So as today was Doctor's Day, NOT ONLY did we have free bacon for breakfast in the doctor's dining room (they love us to the extent that they want to keep us in business, I guess?) we also had a special lunch, which consisted, somewhat eclectically, of some kind of heat-lamp-incubated meat log, tilapia with mango (I know), and a falafel bar. So obviously--the falafel, right?
(Full-disclosure, I also did chip off a piece of the meat log. Come on, I'm not made of stone. MEAT. LOG.)
So I'm assembling my falafel when one of the radiologists I'm friendly with came up and pointed at the chick pea patties sitting in one of the steamer trays. "What's that?"
"Oh, I think that's for the falafal." And then, as some further explanation seemed to be required, I added, "For Doctor's Day."
"What's a falafel?" He replied innocently. And then he said something else, but I couldn't hear him because my head exploded.
"WHAT'S A FALAFEL?!" I repeated, after I had collected all my head pieces and reassembled in roughly the correct configuration with bioglue and an Kling wrap. "It's THAT. THAT is falafel. Fried chick pea patties. Cucumber tomato salad. Tahini. Pita bread. Please tell me you know what a falafel is." And then, like a very bad Pictionary player whose teammate clearly has no idea what is being represented, I just emphatically pointed to the food again. And maybe I screamed the word "FALAFEL!" a couple more times, just in case he hadn't heard me properly.
"I think...I'll get some of this fish," the radiologist finally said, which, I'm sorry to say, was not the correct response.
After this, I informally polled a handful of people in the anesthesia department, all natives of the South. None of them had ever even heard the word falafel before. So tell me, am I crazy? I know I grew up in New York and what's commonplace in New York is not commonplace in most other places, but I had always figured that falafel was just a ubiquitous American-adopted ethnic food, like pizza, or tacos. You know, when you walk down a street in New York, it goes like this: coffee cart, hot dog/pretzel cart, falafel cart, and that vendor that sells three dollar cell phone cases from Hong Kong. I didn't know people didn't eat falafels in the South! Which makes it all the more mystifying that they chose to serve it to us for Doctor's Day. Maybe it was the vegetarian option, and they figured no one would touch it anyway?
Now I also know not to go out clubbing really late and end up with a case of the 3:00am munchies, because where there is no falafel, there is certainly no schawarma, and if there's no schawarma at 3:00am when you're drunk, there is no tomorrow.
Uh...Happy Doctor's Day!
(For the record: I don't think we as doctors need a "Day," but I appreciate the sentiment--I will continue trying to earn it.)