Welcome to the ERbook.net:  the Web's foremost site for Emergency Room stories.
Discussing the specialty of emergency medicine, medical school, academic success, and unusual true Emergency Room stories.

Quick Search  
Advanced Search

Site map


Reviews of other ER books

Contact me

Submit a question

Submit an ER story

Have an interesting ER story?  If I use it, I'll give you a free book.

Question & Answer pages

For more Q & A, see my
www.er-doctor.com site

ER crossword puzzle

Interview with Dr. Pezzi


Test your knowledge of ER terms by solving my ER crossword puzzle that was featured in the Prudential Securities Healthcare Group 2002 calendar.  Or take the ER-MCAT to see if you have what it takes to be an ER physician.

My favorite ER memories

Pictures of me


My personal pages

Including my:
Medical Inventions page
Misc. Inventions page
Snowmobile page

Accelerometer page
Smart Seat page
"If I had a hammer" page
"Sheds I've Built" page
Dremel bit holders page

ER stuff
 ER stuff
A mold to make ER cookies and ER Jell-O!  Or how about a glow-in-the-dark chest x-ray?

My postings on ER forums

ER links

Bad news about Accutane

Amy's Corner

Amy reviews ER computer games

Tell a friend about this page by e-mail

Recent magazine interviews

Some of my other sites

More ER Questions and Answers

More ER Questions and Answers


Beautiful woman syndrome

Q:  Hi Dr. Pezzi, my name is Wes and I'm an Internal Medicine resident.  Yesterday I heard a couple of the ER docs talking about the "beautiful woman syndrome."  I've never heard of that before.  What is it?

A:  Remember the old Avis Rent-A-Car ad slogan?  "We're Avis.  We're #2.  We try harder."  Well, based on my observations and the collective observations of millions of men, we've concluded that women who think they're beautiful don't try as hard as other women.  While there are exceptions, many beautiful women coast through life on their looks alone.  Here are some symptoms of the "beautiful woman syndrome" (BWS):

• Lack of personal and intellectual development.  In spite of their lackluster personalities and tendency toward insipid speech, men still speak with BWS women because, well, men are men.  I once dated a woman who had a terminal case of BWS, and she bored me to tears.  Her repertoire of conversation topics was very limited, and I cannot recall even one interesting thing that she ever said.  After I belatedly realized that she had nothing to offer except her looks, I resolved to never again date a BWS woman.

• Tendency to treat less-attractive people as members of an inferior species.

• Failure to appreciate the attributes of less-attractive people.  Seemingly, BWS women think that the one supremely laudable attribute is physical appearance (or money in the case of a potential spouse), and the remaining attributes in other people are given short shrift.

• Predisposition to overestimate their intelligence and other attributes.  I suppose I shouldn't fault them for this, because scientific research has substantiated that just about everyone thinks that more attractive people are smarter, more capable, and so on.

• Tendency to believe that the Constitution of the United States guarantees them a wonderful life.

• Aversion to hard/dirty/unpleasant physical work (and often hard work of any sort).

In case I've provoked the ire of some of my beautiful female readers, I should reiterate that some beautiful women aren't afflicted with BWS.

See www.bwsyndrome.com for a more in-depth discussion of the beautiful woman syndrome, including suggested ways of responding to it.

A paradox about dating?

Q:  I have an unusual question for you, doc.  I'm a 26-year-old guy who discovered an apparent paradox about dating.  Namely, I've noticed that women who are beautiful and very intelligent like me a lot more than women who are equally beautiful but not so bright.  Wouldn't it be more logical to expect that the smart beauties, since they have more to offer, should be more picky?  Instead, the opposite seems to be true.  Jeff

A:  I've noticed the same thing, Jeff.  It does appear to be a genuine paradox since a woman with brains and beauty has more attributes than women with just beauty.  I've never had any luck dating women who aren't smart.  I'm bored out of my mind by people who can't intelligently discuss a wide range of subjects.  I don't mean to imply that I go on dates expecting that our conversation will sound like an academic summit, but in my mind a relationship has to be more than just breezy conversation about insipid topics and some romping in the bedroom after that.

To answer your question and attempt to explain the paradox, it may be that the beautiful but not very smart women are just seeking their own level, so to speak.  That's the charitable explanation.  On the other hand, those women may be more picky because their lack of brainpower allows them to delude themselves into magnifying the degree to which they think their looks are an asset.  In other words, they're unjustifiably stuck-up.

Philandering doc in hot water

Q:  I had an affair with one of my patients, and she is now pregnant and threatening to turn me in unless I marry her.  I'm married and have four children, so that is easier said than done.  I have an appointment in a few days to see an attorney, but I was wondering if you have any practical advice for me.

A:  One of the ER docs with whom I used to work was involved in a somewhat similar circumstance.  He got a patient pregnant and, a few years later from what I surmised, she asked him for help supporting their child.  Seems fair enough to me.  He evidently didn't accede to her demands (which I think were just monetary, not a demand for marriage), so she turned him in to the State Board of Medicine, which revoked his license.  The moral of the story is that if you're a doctor and wish to continue practicing medicine, you'd better yield to the demands of any patients you're boinking.  Look at the bright side:  when your wife finds out (as she inevitably will), she will probably divorce you anyway, but she can't turn her discontent with you into a threat to have your medical license revoked.  Oh, she could spill the beans about your sordid affair to the Board of Medicine, but she'd be an idiot to do that because you'd be permanently unemployed (or just flipping burgers) thereafter.  She'll want to get a piece of you for child support and possibly alimony, too, so you can count on her silence unless she's a real bimbo.

I'm guessing that the patient is probably younger and prettier than your wife, and judging from your behavior your wife evidently doesn't mean that much to you, so I doubt that it'll break your heart to get divorced.  I'm sure your wife will be distraught, but she's sure to be hurt whether you get a divorce or not.  Your patient will be happy that you've come to your senses and now see things her way, and marrying her will be the best thing for the child you fathered.  So, on your infidelity scorecard, by marrying the patient you're better off, she's better off, your unborn baby is better off, and your wife will likely hate you whatever you do, so it's a wash with her.  Who did I leave out?  Oh, yes, your first four children!  Hmm, that's a tough call.  Are they better off with a dad who is always around but can't support them, or with a dad who sees them less often but can support them?  Perhaps the best thing for them is that you keep your current job so they aren't destitute, but you make time to see them very frequently so as to minimize the disruption in their lives.  Your new wife probably isn't an ogre (she picked you, didn't she?), so she will probably understand your need to spend time with your other children.

PS:  Was she worth it?

Overcoming racism

Q:  I was recently promoted to a job in which I will have a great deal of contact with the public, primarily in unscripted, impromptu events.  I hate to admit this, but I grew up in a racist family and some of their viewpoints rubbed off on me.  I fear that I may someday slip up and say something biased, or that may be perceived as being biased (as Rush Limbaugh did that led to his sports commentator resignation).  I spoke with a psychologist about this, hoping that there would be some easy “fix,” but she said there wasn't.  She said that long-term counseling might help, but she couldn't promise anything.  Do you have any suggestions, Dr. Pezzi?

A:  Yes.  If you are motivated enough to desire change, you are motivated enough to do this:  just put yourself in the other person's shoes.  Imagine that you were born something other than a Caucasian.  Now imagine how much you would resent it if someone devalued you just because you weren't “white.”  Wouldn't that bother you, and rightfully so?

Q:  Yes it would, and thank you for your insightful suggestion.  In five short sentences, you gave me a surprisingly effective technique.  I initially thought it was too simplistic, but then I realized how it really cut to the heart of the problem.  I now “put myself in other's shoes” several times per day, and I can honestly say that it seems to be erasing my bias and not just covering it up.  When I now hear someone make a racist remark in a situation where it is evident that the animosity has no justification, I think how stupid that person is for letting skin color “color” their opinion.  Out of curiosity, how did you conceive of this idea?

A:  I can't recall when I first thought of it, but it is broadly applicable to many situations besides racial bias.  For example, I've noticed that beautiful women are inclined to possess an attitude of superiority that leads them to think that they're better than others just because they're beautiful.  Not all beautiful women are that way, but it certainly isn't rare.  Anyone who has worked in the ER knows how ephemeral beauty can be:  here now, but gone in a flash.  Car accidents, burns, gunshot wounds, and other injuries can instantly transform a stunning beauty into an ugly duckling.  I can only imagine how doubly traumatizing that must be for women who once viewed homely people as being members of an inferior species.

Did the World Trade Center victims suffer?

Q:  I hope you don't think my question is too morbid, Dr. Pezzi, but I've been wondering if the people felt any pain when the #µ¢*!#& kamikazes flew those jets into the World Trade Center?  Matt

A:  Believe it or not, but I've been asked the "did he/she suffer?" question many times in the ER.  It didn't take me long to realize that the relatives wanted to hear there had been no suffering. Even though I'm adamantly opposed to lying, I think this is clearly a special case in which it's better to lie than to unnecessarily add to the suffering of the surviving relatives. What possible good could result from admitting that their death had, indeed, been agonizing? On occasion, when I thought it was obvious — even to a layperson — that the patient suffered, and that no one would believe me if I said otherwise, I'd concoct a story to make it seem plausible that the suffering had been slight.

However, in the case of the September 11, 2001 WTC savagery, I think that facing the cold, hard facts can have a positive effect:  namely, to strengthen our resolve to combat the scourge of terrorism.  With that in mind, I'll answer your question forthrightly.  The people killed in the building collapses must have suffered terribly from anywhere from a split-second to several seconds (and perhaps much longer, in a few cases).  There is simply no way for such a building collapse to produce a painless death.  In the case of the people in the two jets, they also felt unimaginable pain, but it was very fleeting.  Ditto for the ones who jumped from the buildings.

Q:  Thanks for answering my question.  I'm curious, though, about how you know?  Matt

A:  Knowing anatomy, neurology, physiology, and physics, it is a simple problem of mathematics to deduce whether or not a pain stimulus arrived at the brain before it was destroyed.

Prospective nursing student wants to wed a doc, but is worried about the competition

Q:  I'm thinking of becoming a nurse, but not for the usual altruistic reasons.  I want to marry a doctor, and I think that by constantly schmoozing with docs I'm sure to find one to marry.  It's not that I lack self-confidence or anything (most guys think I'm really hot), but I wonder how much competition I'll have from other nurses.  Are most of them married to doctors, too?  Ashley

A:  No.  In my career I've met hundreds, perhaps thousands, of nurses, and I can think of only a few who were married to doctors.  The vast majority weren't single, so from that I concluded that nurses tend to marry early.  Therefore, from those two observations, I'd have to say that if you have your heart set on marrying a doctor, you'll probably have your wish fulfilled.

ContactMeFree is a dream come true for anyone involved in online dating. If you have your profile posted on a personals site but don't pay for a membership, you know how limited you are in terms of being able to send or receive messages. You probably assume that those limitations disappear if you pay for a membership. Guess what? You are still far more limited than you realize. Frankly, if you knew how limited you were, you would be furious that the personals site was charging you $20 to $50 per month and still keeping the shackles on you! The person who created ContactMeFree was so outraged by those limitations that he decided to do something about it. So he did!

You know that writer's block you get when you sit down to write the essay portion of your personal profile for online dating? And you know the difficulty you have trying to think of a catchy headline? Well, MyProfileWriter allows you to create a profile essay and headline without typing, just by clicking!

She believes in traditional Western medicine.  Her boss does not.  Should she speak up?
How to deal with a person who thinks God is an MD
Must a pre-med major be in science?
MCAT advice

Q:  Hey Dr. Pezzi,
First let me tell you that I have read all your books and enjoyed every page of them.  I'm sure you were a wonderful ER doc when you were in that line of work, and that you did well by as many patients as you could.  I'm writing to you because I'm having a problem dealing with some people that I work with who are strong advocates of alternative medicines.  Personally, I'm skeptical of such medicines and make my feelings known when ever possible.  I've had a long history with Western Medicines and found that they have saved my life on more than one occasion.  I was born three months prematurely in 1981 and am alive and doing well today thanks to the care of many excellent doctors and health care workers.  Right now I'm finishing my freshman year in college and am hoping to one day join the ranks of the healthcare profession myself so that I can give back to it all that it has given to me over my 21 years of life.  In fact, just yesterday I was in the ER with an asthma attack.  The staff were wonderful, caring people who got me on my way after four hours of monitoring and IV steroids.  I have had many experiences like this with Western medicine and have found that it works every time.

While I'm not anti-alternative medicine it's just not something I personally believe in.  If people want to practice it and think it will cure their health problems then I tend to think that it is up to them to decide what they want to do with their own lives and I choose not to speak my mind.  Anyway, here is my basic problem after a lot of irrelevant stuff which you probably didn't want to know about my life, but which does have a point in this, I swear!  This summer I'm working at an apartment building doing a job which I thought would be simple, since I'm only a freshman in college and not eligible for many internships in the medical setting.  My job consists of picking up phones, and making phone calls.  One of the people who runs this building is a strong believer in alternative medicines, so strong that he wants to set up a center for alternative medicine in the basement of his building.  He is having me make the phone calls on behalf of the building to try and interest people in the alternative medicine field in his project.  I don't believe in his philosophies, but because I'm doing a job I don't want to tell him what I think.  Should I say something about my feelings and strong belief in Western medicine?  Also, one of my co-workers is strongly opposed to medicine because of her religious beliefs.  Every time I have to see a doctor for something she tells me that I should, "Try asking God instead of going to a lot of doctors who won't help."  She keeps telling me that God will solve all my problems.  I have gotten angry with her about this several times and told her that I choose to see doctors, and that if she chooses to believe what she does that is her life and I won't try to change her views.  How should someone like me who is a strong believer in Western Medicine handle situations like this?  How can I best get a grip on myself when situations like this come up in everyday life?  If you have time I'd love to hear from you!  Thanks for taking the time to read this long e-mail and I hope to hear from you soon!  Olivia

A:  My opinion on the utility of alternative medicines has changed over the years. I wrote Fascinating Health Secrets at a time when I was most enamored with alternative approaches, but even then I cautiously embraced only a few such approaches, remaining skeptical and even scornful of the wacky stuff, like homeopathy. If I were to rewrite FHS today, I'd be even more selective in embracing non-traditional therapies. I still firmly believe in the natural approach to health, but that philosophy is based on healthy eating, exercise, avoiding pollution and other toxic chemicals whenever possible, etc.

Much of what falls under the rubric of alternative medicine is tantamount to voodoo, so I wonder how any intelligent person could swallow such bizarre beliefs hook, line, and sinker. Most likely, they're duped because they don't have enough scientific background to differentiate between what works, what might plausibly work, and what is clearly preposterous.

Q:  I don't believe in his philosophies, but because I'm doing a job I don't want to tell him what I think. Should I say something about my feelings and strong belief in Western medicine?

A:  Yes.

Re:  religion:

Religion is predicated on blind faith, since no one has any first-hand knowledge of whether God truly exists or, if so, whether the tenets of religion are an accurate reflection of God's wishes. Therefore, anyone who adamantly puts his or her faith in the ability of God to intervene is operating on the basis of faith, not logic. Hence, you cannot logically reason with such people. Oh, you can try, but you'd be wasting your breath. I think your approach was good:  to express your view that you choose to see physicians who have scientific reasons for doing what they do, while acknowledging that she possesses an opposing opinion that you won't try to change . . . because you're smart. :-)

Comment on the paragraph above: Some people read that and assumed that I was trying to deny the existence of God. This isn't true. I used to be an atheist, but no longer. My opinion changed for two very substantial reasons, which I've mentioned elsewhere. Importantly, my change in opinion was based on logic, not blind faith. However, I still remain skeptical of religion. This undoubtedly stems from my lack of exposure to it when I was young. Moreover, I think there is one central problem with all religions: Throughout history, people have believed in many different religions, worshipped many different Gods, and opined that people who believed in some other God or religion were utterly mistaken. So how can anyone claim that his or her religion is the "right" one, when countless billions of people living in the past and present would argue with you and say that their religion and God are the real ones? I don't know how to reconcile this schism. If anyone can suggest an objective way to settle this matter for once and for all, I would love to hear what you have to say. Convince me, and I will follow your religion.

Q:  I have more questions.  Do you think I need to major in science to get into med school?

A:  Not necessarily.  You can major in anything you wish as long as your fulfill the core requirements of the medical schools to which you'll apply.  I discussed this on my web site in this page:


Q:  Any ideas about how I can go into the healthcare field and have patient contact without going to med school?

A:  How about being a PA (Physician's Assistant) or Nurse Practitioner?

Q:  Any tips for the MCATs?  What are they like?

A:  It's a VERY fast-paced exam.  Take it as fast as you can while still being reasonably accurate and certain of your responses, but don't try to slow down enough to be absolutely sure of everything you answer since the exam stresses speed in addition to accuracy.  There's no use trying to correctly answer all the questions if you only get to half the questions before the exam is over.

New specialties?

Q:  Do you think there is a need for a new medical specialty, or do the current ones satisfactorily fulfill the needs of all patients?

A:  We definitely need new specialties.  Here are two that come to mind:

Eicosanoidologist:  a specialist in eicosanoids:  prostaglandins, thromboxanes, leukotrienes, and HETEs (hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid).  These substances mediate inflammation and other physiological processes.  They are just as important as hormones.  We already have endocrinology (the study of hormones) as a medical specialty, so why not eicosanoidology?  Most doctors have a very sketchy understanding of this subject, so there is certainly a need for it.  Name just about anything that matters to people, from breathing to having a great sex life, and eicosanoids are intimately involved.  That is why I discussed aspects of this subject in Fascinating Health Secrets and The Science of Sex:  Enhancing Sexual Pleasure, Performance, Attraction, and Desire.

Optimizologist:  a specialist in optimizing health.  Some doctors may think they already do this, but they're wrong.  The focus of medicine is on treating diseases, not optimizing health.  Although it is convenient to classify people as either diseased or healthy, that arbitrary designation does not accurately reflect reality.  The reality is that there is a continuum of health, from very sick to sick to not sick to feeling fairly good to feeling great, and everything in between.  Doctors spend their time ministering to people in the first two categories.  Should people be content with just feeling OK?  I don't think so.

Is space exploration a good investment?
Could the Columbia tragedy have been averted?
Why don't bureaucrats pay for their mistakes?

Q:  I am writing a report on NASA, conveniently just after the explosion of the Columbia Space Shuttle.  I have two questions for you.  Do you think space exploration is a good investment?  Do you think NASA could have done anything to prevent the Columbia tragedy?  Thanks, Brad

A:  I don't doubt that space exploration has fueled scientific discovery, but the question is, "At what cost?"  People who cheerlead for the space program (such as the legions of retired astronauts who come out of the woodwork after every space disaster) are fond of pointing out that certain experiments are feasible only in outer space.  The media pundits who interview them never ask the obvious question, which is whether or not that research provides benefits that exceed what a comparable expenditure might reap with Earth-based experiments.  I don't know the cost multiplier for doing an experiment in space as opposed to on the ground, but I'd guess it is at least several hundred to thousands of times as expensive to experiment in space.  Given that money does not grow on trees, there is a limited amount of money for scientific research.  Considering how costly space experiments are, performing a study in space effectively cancels hundreds or thousands of experiments on Earth.  Consequently, it is simplistic to merely point out the lessons learned from space experimentation.  Sure, we've learned things, but what haven't we learned because we did not have the money to fund all research?  Furthermore, the benefits of space exploration have tapered off.  In the early days of the space program, there were clearly definable advances.  Now we're just treading water and rehashing what we've already done many times.  The Space Shuttle goes up.  The Space Shuttle comes down.  Our lives go on, unchanged.

In regard to whether NASA could have done anything to prevent the Columbia tragedy, I think the answer is yes.  At the present time, about a day after Columbia turned into a fireball over the southwestern United States, it appears that the catastrophic failure was due to a loss of heat shield tiles that were damaged soon after takeoff when they were struck with debris.  NASA administrators apathetically said that the Shuttle has no capability for either inspecting or repairing tile damage.  Knock, knock, hello Mr. Administrators, why the heck not?  Even before the first Shuttle mission a couple decades ago, there was grave concern about how well the tiles would adhere, and what would happen if they did not.  Subsequent tile problems underscored the fact that tile robustness was an ongoing Achilles' heel that was bound to end in disaster.  This isn't hindsight:  I, and others, knew it decades ago.  Still, NASA sat on its hands and took the ostrich approach to solving problems.  Considering how they dealt with this problem (inexplicably, their engineers somehow convinced themselves that the tile loss on the Columbia was no safety hazard, even though it involved tiles on the bottom and leading edge of the left wing), I wouldn't be surprised if NASA relies on rabbit feet for good luck charms.

Since tiles were a known problem, providing no capability for in-flight repair was harebrained.  Astronauts have performed spacewalks before and tinkered outside their spacecraft, so why not provide a tether so they could go beyond the cargo bay doors of the Columbia, which was their limit of reach?  Yes, I know that the tiles on the Space Shuttle are unique and it isn't feasible to carry a complete set of backup tiles, but they could carry tile "blanks" that could be shaped onboard the Shuttle as needed.  In my mind, the failure of the NASA brass to provide for tile repair was malpractice, but will you ever see them being personally sued for their malfeasance?

Although you did not ask this question, I think it is timely to ask if we are going too far with technology.  It provides undeniable benefits, but also undeniable risks.  On one hand, I love the benefits of technology and I am probably the last person in the world you would suspect of being a technological Luddite.  However, not everyone is as enamored with technology as I am, and some people think that the risks outweigh the benefits.  Currently, those people are in the minority, but I think that more people would change their minds if they contemplated this matter rather than just going with the flow.

On television this weekend, I heard people trying to minimize the impact of the astronaut's deaths by saying that they died doing something they loved.  I understand the human need to soften the blow of tragedy, but on the other hand I think such a platitude lets the NASA brass off the hook too easily.  Had the Columbia crew been annihilated by an impact with a meteoroid, I would be satisfied with a cliché like "they died doing something they loved."  Space travel is risky, and that is one of the hazards of it that is foreseeable but not easily preventable.  In contrast, tile problems are both foreseeable and correctable.  Thus, it is inexcusable to not provide for in-flight repair.  To borrow a phrase popularized by Vice-President Cheney, the NASA administrators screwed up "big time."  Bureaucrats are rarely punished for their mistakes, but I think it is time to usher in a new tradition and introduce them to the concept of responsibility.  If we punish them, big time, future bureaucrats might not be so lackadaisical.

I also witnessed people, ranging from the President on down, triumphantly pronouncing that the space program will continue.  Such a bold proclamation seems to be something that a leader would say.  It seems resolute, and therefore admirable.  But is it?  Or is the impetus to continue the space program based more on the momentum of the project and an entrenched constituency rather than identifiable benefits?  I'm all for scientific research but, as I mentioned above, I don't go gaga over the discoveries made possible by the space program because every space research program effectively cancels many Earth-based programs.

I think it is wise to periodically reassess whether money spent on government programs might be better spent elsewhere.  Like most Americans, I was once an ardent supporter of the space program.  However, I now think that we would be better served if the billions spent every year on NASA were instead devoted to enhancing Homeland Security or some other pressing need.

Epilogue:  Every time I turn around, I hear about a bureaucrat bungling something and, of course, getting away with it.  When I took a break while writing this to eat breakfast, I turned the radio on and heard that Michigan is slated to lose $1,000,000 in federal aid because some Michigan bureaucrat decided to exempt non-English speaking children from the requirement to take the MEAP educational assessment exam, thus violating the "no child left behind" federal law.  If you or I made a million-dollar mistake at work, we'd be punished.  Big time.  But not bureaucrats.  They're immune, and our willingness to give them a pass makes future mistakes more likely because they know they can slack off and get away with it.

Update February 3, 2003:  Regarding my statement about how "the Shuttle has no capability for either inspecting or repairing tile damage."  I just learned that NASA has this capability, but the tile repair kit and equipment were not taken along on this flight.  Perhaps we should put a Boy Scout in charge of NASA.  Remember their motto?  Always be prepared.

Update February 5, 2003: 
I just heard a radio talk show host justifying the space program.  In support of it, he mentioned several inventions that were offshoots of it, including Zip-Lock bags and cordless phones.  How ridiculous!  To begin with, those are hardly major inventions; I've invented more impressive things, and I didn't need a hundred billion dollars to develop them.  Second, we did not need to go into space to invent those things.  Third, the technology behind cordless phones is old, predating the space program.  Essentially, it involves coupling a two-way radio with a telephone.  This might be an impressive achievement for a high school student in a Science Fair, but for a professional engineer, making such a device is utterly simple.  Fourth, all of the supposedly amazing technologies for the space program were created here, on good ol' Earth.  The space program may have been an inspiration for those products, but if there was a need for them on Earth, they would have been created anyway.

Update July 3, 2019: Four surprising technological innovations that came out of the Apollo moon landings (yawn)

Cat crisis
Prolactin stimulating maternal behavior

Q:  My cat Tigger delivered kittens last night, but she doesn't want to stay with them.  I am afraid the kittens will die.  What should I do?  My Mom called our veterinarian, but couldn't reach him.  I know you're a doctor and not a vet, but I've read your web site before (I am an ER fan) and I know that you are nice enough to help people with all sorts of questions.  Can you please help me?  Anna

A:  Try rubbing Tigger's belly.

Q:  Oh my God, it worked!  My Mom and I are curious about how that could change
Tigger's behavior.  Would you please explain it?

A:  There is some evidence in humans that prolactin can stimulate maternal behavior.  Breast stimulation is known to trigger prolactin release.  Thus, by rubbing her belly, this increases prolactin, which affects behavior . . . at least in humans.  I know very little about cats, but animal physiology is often remarkably similar to human physiology.

Q:  Thank you again!  I am going to name one of the cats after you, Kevin.

A:  A cat named Kevin?  It doesn't seem to fit.  How about calling him Doc?

Q:  OK, that's a cute and unusual name for a cat.  If anyone asks, I will have fun explaining how he got his name!  :-)

Repairing a damaged ceramic glass stovetop by using ferric chloride

Q:  I think I ruined my ceramic glass stovetop while using a pan with a copper bottom.  Normally, that works fine, but I forgot that I was cooking something when my daughter was injured playing in our yard.  When I returned to the kitchen an hour later and removed the pan, there was a gray-black ring on the cooking surface under the pan.  I tried removing it with the cleaner supplied with the stove, but hours of scrubbing did virtually nothing.  It appears as if some metal from the pan's bottom actually fused or melted into the ceramic glass surface.  Whatever it is, it is so hard that even a razor blade won't remove it.  I spoke to my appliance dealer and the manufacturer, and received the same advice:  the ceramic glass surface is ruined (cosmetically, at least), and can only be repaired by buying and installing a new one.  I apologize that this isn't a medical question, but from reading your web site it is obvious that you're smarter than the average bear and quite knowledgeable about a wide range of subjects, so I thought I'd write to you for advice.  Can you help me?  Linda

A:  Yes.  You can easily remove the material by using an aqueous solution of ferric chloride (FeCl3).  This is available from Radio Shack (their part number is 276-1535).  Pour a small amount (about an ounce) onto the ceramic glass gray-black ring and smear it using paper towel and wearing rubber gloves.  Now go out shopping for a few hours (or do something else fun) while the ferric chloride does its work.  When you return, wipe off the ferric chloride with more paper toweling.  You may need to repeat this process a couple times if the metallic gray-black ring is relatively thick.  Once the stain is gone, wipe off the ferric chloride residue using several sheets of paper towel moistened with water, then dry.  You will notice something that seems miraculous:  your beautiful ceramic glass cooking surface!

Follow-up from Linda:  Thank you so much, Dr. Pezzi.  It worked!  I never thought I would see that surface again!  That grayish-black ring had been on there for months, and I'd used the stove many times afterward.  Therefore, I thought that if any metal was bonded to the surface, after months of cooking on it, it would be permanently fused to the surface!  But now not even a trace remains, and the stovetop looks like new . . . amazing!

Why do women achieve less than men even though they possess comparable intelligence?

Q:  Have you ever thought about the differences between men and women?  Specifically, I refer to the fact that while women have the same IQ as men, they seem to do rather little with it and must therefore have fundamentally different motivations in life.  I want the truth, not feminist dogma!  Anna
A:  Nothing like a hot potato topic to inflame half my readers . . . .  Let me preface my comments by saying that I would not have the courage to broach this contentious subject had you not been a woman who, I think, fundamentally agrees with me on this matter.  Obviously, some women are very intelligent and successful in their careers, but the range of their demonstrated abilities seems to me to be narrower than those of men.  That comment might infuriate some people, so I will back it up with facts.  Let's confine this discussion to non-workplace activities because some women possess advanced degrees, such as an MD — but so do I.  What female and male physicians do at work is comparable, but to get at the heart of your question, it is revealing to see what women do in their off hours.  I've never known a woman who did any of these things:
Invent a new printhead that is small and lightweight and uses very little power and is easily fabricated and is economical to manufacture (i.e., cost < 1¢) and does not require complex interface circuitry and has a long life and is capable of producing excellent graphs.
Fix a furnace.
Make a robotic lawn mower that is far more sophisticated than the ones now on the market, which just wander aimlessly.  By "sophisticated," I mean mowing in perfectly straight rows, knowing just where every row was, turning itself around at just the right time, possessing a variety of accident-avoidance sensors, compensating for the growth of trees, bagging the grass and dumping it (in a bag, nonetheless) at a predefined location and knowing how to return to the exact spot it left off before it detoured to dump the full bag of grass.
Develop a new technique of fractional multiplication.
Develop two ways to achieve radar transparency.
Make a beautiful hand-carved door from scratch.
Make spectacular cupolas from scratch.
Build sheds that are actually attractive works of art, not the usual backyard eyesores.
Do a substantial portion of building a house, from clearing hundreds of trees on the building site with a chainsaw to nailing up the last piece of trim.
Make a custom candy bar that looks as if it was produced in a factory.
Invent things that would terrorize terrorists and make burglars wish they'd chosen an honest way to make a living.

Invent a device that would trick rapists and other thugs into killing themselves.
Design and b
uild the following from scratch (not from a kit):  a snowmobile, a motorized toboggan, a radio-controlled snowmobile, a copying machine, several electronic stethoscopes, an echophonocardiograph with integral electronic stethoscope, a Trauma Scope, an invasive metal detector, several intubation detectors that differentiate esophageal versus tracheal intubation, a noninvasive cardiac output monitor, a new type of finger splint, a histographic accelerometer, an automatic TV/Radio volume control that compensates for ambient noise, an automatic TV/Stereo sound muter triggered by an incoming or outgoing phone call or a doorbell ring, a telephone call counter, shock absorbers, a new type of spring, a log bandsaw, several bug killers, a sound-proof booth, a new drill bit, an innovative workbench, new toys, and a simple device that reduces energy consumption while improving the performance of electrical appliances.
Invent a new type of beautiful flooring, umpteen security devices, a new ladder, a ladder stabilizer, numerous safety devices, exercise machines, an innovative flotation device, new methods of propulsion, a new cheese wrapper, an economical automated home auto washer, a new nozzle that improves the efficacy of car washing (or washing similar things), innovative storage devices, a new studfinder, a way to protect wires and pipes embedded in walls during subsequent nailing or screwing into the wall, a speed monitor so parents can verify that their adolescent children ever exceed a preset limit (a great way to dissuade them from doing it, since you could threaten to suspend or revoke their driving privileges if they do), a way to conceal acne blemishes in seconds without cosmetics, and a beautiful new type of home siding.
Make a jig that allows slatwall to be installed faster and with incredible precision.
Learn more about sex than Dr. Ruth . . . want proof? I also discovered something that seems to be impossible, which is how an adult male can increase the size of his penis without surgery or the usual methods that work poorly or not at all.
Discover how to lose weight without dieting, drugs, herbs, exercise, or surgery.

Think of a new way to accelerate meat cooking in ovens without raising the temperature or using convection.

Invent a simple device that makes old out-of-tune non-electronic ignition engines spring to life.

Think of a way to accelerate plant growth without using fertilizer, chemicals, or water.

Invent a new way to harness enormous amounts wind energy inexpensively.

Invent devices that would reduce the risk of transmitting venereal diseases while increasing sexual pleasure.  Hence, people would be more willing to use them (unlike condoms), thus potentially saving millions of lives.  (I discuss this in The Science of Sex.)
Make a device that allows your car radio to instantly tune to a weather station even if it cannot receive the weather broadcasts that are transmitted on frequencies outside the AM and FM broadcast bands.
Develop a way to make possible spot reduction (e.g., on hips, thighs, or "love handles") or spot enlargement (e.g., on breasts).
Figure out how to make a ROM (Read-Only Memory) chip behave as if it were a complete computer.
Invent a new "chip" that integrates voltage.
Make a combination lock whose combination cannot be forgotten by its owner, even if he has Alzheimer's disease.
Make an EKG circuit that costs less than an order of fries at McDonald's.
Make devices that make it safer for people with chronic medical problems (such as diabetes, seizures, or heart disease) to live alone.
Take those ubiquitous free CD's from AOL and turn them into an engine, fan, or pump, or other useful things.
Invent a new type of wheel that performs better than any wheel you've ever seen, and does things that would make an engineer's jaw drop in utter amazement.
Think of a way to make a complete circuit using no return wire.  (Ever notice how even the simplest circuits have at least two wires? Even if you just hook a light bulb to a battery, you need one wire to carry current to the light bulb from the negative terminal of the battery, and one wire to return the current to the positive terminal of the battery.)
Think of a way to make a snowmobile with zero inches of suspension travel give a smoother ride than the latest models with long-travel (10" to 16") suspensions.

Think of three ways to reduce or eliminate skidding when cars travel on ice (other than the obvious:  studded car tires).

Think of three new ways to minimize impact deceleration (and therefore minimize the risk of injuries) in vehicle accidents.
Make a tool that can thread a hole from the inside out.
Take an engine that doesn't work, and make it run better than the day it came out of the factory.
Write a few books . . . or even just one book.

Think of a way to charge capacitors faster than the theoretical maximum dictated by the capacitor's time constant.

Invent a way to reduce static received by AM radios during thunderstorms.
Think of a way to automate data exchange during telephone orders.
Or, for the ultimate challenge, p
rogram a VCR.  :-)

So who did all of those things?  Hillary Clinton, the so-called "smartest woman in the world"?  No.  How about Marilyn Vos Savant, who also claims to be the smartest woman in the world?  No.  It was me, a guy who was once chided by his sixth-grade teacher for being "slow."  So if a one-time idiot like me can leave the world's most intellectually elite women in the dust when it comes to actually doing things, then that doesn't say much for women.  By the way, the above list is far from complete, and it doesn't include some of my best ideas, for reasons that should be obvious.  In answering your question, I thought it was timely to review my inventions and projects I've worked on.  I read through tens of thousands of pages, and compiled a partial synopsis that was over 300 pages long.  (Now do you know why it took me so long to respond to your question?)

One of my female friends suggested that the capabilities and achievements of women are often less than men because of different cultural expectations and exposure to experiences that may teach valuable lessons, such as fixing an engine, washing machine, or furnace.  If a father did any of those activities, he would be far more likely to recruit a son to help him than a daughter.  I don't think this is the sole explanation because it fails to explain why people, such as myself, who grew up without fathers have learned to do a thousand things besides their occupation.  So why can't women do those things, too?  I have a friend in Switzerland, Sandra, whose amazingly diverse talents include the ability to fix a diesel engine.  But she is as rare as a dodo bird.  I've known some women with genius-level IQs, but none besides Sandra had any noteworthy diversity of capabilities.

If any feminists read this, they're probably wishing they could skewer me.  Instead of hearing their protestations that women's capabilities are as diverse as men, I'd love to hear some evidence of this.  I don't think that I am especially talented at cooking, baking, or sewing, but I can do those things far better than any woman I've ever dated.  I can make cinnamon rolls from scratch that make cinnamon rolls from a bakery seem as bland as Styrofoam.  So why is it so difficult for men to find women whose culinary talents extend beyond tossing two eggs and a cup of milk into a Pillsbury cake mix?  Are today's women so averse to "women's work" that many men can now do women's work better than they can?

To me, one of the great mysteries of life is what single, childless women do with their free time.  About a year ago, an impertinent medical student wrote to me and suggested that she was as talented as me because she wrote one song and could play the violin.  I've written several songs (one of which I've sung on the radio at the behest of the show hosts), and I could make a robot that could play the violin and make delicious cinnamon rolls even without using a technological crutch such as a microprocessor.  And I could do — and have done — a thousand other things.  Yet she is more talented?  Are they giving med students LSD these days?

Nowadays, it is politically correct to say that women are superior to men.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Sean Hannity loves to insinuate that men are clueless knuckle-dragging morons in comparison to women.  Are we?  Look at the world around you, and think of the million and one inventions and scientific breakthroughs that made this world possible.  Why has 99% of this world been created by men, not women?  My brother is fond of saying that if we depended on women for technological advancement, we'd still be living in huts and crying when babies died of appendicitis instead of having the capability to intervene.

Sure, raising children is time-consuming and bound to detract from the ability of women to create things.  But why aren't women filling the world with their inventions before they have kids, or after they head off to college?  Or what about women who remain childless?  What's their excuse?

Believe it or not, but I'm not a misogynist.  The vast majority of my friends are women.  They're either smart or very smart.  They're kind.  They're fun.  Some are witty.  All are interesting.  But none have accomplished even 1% of what I've done in my free time, and I wonder, "Why not?"

Instead of engaging in politically correct rhetoric and repeatedly chanting how superior women are, à la Sean Hannity*, I think it would be more productive to analyze why women have so much unfulfilled potential.  Estrogen obviously does not lower IQ, but does it decimate initiative and a resolute determination to never give up until success is achieved?  Even though more than a few men are couch potatoes, men have collectively accomplished much more than women.  Again, why?  (*Message to Sean:  do you truly believe this preposterous assertion?  Or are you just trying to curry favor with your female listeners?  If your wife is so superior to you, as you've said many times, then why isn't she on the radio?)

I have no ulterior motive in discussing this topic.  I don't want to hold women back.  I would love to see them tap their potential and do as much with it as men have, or even more.  However, I'm not holding my breath.  Women are so sacrosanct that it is usually taboo to broach the subject of why there is such a huge disparity between what they could do and what they've actually done.  It would be instructive to analyze why this is true.  If a reason could be found, a remedy might be obvious.  However, if this problem is swept under the rug, as it usually is, it will remain forever unsolved.

In pondering this subject, I wondered what might explain why women are squandering their potential.  In my opinion, few women know what it means to really try.  Sure, they might expend a lot of effort when someone else has paved the way for them and provided them with a roadmap for success (such as in school), but when they're left on their own to solve a novel problem, they'll give up unless it can be solved in five minutes without breaking a sweat.  They're inclined to prematurely deem problems insolvable or just too arduous.  In contrast, I don't think there is anything I can't do.  I never give up.  I've been working on one supremely challenging problem for over 20 years.  I am not daunted by difficulty.  Most of my inventions come to me in a flash, but others are the product of years of investigation and analysis.

Even apart from intellectual pursuits, I think many women have a dearth of gumption and drive.  When I think of the enormous amount of work that I put into building my house and improving my land, I can't think of any woman who has done anything remotely comparable.  Some of this was backbreaking labor that is physically impossible for most women, but most of it required neither brains nor brawn.  I moved a few hundred tons of brush while clearing my building site and working on my acreage, one stick at a time.  I've seen women rake a few leaves, but move a million branches?  Never.

So why don't women do this?  Ah, now we're getting to the heart of the matter.  Women don't do it because they don't have to.  Using their God-given talents, they can make men do just about anything.  Men traditionally assume riskier occupations and activities because protecting women comes natural for us.  If I was married and had a tree that needed to be felled, would I let my wife do it?  Never.  I'd get out my chainsaw and do it, even though I know the death rate for logging is 1.25% per year.  That makes police work seem as safe as being an Avon lady.

I don't know what to think of men.  Are we gallant protectors of women?  Or are we suckers who are duped by women into doing the dangerous, dirty work, after which we are denigrated as being clueless knuckle-dragging morons who are inferior to women?  I don't think the latter gloomy explanation is the best one.  Even if women weren't around, I'd still be busy as a beaver creating things and making this world a better place.  I am mystified that women are usually content to sit back and let men do most of the work that advances the world.  Wouldn't we have a better world if women were as innovative as men?  Of course.

Why don't women experience the same impetus to do things, instead of sitting around and doing whatever it is that they spend their time doing?  I think that women are too easily lauded and coddled, and that reduces their incentive.  A woman could have a pretty face, big boobs, or great legs, and that alone could be her ticket to success in life.  Successful men trip over themselves in their eagerness to make such women their wives.  So why should these women even lift a finger?  The answer is obvious:  many women don't try because they don't have to.  They coast while men are sprinting.  Men don't wait around for attractive women to sweep them off their feet and shower them with money, gifts, and a house.  Except for a minority of women who are true go-getters, most women seem to cruise around in neutral until they find a financially secure man who can give them things.  Women, stop howling.  You know it's true, and virtually every psychologist who studied this issue knows that it is a fact.  Heck, anyone with a room-temperature IQ knows it:  women want financially secure men.  If those women were financially secure and could bring just as much to the table, so to speak, they wouldn't let economics influence their spousal selection.  Instead, they'd marry for love and only love, as almost every man does.

Yes, some women consult only their heart, and not a financial balance sheet or a guesstimate of a man's future earnings, when deciding whom they should marry.  However, so many women put finances into the equation that this has become a truism and a central facet of our culture.  It's also one reason why men are so interested in financial success, because they know that will enable them to obtain a "better" spouse.  In fact, Newsweek magazine just ran an article in their June 16, 2003 edition on why we strive for status.  The article included two pictures of the same man.  In one picture, he was elegantly dressed in a suit and tie; in the other, he wore slightly tattered overalls and looked like a typical furnace repairman.  Turn the page, and there is a 20-something man dressed in a suit and then in attire representative of what workers wear in fast-food restaurants.  Women who are beautiful enough to be choosy are more likely to pick the man in the suit.  Perhaps he is a doctor, lawyer, or CEO.  Whatever he is, women are sending him and other men a clear message:  if you have money and status, you are so much more preferable to men who — eewww! — wear dirty overalls at work, or who work in burger joints.

So what is my point?  Women like nice things.  No surprise there.  If they are sufficiently attractive to make this an option, many women choose men who can give them what they want instead of earning it on their own.  Hence, if a woman is pretty, she doesn't have to try as hard as men.  Just coast and wait.  Let men toil away.  Why worry about fulfilling their potential and accomplishing things on their own?  Just go on a diet, wear a Wonder Bra, and the men will come.  With their stuff, of course.

I'd enjoy hearing from anyone who thinks she can prove me wrong, but remember that there are currently about three billion women in the world who are doing what their mothers and grandmothers did:  letting men do most of the innovation.  Are there a few exceptions?  Certainly.  While I'd enjoy reading about your personal achievements, I'd rather focus on why most women are frittering away their potential.

On to a related topic.  Besides frittering their potential, almost all of the single women I've known frittered away their money and had virtually nothing to show for their lifetime of work.  Most either lived with their parents or in an apartment, and had no appreciable assets.  You may be thinking, "That's easy for you to say, because you're a doctor."  Well, had I not become a doctor (and wasted over a decade in training), I'd have a heck of a lot more money than I do now.  Anyone who goes into medicine for monetary reasons is an absolute idiot.  If you put the same time and energy into other occupations, you could make a million dollars before you'd earned your first dollar as a doctor.  From a financial standpoint, the biggest mistake of my life was becoming a doctor.  Hence, a medical career is not a financial savior, it is a financial encumbrance that stymies the potential of people who have a lot of it.

In conclusion, I believe that a distressingly high percentage of women are content to fritter away their time and money until they find a Prince Charming who can give them those things.  It's not that women don't have potential.  They do.  It's not that women aren't smart.  They are.  In fact, the latest studies I've read on this matter documents that women do better than men in school (although there are, perhaps paradoxically, more male geniuses than female).  Furthermore, women are more likely than men to attend college.  So if women are more likely to obtain an advanced education and excel in it, why on Earth aren't women more innovative and productive?  Why is finding a good provider so important to them?  Why can't women be the ones showering men with stuff, instead of the other way around?  It's because our society inculcates an inimical message to women:  you have something that men want.  Use that as a quid pro quo to get what you want.  Too many women are waiting around for that stuff to fall in their lap, so they're not using their full potential to obtain those things on their own.  As a result, too many women are dependent upon men, and that fuels a vicious cycle in which women don't run at full throttle because they know that they'll get what they want even if they don't give a 100% effort.

In my opinion, the beautiful woman syndrome (see www.bwsyndrome.com) partially explains the chasm between the collective potential of women and the collective achievements of women. Incidentally, the beautiful woman syndrome is not a quantal thing: i.e., it is not something that is either fully present or absent; it can be present to varying degrees. In a culture like ours that overemphasizes the importance of appearance, it is not surprising that women are so susceptible to the beautiful woman syndrome. Attractive men are relatively insulated from this problem for a simple reason: the mark of a man is success, not appearance. A man can be handsome and still be considered a failure. If a woman is hot, countless men are eager to date her even if she is perennially unemployed and heavily in debt. A gorgeous woman could have a long list of negative attributes and still be rabidly sought after by men. To men, she is worth more than gold. Hence, she is a de facto winner, not a loser, regardless of what her credit rating is.

Because women can become winners without breaking a sweat, some of them won't try as hard as they otherwise would have if they were less attractive. This doesn't apply only to the "10s" with gorgeous faces, large breasts, tight abs, and great legs. If a woman has any standout feature, it's a sure bet that she will have her pick of endless men. Because great breasts or legs are much easier to acquire for the women blessed with the great genes that confer those assets, they can rocket ahead of other women in the race for success: just marry a successful man, or take advantage of society's proven tendency to give more money and opportunities to attractive women.

Thus there is a major discrepancy between the recipe for success in men and in women. With few exceptions, a man must work hard for years to become a success, while a woman can become an overnight success just by marrying a rich guy. How could she achieve that? By slaving away for 110 hours per week, as I did for many years? No, by having the luck to be born beautiful.

Bottom line: If success is so easy, why try so hard? This slacking off is what accounts for some of the failure of women to achieve as much as they could. I think that wasted potential is a tragedy, so the fact that so many millions of women have accomplished much less than they could have is one of the great tragedies of all time. Yet no one seems to care much about it. I would rather live in a world where women take more pride in their accomplishments than their beauty, but that's not the way things are. Men use success to get beauty; women use beauty to get success. When it comes time to burn the midnight oil, it's not very surprising who is more willing to go the extra mile. So who will achieve more? The answer is obvious.

UPDATE: The Oprah Winfrey Show recently teamed up with QVC to search for the "Next Big Idea." From a field of 6000 applicants, eight finalists were selected to appear on Oprah's May 3, 2007 show. I was dumbfounded by what I saw. All eight finalists were women (perhaps not too surprising, considering Oprah's thinly-veiled misandry), whose ideas included a fold-down baking pan, a vegetable peeler, a food item (a stuffed biscuit), a clip for hanging Christmas cards on wreaths, a plastic ball to assist in floral arrangements, decorative drapes for shutters (can you say, "just another craft project"?), a radio-controlled doodling toy, and an eye shadow applicator.

Ahem. Calling most of these things "inventions" isn't just a stretch, it is the "Next Big Stretch." Several of the ideas have been around for years, and the remainder are anything but the kind of great ideas you might expect from a pool supposedly representing the best ideas from 6000 entrants. Stick a knife into a biscuit and stuff some food inside—is that really an invention? I did that when I was a hungry kid looking for a snack at a time when I was "slow," according to my sixth-grade teacher. (This page explains how I went from dunce to doctor and later graduated in the top 1% of my class in medical school.)

The winning idea was the fold-down baking pan, invented by a woman supposedly desperate to find a better way to remove food from a pan. Sheesh, hasn't she heard of a frigging spatula, for heaven's sake? Instead, she concocted a maze of sheet metal that looked like it was designed by the same person who styled World War II-era ammunition containers. Her pan looked to be impossible to thoroughly clean without scrubbing for hours with various brushes to reach into its nooks and crannies. I love baking, and I love most baking gadgets if they serve a purpose and aren't more of a nuisance than they are worth, but I wouldn't use her fold-down baking pan if someone gave it to me. And that, my friends, was judged the best of the 6000 ideas. The "Next Big Idea"? No, the "Next Big Disappointment."

Friendships with patients?

Q:  Have you ever become friends with a patient?

A:  Yes.  The most memorable friendship began one night when a woman brought her child in after he’d fallen and bumped his head.  While waiting for the x-ray technician to warm up the CAT scanner, I was sitting around eating pizza with a nurse and another patient whom I’d invited for an artery-clogging late night snack.  After I showed Loni her child’s x-rays, she and I began talking.  I soon learned that she lived on the opposite side of the lake from me, but she was just up for the summer while her husband was in training downstate.  Coincidentally, she was also a friend of one of my friends, Bill, who lived on my street.  Small world.

A few days later Loni called me at home and asked if I would like to spend the day with her and her family at their beach house.  It sounded great to me, so I fired up my Sea-doo and headed over.  I had a wonderful time speaking with her and her brothers, all of whom were personable and intelligent.  Loni also introduced me to one of her friends from downstate, and Hannah and I began dating.

Over the course of the next few years Loni and I would get together whenever she was in the area.  I wondered why her husband was never around, but I didn’t broach this subject with Loni since it was none of my business.  Hannah explained to me that Loni’s husband liked to live his own life, and was not particularly interested in playing the role of husband or father.  Hannah claimed that Loni’s husband had arranged his schedule so that he would be out of the country while they were moving to another state.  As a result, Loni had to do all of the moving by herself, all the while tending to her young children.  Hannah said that Loni wouldn’t leave him because she had some "self-esteem issues."

I wondered, self-esteem issues?  Loni was very bright, a great conversationalist, and stunningly beautiful with a body that made most supermodels look like Plain Janes — and how she managed that after having two children, I’ll never know.  She seemed to exude self-confidence, and I found it difficult to believe that Hannah and I were discussing the same friend.  Nevertheless, there didn’t seem to be any point in continuing this gossip, so I let the matter drop.

Soon thereafter, I was at Loni’s beach house and we were enjoying a wide-ranging conversation after she’d put her children to bed for the night.  I was a bit uncomfortable because I was not dating Hannah any longer, and I knew that I was attracted to Loni.  Still, I was determined to keep this attraction a secret. From what seemed like out of the blue, Loni asked me if I’d like to have a glass of wine.

"Sure, if you’re having one," I answered.

"I am. I’d like a glass."

As we drank the wine I gave surprisingly little thought as to any of the possible connotations that may have been inferred from her invitation.  In fact, I was so paralyzed by my desire to camouflage my interest in her that it took me a few years for me to register the thought that her offer may have been an attempt to induce me into discarding my inhibitions which were shackling my personality.  But the thought of making a move on a married woman — even one who was reputedly in a distant marriage — was a consideration that I kept relegated to my daydreams.  I suppose it’s a testament to the strength of my friendship for her that I did not want to do anything that might jeopardize our relationship.

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

You will have sex about 10,000 times during your life.

Doesn't it make sense to read a book that can maximize your enjoyment, and the enjoyment you give to your partner?

Cast away your preconceptions of sex books as being a rehash of things you already know and hence a waste of time.  By reading this book, you will learn many things that Dr. Ruth and other sexologists have never considered.

The Science of Sex
Enhancing Sexual Pleasure, Performance, Attraction, and Desire

by Kevin Pezzi, MD

Available in printed and Adobe Acrobat e-book versions (will display on any computer)

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

Organize your garage beautifully.

If you want a beautiful garage that is easy to keep organized, see the GarageScapes web site:  www.GarageScapes.com.


Copyright © 1995 – 2011 by Kevin Pezzi, MD • Terms of use