A Shaggy Dog at M. D. Anderson

by Alan B. Combs

Much, if not all of this is the truth. I will let you decide exactly how much. Every so often, we toxicological wizards have to go to professional meetings. There was one last Friday and Saturday in Houston, a meeting of the local chapter of the toxicology society. The meeting was mostly a chance for the graduate students to show their work, but I did come away with one new consideration.

We met at Houston’s M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, a gigantic operation. Hospital, services, floors, all comprise an enormous site. It was necessary to get a map. Clearly, these people have thought about their logistics, a lot. Large contiguous sections of the hospital are color coded into zones. Room numbers correspond to these colors. There are green, blue, rose, tan, and purple sections. I see I left yellow off this listing, but it was there. Each section had many floors and layers, but the organization into colors was helpful.

I worried quite about the rose colored area in which we had our meeting. Because of all the construction going on around us, with cranes, headache balls, and such, I was worried about the structural integrity of the section in which we were meeting. You might agree it was truly an environmental concern — I was worried about a hole in the rose zone layer.

Later on, I remembered someone else’s story where people were apprehensive about the structure integrity of a layer of clowns. They were worried about a hole in the Bozone layer.

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