Dumber than a Zucchini Squash

Ever met someone dumber than a zucchini squash? That describes a patient of mine who manages to keep a job but can't grasp the simplest of medical concepts. When his blood cholesterol came back at 246 mg/dl, (normal is less than 200 mg/dl), my nurse reviewed, in detail, the basics of a low-cholesterol diet: eat more fruits and vegetables, more salmon, chicken, nuts, oatmeal, whole grains, and olive oil but eat less greasy red meat, egg yolks, whole milk, cheese, and fried foods. Simple, right? Wrong! From that day forward, Bob called daily with such inane questions as, "Is oatmeal considered a 'fried food?'" Now I know here in the South people fry a lot of foods we'd never fry in my home state of Vermont (turkeys, tomatoes, ice cream) but even Southerners don't fry oatmeal. On another day he called and asked, "if I can't have sausage on my pizza, what about pepperoni?" Or my favorite, "If I cook a hamburger until it's black, is it still considered a red meat?"

One hectic day, when he had  already called a dozen times, my harried receptionist got frustrated and snapped, "Look, Bob,  just eat more salmon, apples, and oranges. Eat more oatmeal and broccoli. I need to go cause I've got two other calls on hold."

Imagine my shock when a month later Bob called me at home to ask if I had any other brilliant ideas for his breakfast menu besides "oatmeal and broccoli." Turns out, he was cooking up oatmeal with broccoli in it every single morning for the last month. "I don't much care for green oatmeal. And to be honest, it don't taste that great."

You think? I had to chomp on the inside of my cheeks to keep from laughing at the image of him facing a bowl of green broccoli oatmeal every morning for thirty days straight.

I then opened his eyes to the wonders of Egg Beater's, whole wheat English muffins with natural peanut butter, and Cheerios with skim milk.

On a positive note, his cholesterol dropped thirty points at his next visit. Broccoli oatmeal anyone?