Last night, Callaghan looked over my shoulder to see where I was in the June 2012 Allure magazine a friend sent to me from the States. Always interested in the latest skin-care science research, I was absorbed in a “Skin-Care Special” article titled “The Antioxidant Question,” by Patrick Rogers.
Callaghan read with me for a few minutes.
“A long time ago, I thought that ‘free radicals’ was a political party,” he reflected.
“A political party!” I was suddenly rolling on the bed laughing.
“And L’Oreal was always in a fight with them. There was the ‘formule anti-radicaux libre’.” (Anti-free radical formula.)”
We were still laughing when we returned to the article. One paragraph stated: “Green tea: Extracted from green tea leaves, this potent antioxidant fights free radicals and quells inflammation.”
“What is a ‘quells inflammation’?” asked Callaghan.
I lost it.
Now, in my defense, I didn’t spontaneously laugh at his English. I, of all people, know better than that. It was just that we were both already laughing about the free radical thing, so I never had a chance to catch my breath and recover before he asked about the “quells inflammation” – it was one funny thing immediately following another, like a multiple orgasm. Except that a multiple orgasm isn’t funny. Not necessarily. I guess it depends on how you look at it. Anyway.
We turned the page. “‘A free radical is like a loose hand grenade,’ Bank (the quoted scientist) explains.”
Cracking up all over again, we decided to stop reading and just find the phrases about free radicals:
“…compounds that can neutralize free radicals.” “Once unleashed in the body, free radicals roam around like stalkers…” “…free radical busters….”
By the time we were done with the article, I was wiping tears from my eyes, and I had to blow my nose. One thing is for sure: A political party called “Free Radicals” would be easy to defeat. All we would need would be a few tons of antioxidants.