The Mediterranean Diet
Samson Papadopoulos listens to the buzz of the fluorescent lights and prepares his dinner. He reads the crossword clue for three down.
“Precious metal, eight letters is Platinum,” Samson says to himself and he writes it in as the kettle boils. His two-minute noodles will soon be ready.
Earlier that day his doctor, pudgy and with pronounced jowls himself, had asked Samson about his eating habits. Apparently his cholesterol, weight and blood pressure had all gone up since his last check up. Samson resisted the urge to point out that the doctor was no one to talk. He had seen him a few days earlier at a set of traffic lights, sitting up high in his new 4WD, eating take way fried chicken.
“I think at your last check-up you told me you were changing jobs. How is that going?” the doctor asked.
Samson replied slowly, “Well it didn’t work out very well and I was out of a work for a month or two but now I have another job.
Now I’m a security guard down at the refinery.” He paused. “I work the night shift.”
“What’s that like?”
“It’s a little boring actually. I have to check a bank of monitors showing surveillance feeds from cameras and every hour I take a circuit around the fence line. “
Actually Samson rarely did the circuit, if he was honest he spent the night looking at his phone, watching the monitors, doing crosswords and snacking on processed foods that were high in not so hidden salt, sugar and bad fats.
“Have you heard of the Mediterranean diet?” his doctor asked him.
“I think you should have a look at changing some of your eating habits. I can remember my early days as a doctor on night shifts blah, blah, blah. “
Samson’s mind drifted. Out of the blue an answer to one of the crossword clues had just come to him. Seven across, overly content, ten letters is complacent. The doctor talked on and Samson nodded his awareness of the virtues of a diet high in fish and vegetables while lower in red meat and processed foods. He agreed to try to replace some of those meat pies and pizza slices with tinned tuna and maybe a Greek salad. In other words eat like he was a kid at home again. After paying the best part of two nights’ wages Samson went home to sleep.
When he woke, he showered and dressed in his guard’s uniform and packed his dinner. When it came to cans of oily fish and chickpeas the cupboard was bare. So in went packs of two-minute noodles. Samson looks down at the noodles softening in the oily water. The bowl smells a little like the refinery air outside but he wolfs down the contents anyway.He thinks for a few seconds and then opens another pack and adds water. While he waits, he smiles and solves ten across. Inactive, nine letters is sedentary