This Christmas my brother and I drove from Washington to Montana. During our trip we sang songs, took turns driving, argued about the effect of autotuning on the music industry and it's downfalls/benefits, drank energy drinks, sang anthems loudly, peered through a snowy windshield, yelled at passing semi-trucks, and actually used the restroom maybe twice for the whole eight hundred miles, a topic of great pride.
One of our stops was a ten minute drive back the way we came off an exit to find a rumored bookstore.
We found it.
Upon arriving at the front door that jingled merrily, we saw floor to ceiling every square foot of the place covered in books. Treasures. Invaluable and intoxicatingly joyful treasures.
We dispersed, went our separate directions, and dove headlong into the past. An hour later I emerged with one of my most prized finds. See, since dating this incredible girl who has all but renewed my fire for reading and literature as well as old books, I found a gem among the dime novels, outdated text books, and editions of past National Geographic. It was titled "the Human Body and It's Health" by "Smith." Copyright: 1884. Marked in penciled old lady handwriting was the price "7.95" on the inside cover.
She took five dollars.
I walked away with my heart light and my hand filled with a tiny little "reader" for elementary students of the past, a surprisingly well versed and detailed overall entailing of the human body.
I will share with you a short paragraph titled "Effect of Alcohol and Tobacco."
"Section V. --1. By the action of alcohol, muscle is sometimes changed, in part, to fat. It thus becomes flabby and feeble. Alcohol affects the muscles indirectly, by affecting the digestion and the blood, and so spoiling their nourishment. The athlete training for a prize, knows well, that, if he indulges freely in alcoholic drinks, he will surely fail to bring his muscles to a hard and vigorous condition. Total abstinence from alcohol and tobacco is important for his success.
2. Firm and active muscles are desirable for every one. The boy who thinks it manly to smoke, is, by doing so, lessening that muscular power which is an admirable and manly possession. The pale faces, dull eyes, and flabby limbs which this practice tends to produce, give no sign of manliness. It is true that men distinguished for strength of body are often users of intoxicating drinks or tobacco. But it is also true that such men frequently become diseased, and die before their time. They have squandered the powers which nature has given them."
I found the article surprising and concise...even if the science behind it was only speculated, not proven.
Be ye warned, young males: drinking makes for flab.
Flab just isn't sexy.
Nor is dying of disease.
At least we know Harry Truman, John McCormack and Eleanor Roosevelt weren't born from drunks in 1884 with this quality education being taught in New York and Chicago at the time.
The world needs more little green elementary reader books and less Ludacris lyrics about "gin and juice."
Well, maybe. Or maybe it's that back in the day people were tough.
Like...I would so not mess with this group of people. They could all totally outrun my flab, and I rarely, rarely touch the stuff.
Post-note. I can't be certain, but I think the subliminal messaging behind this elementary reader is that if you drink or smoke, these people in the above picture will come back from the past and point their finger at you.
Drink and smoke at your own discretion.