Joe’s Shoes (Friday Fiction)

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.

He survived.

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).








46 thoughts on “Joe’s Shoes (Friday Fiction)

    1. thanks so much – the line you cut and pasted is a personal fav for me – cos I have found that to be something we all need to consider – sometimes simple remedies can be the answer… ttys

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi- well half was true and the second half was fiction – I just updated the post with a note at the end.
      the part about Joe drinking scotch was true, but I pretended that a savvy scotch company cleverly used the real-life story to add umph to their product…. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ha! we had a bottle of johnny walker that lasted for a few years – and it was used for times of a cold – well when we remembered to try it.
        need to replenish as the winter approaches 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi – I heard that it is true – if you catch it early – but who knows what it does to the liver, gallbladder – etc. ha!
      but we were watching PBS’s Victoria last week and there was a scene where someone whipped out whiskey for an sick person….so their is a history of using various whiskeys for certain ailments…. but I think in real life Joe had woe and drank thinking he was a goner.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I am sure Joe is very rich and famous for his life-saving discovery or did the pharma industry have him bumped off for eating (or rather drinking) into their profits 😀 Especially enjoyed the framed shoes – although I can’t help wishing they had dusted it first! 😉 Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. well the pharma industry did not bump him off – lol – and last I heard Joe gave a speech in 2014 about something so maybe he never became a threat.
      and in my experience – big pharma does not need to knock anyone off when they decide “what is taught in US Medical schools” and when they brainwash people in the early years –
      when we brainwash people to “trust the expert and not think for yourself” or to “trust your doctor even on the simplest of things” – people no longer look for remedies or think of holistic everyday options!!!! If the rich guy in a lab coat did not suggest it – well then it might not be the best answer – ugh!

      case in point – the guy who could not get rid of vertigo until he used herbs.
      or the girl with a spider bit – who came home with two meds – when all she really needed was an activated charcoal –
      or how about the people with supposed “lupus” who get steroids early on – Exasperating their condition and likely contributing to organ failure – that is why with Gomez I wanted to see what they said about lupus and kidney failure. but they failed to connect it – and it is more likely that the lupus was not the cause, but the hodge podge attempt to treat symptoms of a disease that likely had a small nematode that crossed the brain barrier….
      sorry to ramble….
      but thanks for the comment to incite…
      I will be by to visit soon – my momma is here and we are running around getting exhausted

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You wouldnt want me to get started on this topic Y! Enjoy your time with your Mum Y and don’t tire her out too much 🙂 Have a super weekend and see you whenever your are free – cheers

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi A- thanks for the comment – had to look up the andromeda strain on Google – and it does sound similar…. 🙂 –

      “The Andromeda Strain is a work of fiction, based on a novel by author Michael Crichton. The “true events” on which the novel and movie are based is limited to the fact that there are bacteria that could be carried to earth from a satellite.”


  2. Haha 🙂 Your Friday Fiction character reminded me of my grandfather. He also believed that a certain kind of local schnapps was the best remedy for any sort of ailment. But in case of emergency, vodka would also work just fine 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi ana- I have heard about the vodka – and I wonder about the local schnapps.
      But don’t ya think whiskey 9and certain alcohol spirits) have had many uses over the years – many uses that are getting lost as pill bottles seem to replace everything.
      and I was thinking of you a bit with the camping/hiking theme – because many hikers carry a bit of whiskey on the trails with them….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ooooh… don’t get me started on the pills… 😉
        You may be right about medicinal uses of spirits. I haven’t really looked into it, but hey, there must be something to the fact that so many cultures found certain alcoholic drinks to be useful in treating various issues. If nothing else, there’s the placebo effect. I know somebody who always has a nice glass of brandy when he feels he’s catching a cold. I don’t know if it actually does anything for the body, but he’s convinced it works and he feels better 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. well years ago I used to have an Irish Coffee when I felt the cold coming on – and it was so helpful – maybe the saturated fat in the whipped cream topping worked with the Irish whiskey and caffeine in the coffee to help fight germs…
        but you are right the placebo effect can be powerful too – lol

        Liked by 1 person

      1. well no need to catch up on all of them – unles you want to – but I personally had to learn that I could not catch up on everyone’s posts (time factors) and so rather than trying to – I just check in when I can and it has helped me enjoy this current phase of blogging (cos as you know- our phases change, eh?)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you for saying this. We were talking here about now to catch up on over a thousand comments and emails. We know how hard so many work on their post and we don’t want to offend anyone. You are right though time is a factor.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. well 1,000 is a lot. ouch
        and for me – if I did not draw boundaries I would walk away from blogging – and well, I actually have talked to God about it more than a few times – and even fasted – and I feel that quiet leading me back – but I do try and assess regularly all of what i do.
        and seriously, if I did not draw healthy boundaries I would lose my essence in blogging.
        I have accepted that I will miss some posts – from bloggers I love – and I will miss joining challenges – but I learned that once bonds are developed – we do not have to read every post and that is freeing.
        And a sad thing I see (or used to see) were bloggers who did not post because they felt guilty for not visiting other bloggers enough – and that (IMO) missed the point –

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Thank you so much for these words we see so much truth in!!! Boundaries and maintaining a healthy balance are essential for us in the blogging world. It is so nice learning from your journey down this road ahead of us. Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

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