Joe McCormick, a CDC investigator, hunted Ebola in 1976.
He was exposed to Ebola from a bloody needle.
Thinking he’d die, he drank a small bottle of Scotch.
Fast-mutating viruses are scary and perplexing, but
Joe still argues that quality Scotch can kill a filovirus….
If you catch it early!
Joe’s shoes are displayed at our facility
to remind staff that Scotch has many uses.
The shoes also remind us to
stay open to remedies that initially seem sophomoric.
Now let’s enter the tasting room, with six samples of Scotch, including a preview of this year’s Platinum.
For more Friday Fiction, check out Rochelle Wisoff’s blog HERE.
This short fiction, about Joe’s shoes, was inspired by a book I bought earlier this year by Richard Preston. It is called the Hot Zone. In the Hot Zone, Preston talks about fast-mutating viruses and how back in 1989, for 18 days, a team of scientists and soldiers dressed in bio-hazard suits and worked insideReston’s “hot zone” lab to stop a rainforest virus from spreading. It was called a hot virus and Preston mentions the story of Dr. Joe McCormick and his Scotch Whiskey consumption (p. 289). Another interesting read I had this year was Gladwell’s (2002) Tipping Point book, which also had info about hypermutant viruses. Anyhow, that is where the idea for today’s flash fiction came from. When I saw the prompt, a photo of cob-webbed shoes taken by Sarah Potter, the first thing that came to mind was Preston’s description of the Hot Zone (p. 290) and I imagined these shoes coming from there. Maybe some savvy Scotch Whiskey business owner set up a tasting room and on the informational tour people could see the medicinal uses of Scotch (used responsibly of course). I also included a tidbit about what makes a whiskey a “scotch whiskey” and Johnnie Walker reminds us that a Scotch Whiskey is made from malted barley (or grain), it is aged in oak casks 700 liters (or smaller) for a minimum of three years, and to be called Scotch Whiskey it must be made in Scotland.
Just to clarify \- the first part of the fiction piece is based on a true story from Preston (1994).
Joe McCormick is a real doctor and the part about drinking the Scotch – thinking he’d die from the virus – and then drinking Scotch in woe and finding recovery. (He caught it early.)
THE FICTION I brought in to the story – these were Joe’s shoes and because he drank “Scotch” – it reminded me how many times we have asked that question around here- what is the difference between Scotch Whiskey and other types….
So then I imagined a Scotch business capitalizing on the medicinal uses of its product – and they hung Joe’s shoes to motivate employees to keep the product good (and to inspire customers on a tour).