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about 'biscuit poisoning'...

Tuesday, August 21, 2018
... a term first heard from a family friend. A man who had a long successful prosperous career as an orthopedic surgeon. His mom lived in the house next door to may parents for many years, though the son spent his career practicing the fine art of bone repair in Savannah. He is now retired, and found his second calling as a professional photographer. The story I heard about his current work, self-employed at special events and take pictures, is that he just happened into it, when a friend asked if he wanted to go along on a photo-shoot. The semi-retired doctor found that he had a great time being a 'go-fer', assistant to the man taking the pictures. He observed, and began asking questions, then was eventually supplied with a camera to help out. Over time, with experience, he began getting referrals, then working on his own using those new-fangled digital cameras, developing skills that created a demand for all the employment he wanted.

We were sitting here at the dinner table, where The Man Who Lives Here was enjoying some hot biscuits. You would think after all these years of watching him eat his version of 'delicious', I would have become inured to the manner in which he enjoys a hot biscuit. But I guess I will always be amazed: He splits the biscuit open, and puts a pat of butter on both sides. Not just one pat, then closing to help the butter melt, but a separate slice on each half of the warm biscuit. He would happily do the same to a day-old, cold biscuit, these just happened to be freshly baked, still warm enough to melt butter. Then he applies a large swipe of peanut butter to each half, lets it sit long enough to begin to melt, and pops it in his mouth. Those biscuits are loaded, I mean loaded with fat. As is the butter. As is the peanut butter. So basically: fat x 3.

After watching this happen a couple of times, I reminded him about the tale I heard from the now-retired surgeon in Savannah. Back in the day when everyone in his group orthopedic practice had to take a turn of being on call overnight at the local hospital, Dr. W. would have reason to be in the ER for the graveyard shift. He said when middle-aged, portly men would appear in the wee hours with classic heart attack symptoms they attempted to pass of as indigestion. Until their wives forced them to make the late night trip, seeking medical assistance, where Dr. W. would diagnose their problems as 'biscuit poisoning'. If they were not actively having cardiac arrest, he would tell them they needed to mend their ways, alter their eating patterns to eliminate so much of the fatty stuff that was loaded with heart-clogging cholesterol. The primary diagnosis of those overweight guys who were enjoying all the perks of a well-heeled successful life was 'biscuit poisoning': too many with sausage or gravy or peanut butter and melting butter leaking out between the fingers.

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