“do you know what a hundred days is?” my grandmother asked me. “it’s three months and almost ten days.” i was amused that my grandmother was still sharp with her numbers. in her hand, she held a small dish with what appeared to be brown nuts with sesame oil poured over them.
“eat this. it’s gingko that’s been fermented for a hundred days. it’ll make your coughing stop,” she told me. i instantly recalled the bitter, foul taste of raw gingko and shook my head.
“come on. you can do it. just eat it quickly. you had a bad cough when you were a hundred days old, so this will cure it,” she said, putting the small dish up to my face. she even had a toothpick in hand so i could pick the gingko and eat it without getting my fingers messy.
i hesitated for a bit and looked around my room. i spotted some pieces of chocolate – those variety hershey’s chocolates like Mr. Goodbar and Krackel – sitting on my desk. “ok, i’ll eat it, but only because i’m an awesome grandson,” i told her. i took the dish from her and she left my room momentarily to put away my dirty laundry. i picked the gingko – five pieces – and put them one by one into my mouth. i chewed and swallowed all of them as quickly as possible and reached for a Mr. Goodbar, hoping to neutralize the bitter taste. it worked out well and i didn’t feel too bad about eating the gingko. when she came back my grandmother was very pleased.
“you already ate it all? my, you are so wonderful!” she told me. she said that my cough would go away in no time and continued to adore me for my willingness to eat the gingko. i am not sure how the hundred day gingko really works, but for me, it’s sort of like a “faith-based” medicine that seems to work its magic as long as i believe there is a remote chance it can be effective. plus, a temporary bitter taste in the mouth is a small price to pay for an overly grateful grandmother.