By Ike Adams
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Loretta here, playing secretary to one-armed Ike. While I’m on the subject, I will add that I am beginning to belatedly pity Terry Lucas who was his full-time secretary for many years. I doubt that anybody envied Terry her job. Anyway, here goes impatient Ike dictating this week’s column.
Due to various reasons, when 6 p.m. rolled around on the day I had my stroke, I had not had a bite to eat over the previous 24 hours. Sometime between 6 and 7, they got me from the MRI torture chamber back up to room 544 where I found a roll-around table with a black serving tray in the middle. Said tray contained a glass with four ounces of milk, a black saucer with some wilted lettuce on it, what turned out to be a black plate covered with a black lid, a huge black paper napkin, stainless knife and fork and some tiny packs of condiments.
The plate was adorned with small helpings of overcooked, unseasoned carrots and green beans and a small portion of something mysterious that looked and tasted like Swiss steak made out of play dough.
Lo spread a small packet of Russian dressing over the lettuce and sliced the mystery meat into half a dozen bite-size pieces. Dinner was served and I devoured every tiny morsel. Loretta, however, would not let me lick a tiny dab or two of dressing still left on the salad saucer.
After I had finished eating Lo went downstairs to eat in the cafeteria. She reported back that the food was excellent down there. She also had a bag of vending machine pretzels she intended to snack on. She turned her back and I noticed they were open. Suffice to say her pretzels disappeared.
By 9 p.m. I was exhausted so I went to sleep and dreamed of breakfast. The dream contained visions of huge biscuits covered with gravy, several eggs over light, pork chops, a carafe of tomato juice and a pot of coffee.
I was awake by 6 a.m. and, for the next hour, I anxiously watched the door as I waited for the breakfast server to appear. I actually shouted ‘YES’ when he showed up at 7. Same tray, same flatware, etc., I’d had at dinner. The saucer contained a tiny wedge of orange and three bits of melon. The plate contained a scoop of fake scrambled eggs that had been dipped with one of those devices they use at Baskin Robbins. The so-called eggs would have fit perfectly in an ice cream cone. Half a slice of toast and three pinky-size links of what may have been sausage were also on the plate. Another four ounces of milk and a cup of hot, slightly brown liquid they called coffee finished out the meal. Again I devoured every morsel.
For some reason or other I shook out the napkin and Loretta commenced laughing. “It is not a napkin at all,” she said. “It is a mourning cloth and you are supposed to wave it about to show that you are grieving because this is all you have to eat.”
For the next three days I had regular meals of very similar quality and quantity. So here is sound advice. If you are determined to lose weight just get admitted to a hospital for a few days and subsist on the food that they serve you. This may sound extreme, and it certainly will be pricey, but I absolutely guarantee that your pounds will melt away.