Friday, August 19

Multicultural Medicine

I work in an office populated by, as my third grade geography teacher used to say, "people of many lands". I don't think they have geography teachers anymore. The other day on the bus I heard a couple of young people arguing about whether Chicago was in Illinois or Indiana.

Since we are a multicultural group, when anyone has a health problem there are several different suggestions for treatment. For example Nu might recommend acupuncture and tea, whereas Marcel would suggest a glass of wine and a good cheese. Esther never hesitates to offer to call her son-the-doctor, while Karl just wants you to tough it out and quit your Gottfluch whining.

Last time I was feeling under the weather I tried all of these palliatives, enduring Nu's needles in my neck while drinking a sludgy green brew, followed by cheap Merlot and runny Brie with Marcel. I called Esther's son, who turned out to be an obstetrician, and finally retreated to my office, being sure to let Karl see that I was suffering in silence.

As I sat behind my desk staring at the world map I keep on the wall, I could hear them talking and laughing and discussing their various remedies.

I'm glad I could help them feel better.

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