprised by the man’s resistance, continuing even after I explained Dr. Boli’s advice to him.

      Mr. John Merbecke,
      Monroeville, Penna.

  3. Caren says:

    One can’t help but to notice that Dr. Boli seems to be obsessed with blueberries.

  4. Raf says:

    To the contrary, the accepted and traditional method of providing fruit for the improvement of a performer who demonstrates deficiencies of performance is to donate it synchronously from the audience.

    • Only if one subscribes to the purely pedantic definition of a rotten tomatoe as a fruit, and not the more socially-accepted definition as a vegetable. But while produce in general, preferably rotten, shall be thrown at substandard performers, those who perform exceptionally should be pelted with more edible comestibles. Skitch Henderson And His Musical Spoon Balancers, for example, prefer fresh tuna sandwiches wrapped in wax paper after a satisfactory show.

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