The Logic of a Surgeon

My father, the surgeon, had his own sense of logic. For instance, in the bachelor years (between wives 3 - my mom - and 4) when it was just he and I in the house, he finally got to fully try out his cooking skills. A+B always equalled delicious to him, at least in theory. For instance, he liked broccoli. He also liked salsa. Turns out, no one liked salsa covered broccoli. Actually, my father never admitted he didn't like it. He finished the bowl, just to prove a point to whoever was keeping score.

He was also a passionate fan of meat in general and its barbequed variants in particular. One summer, he struck on the notion that if only you could replace blood with meat tenderizer, that would be, like, really good meat. Being a vascular surgeon, he figured he pretty much had the skills to pull this off. So one weekend, he bought a couple of live pigs and a couple of rabbits (where did one go to buy a pig in suburban Atlanta, anyway? This was way pre-Craig's list) and made up a tub of tenderizer/saline solution that we bagged for IVs. He hired a professional BBQ chef, invited everyone we knew and told them to wait while we ("we" being my father the surgeon, his buddy the anesthesiologist, his buddy the vet, and me, his 12 year old) went to work.

So he knocked out the animals with whatever goof-juice the anesthesologist had brought over in his trunk, and hooked up the IVs. For rabbits, this meant just plugging the needle into a convinent ear-vein. For the pigs, it took a bit more doing. Apparently, a pig's equivalent to a convenient ear-vein is buried under 3 inches of fat in their necks. This was my first and last exposure to backyard animal surgery. My job was to hold the 300 pound sleeping porker steady while the doctors operated. It was kind of like every other episode of M*A*S*H where Radar ends up assisting in the O.R. and hilarious hijinks ensue.

3 hours later, a grill the size of some small trailer homes was sizziling with baby-back ribs tenderized from the inside out. I really don't remember any difference in the relative tender-osity of the porker, but the whole experience made for a hell of a story at school the next day.

My dad, the idea man.