Tuesday, May 19, 2009
My father was a psychiatrist. When my friends came to visit, they would ask me--half-joking--if he thought they were crazy. I know for a fact that he passed no judgments on our crazy adolescent antics, but I'm here to tell you that the internist in me is always on alert to the health habits of others. Here's several observations from my just-completed trip to South Dakota:
--The young man sneezed mightily into his hand as he walked away from Mt. Rushmore. He looked with distaste at his mucous-slicked hand, then wiped it half-heartedly on his jeans. Remember, this guy (or his cousin) touched that door knob just before you did.
--This fellow (a dead ringer for TweedleDee's silhouette) jockeyed for position at the toaster during the crowded, freebie breakfast service at the Dew Drop Inn in Rapid City. He was reaching for the whole wheat bread when the little serving lady brought in a heaping stack of chocolate muffins. To heck with bread, he nabbed two fresh muffins.
--This chunky young mom walked into the restaurant with her overweight daughter in tow. They placed their orders, and shortly thereafter the waitress brought a plate of onion rings for mom and a platter of fries for the young lady. Hmm, I thought, but oh well, they're on vacation and going for a treat before dinner. Alas, their second course was ice cream parfaits for all.
--A very thin, very old guy sat at the bar in Custer, SD, reading the paper and nursing a beer before dinner. We discovered that he was a World War II veteran, a banker, a cattle rancher, and the jeep tour driver for the lodge. He regaled us with stories from all his various careers.
I'm having whatever he's ordering!