Headline News—Part I

By Howard J. Bennett, MD

McDonald’s announces plans to sell antibiotic-impregnated burgers 

Oak Brook, IL—Two giants in the corporate world have joined forces to help the nation’s young. In the next few weeks, McDonald’s will roll out its new line of antibiotic burgers to help parents combat the routine illnesses of childhood.

The first items to be added to the menu are Z-Burgers, which contain enough Zithromax to treat ear infections and strep throat. A spokesperson for Pfizer said the company is pleased to stay in the background while Ronald and Company get most of the credit for helping the nation’s young.

“We’re very excited about this new therapeutic approach,” said John Grossman, MD, Chief of Pediatric Infectious Disease at Northwestern University. Dr. Grossman participated in the research that developed the new product.

“Z-Burgers taste great and they pack quite a wallop!” Dr. Grossman said. When asked about resistant infections, Grossman said for the moment children should order double Z-Burgers, which contain twice the amount of antibiotic. He added that Burger King is gearing up to release X-Fries, which contain high-dose amoxicillin for infections that are not susceptible to Zithromax.

Industry analysts are anxiously waiting to see how the public reacts to the new products.

“We know that some folks may be reluctant to try these burgers,” said Barney Wolff, president of a local consumer group. “On the other hand, my sister-in-law is a vegetarian, and she picked up some free coupons from her pediatrician last week.”

Mom assaults doctor who wouldn’t prescribe antibiotics for child’s cold

Charlotte, VA—Shelly Hutchins was arraigned today on two counts of aggravated assault for repeatedly hitting her doctor on the head with a sterling silver baby rattle. The incident occurred two weeks ago on a Friday afternoon.

According to witnesses, Mrs. Hutchins had to wait over an hour to see her pediatrician. When the doctor diagnosed a viral infection after a 15-second exam, Mrs. Hutchins snapped.

“I’m not surprised this happened,” said fellow patient Mary O’Brien. “When they called Shelly back to the examination room, she looked like she was ready to blow.”

“I’m sorry I hit Dr. Parker,” a visibly distraught Mrs. Hutchins said to the arresting officer. “I had been up all night with Caleb. I really don’t remember what happened in the office.” Mrs. Hutchins’ attorney plans to use a temporary insanity plea to get her off.

Cadaver parts taken from UCLA Medical Center

Los Angeles, CA—Two employees at the UCLA Medical Center have been arrested for allegedly selling body parts from cadavers that were donated to the school. Police said that they really don’t know the street value of dead people, although they charged the pair with grand theft.

“This is new territory for us,” the chief said. “If they were selling drugs, we’d know for sure how to charge them.”

According to sources, one of the accused said he didn’t plan to sell the parts but merely wanted to give them to some friends who needed companionship.

“One of my buddies doesn’t like to watch TV alone, so I gave him the head of a 62-year-old man,” he said.

He also gave a pair of hands to one of his friend’s who’s a terrific bridge player. “No one wants to play with Rick because he’s a bit of a snob, so I thought he could use the hands as a partner. Since his ‘teammate’ was actually dead, he could pass all the time and Rick would take the tricks.”

Many people who have heard the story are now understandably squeamish about leaving their bodies to science. When interviewed, one prospective donor said, “I thought my body would help doctors learn how to take care of the living. I don’t want to spend eternity sitting in front of the tube.”

Rap star confesses that his parents played classical music to him when he was a fetus

London, UK—British rap star, Rigor Mortis, announced that the first sound he heard as a fetus was the rhythmic music of Bach and Mozart.

“I was totally blown away when my mum told me about this during a therapy session last summer.” Apparently this was a family secret growing up because his parents were members of a famous heavy metal group in Leeds. “My parents started a group called Septic Tank in the late 1970s. Their chums would have ridiculed them if they found out what my parents did,” the rapper said at a recent news conference.

“I was torn up about this for months,” Rigor said, “but I’ve finally found peace thanks to Nigel.” The Nigel he’s referring to is, of course, Nigel Wright, the editor of the influential music journal, Polyphonic Times. Mr. Wright published a groundbreaking article a few months ago comparing the musical structure of Bach’s work to modern rap. He concluded the article by stating, “If Johann Sebastian Bach were alive to day, he most certainly would be a rapper.”

“Nigel saved my life,” Rigor said as he opened last night’s show, which played to a sold-out crowd, including the queen.

Robert Atkins’ secret diary to be sold at famous New York auction house

New York, NY—Famed diet doctor Robert Atkins died after a tragic accident in the spring of 2003. Now, twelve months after his untimely death, a 2-volume diary was found in a secret compartment in his office. Handwriting experts have confirmed that Dr. Atkins wrote the diary.

According to reliable sources, Dr. Atkins confessed in the diary that he craved carbohydrates and wished he had written romance novels instead of diet books. The following entry is dated Oct. 10, 2003: “I snuck into the basement at 11p.m. last night and had a bologna sandwich on rye with a hint of Dijon mustard, a side order of chips, and a Coke. It was heavenly!”

The notorious diary, along with some other memorabilia, will be auctioned off at Sotheby’s later this month.

Local doc calls it quits

Towanda, PA—After 30 years of general practice, Dr. Harold Pinkwater is closing up shop. Dr. Pinkwater said his recent divorce and an enlarged prostate are the factors that most influenced his decision to retire. “Between the calls from my wife’s lawyer and those from my bladder, I found that I had very little time to see patients,” Dr. Pinkwater told a reporter from the Towanda Gazette.

Dr. Pinkwater is having a “Going Out of Business” sale the week before Christmas that will be open to the public as well as the medical community. Sale items are organized in a 50-page catalog put together by Dr. Pinkwater’s longtime nurse, Rachel Bratwurst.

“It’s been a great run,” Dr. Pinkwater said to a tearful staff at his goodbye dinner. “But it’s time to move on. My patients need to widen their horizons, and I need to widen my urinary stream.”

© 2012 Howard J. Bennett. All Rights Reserved.

(First published in Stitches, The Journal of Medical Humor June 2004.)

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