Follow by Email

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

January 18, 2011: On Call at UT: "What am I? A ham sandwich?"

I am on call at UT Medical Center and tonight, I followed my nose to the hinterland, the bowels, the basement of the hospital to the "EXECUTIVE DINING AREA." In the ancient times, when I first started practicing medicine, they called us "doctors" and our clients were "patients." Now we have renamed the doctor's cafeteria. But, if you have seen me lately, you know I can still find it. When I first starting working here, I often dreaded a trip there. Although the food was quite tasty, there is apparently NOTHING, even in a hospital, that wasn't improved by the addition of cheese and bacon. Yes, even fish. Even bacon got cheese and bacon on it. Then the executive chef retired, and apparently the new guy realized that many of the EXECUTIVES needed to eat more healthily.

At night, they pretty much only have sandwiches, yogurt and cookies. The cookies are amazing, but I try NOT to eat them. I used to dread their sandwiches, but now, they are actually very good. Whole wheat bread, even.

So you are probably asking yourself: "How can she yammer on and on about a ham sandwich?" (Well, if you know me WELL, you probably aren't actually asking that :)

Well, it ends up, there is a bunch of lore out there associated with the ham sandwich.

See if you can guess which of the following is NOT true (please no googling--we are not GRADING your guess)

A. Mama Cass, famed member of the band The Mamas and The Papas choked to death on a ham sandwich.
B. There is a band called Ham Sandwich.
C. There is a math theorem called the Ham Sandwich Theorem.
D. It can be a description of female genitalia, especially if shaven
E. An untainted gun that might be planted on someone--police lingo.

Okay. What did you guess?
If it was A, you are correct.

The doctor at the scene thought that Mama Cass choked on a ham sandwich, because there was a ham sandwich and a coke next to the bed where her body was discovered. HOWEVER, the ham sandwich had not been touched. Instead, it is theorized that she died of myocardial complications of obesity and fad dieting...a myocardiopathy induced by the YO YO Dieting Syndrome.

Ham Sandwich is a band from County Meath formed in about 2003. They have a release called Sad Songs....apparently all about the death of Mama Cass?

There is indeed a math theorem called the Ham Sandwich Theorem...something to do with the volume of a dimensional solid. I cannot even begin to understand or explain it. But I find it funny that for n=2, the theorem is called the PANCAKE theorem.

If I have to explicate on ANSWER D, you probably ought not be reading blogs anyway. Forget it. NO PHOTO OF THIS ONE, although I am sure you can find one thanks to the internet.

As for the last "fun fact" maybe this one is not so fun. Theoretically, this was a rampant behavior during hurricane Katrina. I ain't saying it happened though.

Now if that isn't more ham sandwich information than you can get under a JEOPARDY category, I don't know what is!


  1. Holy Crapola! Mama Cass didn't die of a ham sandwich incident? Wow. I was actually a oh fer on that quiz. I'll do better next time.