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Why Does Cleansing Make Me Feel So Dirty?

The FBI removing evidence from Troutman's house.

The FBI removing evidence from Troutman’s house.

Chicago Alderman Arenda Troutman has been all over her hometown scandal sheets this month on charges of bribery and illegal possession of a firearm and “a powdery substance that is possibly a drug item.” Troutman is a vegetarian, and she claims the powder, which was seized by the FBI, is psyllium husk, “a powdery substance that is used when you are doing a cleanse, a detox cleanse.” And then the money quote: “I am a vegetarian … We do seasonal cleansing.”

We may never know what mitigating words were replaced by that ellipses, but let’s get this on the record: “seasonal cleansing” (ew!) has as much to do with money laundering and serving on City Council as it does with vegetarianism. That is, nothing at all. Her lawyer goes on to equivocate vegetarianism with squeaky-clean living: “She is a health freak. She hasn’t eaten meat in years; she’s a vegetarian. Arenda Troutman does not do drugs.” But we know plenty of vegetarians who have associated with powdery substances that are more than possibly drug items.

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