COVID 19 has caused me to think about doctors…

Sure, but not the way you’re thinking I’m thinking.

Right after the 2016 election, I spoke to two MDs about the horrible shock this had been to the system.

Both told me that a lot of doctors they knew had voted for Trump. I was incredulous. Why would anyone with an education or common sense or…anything, really, vote for Trump? I could not understand it.

Their wallets, I was told.

Yeah, yeah, I know that whole myth, I’d heard it before: you vote Republican to protect the integrity of your fat wallet.

How many decades of GOP governmental mal-management, incompetence and soothing dopey “philosophies” must pass into the dark dens of history before a moderately informed person stops for a second and says, “Uh, wait a minute here. The financial catastrophes we’ve suffered have all occurred under Republican administrations. Ergo, if I’m concerned first and foremost with the thickness of my wallet, maybe my vote should go to Democratic competence.”

But doctors? Aside from the fat wallet excuse, am I to believe that doctors are more concerned with making $$$ than with caring for the health of patients?

I don’t. Still, I do want right here, right now to ask those medical professionals who were selfish and stupid enough to vote for Trump, what’s your professional opinion now?

Oh, and how’s your wallet doing?



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Waiting anxiously for a phone call? How to make the phone ring

An hour went by like so much traffic outside my office window. Several cars. A few trucks. A USMP motorcycle. They were all going slowly. People went in and out of the post office on the other side of the street. There was nothing very quick about what was happening in there, either. Anyone who had ever waited for a letter in Munich knew that in spades. The cabbie at the cabstand out front was having an even slower time of it than I was. But unlike me he could at least risk going to the kiosk for some cigarettes and an evening newspaper. I knew that if I did that I’d miss her call. After a while I decided to make the phone ring. I put on my jacket and walked out of the door, left it open, and headed for the washroom. When I got to the washroom door, I paused for several seconds and only imagined myself doing what I would have done in there; and then the telephone started to ring. It’s an old detective’s trick, only for some reason you never see it in the movies.

–From Philip Kerr’s Bernie Gunther novel, The One From The Other

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Paths crossed: special grief over Floyd Cardoz

At his Manhattan restaurant, Tabla, Floyd Cardoz offered me the finest meal I’ve ever had in my life of fine meals.

Impossible to describe really, except to say no one at our table chatted while eating — not even to comment on the food. The multiple tastes did not combine so much as succeed each other, one after the other, in the mouth.

I felt myself levitating off my comfortable chair.

He came by the table — the restaurant was fairly new — and talked with us. He seemed like a lovely guy, and funny. We asked him whether he had been born knowing he’d be a great chef and he laughed. No, he said, he’d been studying biochemistry and since cooking was considered really declassé in his Goan family, when he told his father he was going to become a chef, his father nearly disowned him.

Chefs have a reputation for unpleasantness. They may be great cooks but even back then — before #MeToo overturned some famous kitchens — chefs were known to be rotten people who terrorized and harassed their staffs. When our server came back to the table, I said something about how nice Cardoz seemed, and she said, “That’s exactly what he’s like to everyone,” meaning his staff.

I bought his terrific cookbook, “One Spice, Two Spice,” and have been working my way through the extraordinary recipes. Thanks to Mr. Cardoz — and a visit to Kalustyan, “my” spice store — my collection of many Eastern spices were amplified by such items as curry leaves and black kokum (keeps well in the freezer, right next to my fresh ginger).

His death makes me so deeply sad.


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