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Greek-American Stories: Doctor’s Orders

The subject around the table at Dixon’s that Sunday was about weight – Yiannis weight. The four guys were listening to Yiannis who was explaining about a new invention he’d read about in a magazine that promised to make weight loss easier and quicker. “We should ask Dr. Arostakis first, Yiannis,” advised Dimos, “he gets journals that list any new medicines and procedures.” Yiannis, not too anxious to see the doctor, shrugged, “it’s still very new! It’s, probably, still not in the drug stores or in Dr. Arostakis’ journals, yet.” John, agreeing with Dimos, said, “Dimos is right! It makes more sense to speak to the doctor first.”

“What did you hear about this new medicine?” asked Kipreos. Yiannis explained, “I’m not sure I understood it all. It said that this laboratory in Canada has worked on a special contraption that is placed on the body and you keep it on until you reach the weight desired.” He paused. “That news got me! It sure sounds real wonderful if it’s true.” George, suppressing a grin, setting down his cup, looked up and asked, “how much weight do you need to lose?” Doing some thinking, Yiannis figured, “let’s see! If this contraption takes off weight – say, a pound a week, it would be enough, I think.” John, making mental calculations and recalling Yiannis’s weight the last time they made him get on the Dixon’s scale, told him, “Yiannis! Taking off a pound a week, you’d have to have that stuff for, at least, 62 weeks.” Kipreos asked, “you don’t need to diet in the meantime?” Yiannis shrugged. “Why should I diet if the contraption is doing its work? I don’t eat so much, anyway. It’s just that whatever I eat just goes straight to fat, even if it’s water.” Doubting, Dimos shook his head. “I remember Dr. Arostakis had prescribed for you a special diet – and, he told you to shorten your portions, too. That’s all! You always look for a miracle, Yiannis. There’s no such thing! I say, Let’s go see Dr, Arostakis. Maybe, he’ll have more information than that. It’s best to be safe.”

The next day, Monday, the five went to see their doctor and friend who was glad to see them –  pausing when he saw Yiannis, who was the most stubborn, most contentious patient he’d ever dealt with. “Well, what do we have here? An epidemic? Or a social visit?” Dimos gave the doctor a short review on why they had come. “We’re concerned for Yiannis, who wants to try some kind of medicine that’s new. We advised him to talk to you, first.” The doctor, who had given Yiannis all the science for weight loss known to the human race, listened, and took up a medical journal listing many new medicines that concerned weight gain and weight loss. They waited while he scanned each section. “Ah!” uttered the doctor, nodding, but having doubts as to its efficiency. “Well, Yiannis is right! It’s right here. It’s, like you mentioned, new. It’s a weight loss patch. It promises to melt pounds away when placed on the body.”

“Sounds reasonable to me,” Yiannis grew very excited. “You have to get it for me, Doctor.” The doctor rubbed his chin, thought about it for a while, then, looked up at Yiannis and said, seriously, “alright! I’ll order it – on two conditions.”  They all stood at attention, waiting to hear what the doctor‘s two conditions could possibly be. “First, you have to pay for the cost of your last visit. That’s the first.” Yiannis paused, mentally making quick calculations. Oh, yeah! That bill! It has to be about $12. Then, he wondered if he’d be billed for this visit. It’s only a consultation visit. That would mean another $12. But, he, reluctantly, agreed he’d take care of it. “Consider it in the mail, Doctor,” he said, confidently, hoping to appease him. “The next condition is that when the patch comes to my office you’ll use it how I tell you.” Curiosity took hold as they waited to hear what the specific instruction was about.

Yiannis, cautious, asked him if he’ll guarantee the patch will really melt the pounds off. The doctor nodded, his face reflecting seriousness. “I understand!” he said. “I can guarantee that the patch will work – if you put it over your mouth!”

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