Sunday, August 19, 2012

Some People call it Culture. I call it Sore Throat

I went to my doctor last week to be treated for a chronic sore throat. He said he would need a specimen which by the way was obtained by sticking a three foot long Q-tip into my mouth and swiping the back wall of my throat. Yeacck! My gag reflex was in good working order.

Now he would grow a culture and let me know what was found in order to prescribe the proper antibiotic. As I left his office, I imagined a glob of fuzzy throat bacteria growing in a petri dish, dining off some gelatin-like protein substance. Eew.

He called yesterday, and I found that this was not the case at all. He began describing a fascinating abundance of cultural features that had emerged from my test.

The uppermost region of the dish offered everything you might think of for a relaxing and enjoyable vacation. Sunshine, white beaches, clear water and warm climate. Just adjacent to that was a colony that offered cheap handmade articles such as crochet works, knitwear, pottery, wood-carvings and paintings. A little further down were imperial palaces, gardens and temples. A river flowed through it which led to magnificent views of rock formations and forests and into a teeming metropolis with exceptional architecture and pulsating with life. The crowning glory of the dish was a gigantic metropolis chock full of activity, tall buildings and an endless sea of lights.

I was speechless. To think, all this was taking place from a minuscule daub of my phlegm placed in a petrie dish just a few days ago.

“This is miraculous!”, I said. “Who can we report this to? World Magazine? Newsweek? Time? Maybe U.S. News and World Report?”

There was a long silence before he answered. “We can’t report it to anyone.”

“Why not?” I whined. “I’ll bet the Enquirer would pay thousands for a story like this.”

“Well,” he began. “I offered the dish a stimulus package to encourage growth but inflation accelerated above comfort levels. This caused residents to pass laws regarding global food prices and create policies on subsidies and price caps. This in turn contributed to about ten percent of unemployment.”

“What does that mean?” I huffed. “You’re beginning to sound like CNN”.

“I can only do so much”, his voice filled with impatience. “Bailouts and grants were limited and I had to take into consideration the lack of side lanes, paved shoulders and uncontrolled development of roadsides causing low travel speeds, poor level of service and less long-distance traveling. Without transport services, the culture was doomed.”

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“I’m talking about dish collapse! Financial crisis! Debt! Predatory Lending! Conflict! Collapse of the housing bubble! Famine!  Systemic Crisis! Flood! Destruction!
“What does it all mean?” I was trembling with fear.

“It means I am calling your pharmacy to order you 500mg of Amoxicillin three times a day for ten days. Isn’t it nice to have a doctor with such a great sense of humor?”

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