the inquisitive one

A celery plant was growing out of the inquisitive one’s left ear.

A worm was living in, and shouting out orders from, the inquisitive one’s bellybutton.

Mushrooms were flourishing on the meat underneath the inquisitive one’s toenails and fingernails.

Every time the inquisitive one tried to cut off the celery, worm, or mushrooms—which was actually extremely painful—the celery, worm, and mushrooms grew back even larger!

The inquisitive one knew there was work to be done. Therefore, the inquisitive one donned a serious expression and got to work. Thence, the inquisitive one conducted a one-person, intensive study on celery, worm, and mushroom infestations of the body.

The i.o. consulted books, magazines, scholarly articles, Reddit threads, blogs written by weirdos, and public service announcements from the U.S. Department of Celery, Worms, and Mushrooms. The i.o. called up more than a hundred friends, acquaintances, and sworn enemies to see if anyone had folk remedies or scientific knowledge. The i.o. scoured the deepest, dankest corners of the dark web. The i.o. scheduled and attended telehealth appointments with specialists in the fields of Veggie Infestation, Parasitic Bellybuttonitis, and Pedicure and Manicure Fungal Pulchritude.

The inquisitive one compiled the data, analyzed it, and drew up the results.

“Aha!” said the inquisitive one. “I see what the problem is! I have been trying to cut off my infestations in huge chunks! But my one-person, intensive study on celery, worm, and mushroom infestations of the body has shown that the best, and in fact only, way to heal is gradually. If I cut off a small percentage, and the next day the same percentage of what’s left, and the next day the same percentage of what’s left, eventually, over a period of weeks, or actually probably months, the problem will, in an exponential fashion, go away!”*

“Duh,” said a nearby ant, while picking up the morsel of mushroom the inquisitive one had just cut off a baby toe. (This was a wise and trustworthy ant. As the inquisitive one well knew.)

“I could have told you that,” said the ant.

“It’s just super obvious,” said the ant. “Your body will improve if you take baby steps every day, and slowly, but exponentially, move toward your goals.”

And then, just before the ant disappeared into a crevice in the wall,

“COUGH COUGH,” said the inquisitive one.


*Do not try this at home. This is a fictional story and should not be taken seriously. No one here is a doctor. But I will say, and this is the real Liza Achilles talking, that apple cider vinegar was effective for me in treating a foot wart, where cryotherapy failed (as I described in detail here). I will also say that, as I have worked on healing from my concussion setback over the past week and a half, the exponential theory that I described here has been working for me wonderfully: I'm so happy!!

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