A blond man with two badly burned ears went to the emergency room for medical treatment. "What happened?" asked the doctor.
"Well, my wife was ironing while I was watching the end of a championship football game on TV," began the man. "She put the
hot iron near the telephone and when the phone rang, I answered the iron." The doctor nodded, "But what happened to the other
ear?" "Well, no sooner had I hung up," said the man, "when the same guy called again."
A new doctor arrived in town. He told all the townsfolk he could cure anything and anybody. At first people were understandably
skeptical. But as he cured every patient that came to him, his fame as a healer grew. However, there remained a cantankerous
elderly curmudgeon named Mr. Thompson (Mr. T), who was known as the town's skeptic. Mr. T went to visit the doctor to prove
that he was a quack. When it was time for his appointment, he told the doctor, "Hey, Doc, I've lost my sense of taste. What
can you do for me?" The doctor scratched his head and mumbled to himself. Finally, he told Mr. Thompson, "What you need is
a dose of my special tonic, 'Kickapoo Indian Oil.'" So the doctor went to his pharmacy and returned with a bottle of Kickapoo
Indian Oil. He asked Mr. T to taste it. Mr. Thomson agreed, then waited a few seconds and spit the tonic out. "That stuff
is vile," exclaimed Mr. T. "I have never tasted anything like it. Yuk!"
"Mr. T," the doctor said," looks like I just restored your sense of taste. My fee is $100." Mr. T was speechless. So he went
home to think of a fail-safe way to expose this arrogant charlatan. One month later, Mr. T decided to go back and try again.
This time he said to the doctor, "Doc, I can't remember anything! I think I have Alzheimer's disease."
Thinking he had the doctor stumped now, he waited as the doctor scratched his head, mumbled to himself a little and told Mr.
Thompson, "What you need is a dose of my special tonic, 'Kickapoo Indian Oil. It's —" Before the doctor could finish his sentence,
Mr. T dashed out of the exam room, his memory restored just by thinking about Kickapoo Indian Oil. Doc prevailed once more.
Carl A. Osborne
Dr. Osborne, a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, is professor of medicine in the Department
of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota.