Val spent all week-end on his sofa nursing his swollen big toe. This is what gout is: crystals of uric acid deposit in the big toe, causing it to engorge as if the bone were going to rip through the skin at any moment. It is one of the worst pains known to man and only man, since women don't get it. I guess childbirth is bad enough.
The gout was once known as the "royal disease" because only kings and nobles could eat enough variety of foods to trigger it. If you ate oats and oats only all your life you were not going to get the gout. You'd die of a thousand other diseases and deficiencies, but not gout. As different kinds of food became available to a larger segment of the population, the gout has become more democratic. With Val as a sufferer now, any cachet still attached to the gout is a thing of the past.
I myself had the gout 20 years ago.
One bout and never another since.
There's a little pill that cures its effects within 2 minutes.
The first wonder drug.
No one today has to lie abed nursing the gout.
(Unless he wants to).
Take one, Val.
You'll like it.