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How to snort a martini.

How to snort a martini

Biochemist Daniel Malamud had just returned home from another hard day at his University of Pennsylvania lab and fixed himself his usual Gibson martini--the kind with onions, rather than olives. As is his custom, he ate the tiny onions off the wooden toothpick first. Not wanting to mess the furniture with a wet toothpick, he dropped it back into the glass. "My wife is a neatness freak," he explains. "After 25 years, I guess she's got me well trained."

He then proceeded to drink. During the last gulp, the toothpick "floated" out of the glass and into his mouth. "It was lodged someplace," he says. "I couldn't breathe; I ran into the bathroom and tried to make myself throw up." He succeeded -- to a point. The toothpick vaulted into his nasal passage.

Waiting in the emergency room of Philadelphia's Lankenau Hospital, Malamud sat and stared at the blackboard, on which the nurse had written, simply, "Malamud. Toothpick up nose." "It was right there among all those people who had been shot, battered or beaten," he recalls with some pain.

Finally, after physician Mary Harlan Murphy had appeared and removed the toothpick, patient and doctor put their heads together and planned the next logical step -- at least for people in the medical and academic communities: Publish. "You know, Dr. Murphy," Malamud said, "I think we may have a paper here."

Sure enough, a short account of the incident apperas in the "correspondence" section of the Oct. 16 NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE. "The reverberations," Malamud told SCIENCE NEWS, "are already being felt throughout the medical community." One physician has written to Malamud saying he removed a martini toothpick from a lawyer's stomach in 1974. But that may not have been a Gibson, which was supposedly named for a U.S. ambassador to England who couldn't hold his liquor, and. . . . But that may be another paper.
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Copyright 1986, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:humor
Publication:Science News
Date:Nov 1, 1986
Words:319
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