A Martian Haiku

Red Sand Beneath My Toes
Summer Vacation
In Outer Space
-R. Williams

I’ve been traveling a lot lately. Vacations, business, and marriage have all added thousands of miles to the car. The following are a couple of observations from the road.


It was time for lunch. The kids and I had been on the road for about five hours. We were in Western Connecticut on old RT 34, the shortcut to the Cape. The choice was Burger King or Wendy’s. B.K. won while I knew I was to lose either way.

The meal was dreadfully ordinary. In other words, the food was warm and the order slightly wrong. The whole experience would have been quickly regretted and forgotten had it not been for the advertising liner on the tray. I scanned the ads. The usual suspects. An autobody shop. A video store. Allstate. I was about to throw the flyer away when I saw the ad for the doctors!

Yes, Internal Medicine Associates of Ansonia were advertising at Burger King. Can you imagine the meeting where this decision was made? Maybe it went like this:

Dr. Z: Gentlemen, I have to be honest. Business sucks!
Dr. P: I know. What should we do?
Dr. Z We could join more insurance networks.
Dr. P That might work, but it means more paperwork.
Dr. Z We could encourage more referrals from our current patients.
Dr. P. Hasn’t worked so far.
Dr. H How about an ad at Burger King?
Dr. Z and Dr. P: Burger King?
Dr. H Sure. The price is right and some of the diners may need immediate care.


We have a new national religion, or maybe it is just a cult. The Just Say No Cult.

While in Tennessee for a short golfing vacation last month, I stopped at a roadside Stucky’s. I went past the nutrolls in search of the restroom. I was about to inject my arm with a dirty needle filled with heroin when the red splash guard in the urinal caught my eye. There, in big white letters, was “Just Say No To Drugs”. I threw away the needle. I washed my hands. And as I walked out of the restroom and into the 20 foot by 20 foot showroom filled with fireworks, I realized that these people truly cared about my health.