In 1984, when I was 20 years old, I felt a burning sensation in my stomach that would not go away. I was a sophomore in college, taking courses in finance and trying to get a young lady in one of my classes to take notice of me. The gnawing in my gut grew worse as it became increasingly evident that her affections were elsewhere. I went to the doctor, dutifully swallowed the pink “barium” milkshake, and was diagnosed with a duodenal ulcer. The doctors told me that this ulcer was due to “stress,” a penchant for spicy food, and various other defects of my character that I must stop, immediately, in order to rid myself of this disease.

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