Pâté de Foie
by Steven K.
Jansson entered the conference room and took a
seat near the podium. He stuck a thumb drive in
the port by the lectern and reviewed his notes
while he waited. A minute or two later people
around him stood. He flipped the folder closed
and stood as well.
shuffled in with a personal attendant supporting
him. He took the seat at the head of the table
with the air of royalty taking the throne. A
picture of a fifty year younger Caleb Hargrove
shaking then-president Ronald Reagan's hand hung
in a gilt frame on the side wall.
Mr. Hargrove said.
and surveyed the room. He recognized only Mr.
Hargrove himself and his personal physician.
Janson," Mr. Hargrove wheezed, "they
tell me you have some results."
He began his presentation with the anecdotal
accounts and epidemiological studies, and then
the carefully controlledand carefully
hiddenlaboratory trials, but Mr. Hargrove
cut him off.
the conclusion. Can you help me?"
down his notes. "Yes."
get started. What do I need?"
de foie gras and extra virgin olive oil."
There was a
pause. "You're joking," Mr. Hargrove
said. "I give you a state-of-the-art medical
laboratorystuff the CDC doesn't even havethe
best researchers available, and that's
what you come up with? Goose liver paste and
just eat that and my prostate cancer goes away,
is that what you're saying?"
sir. You don't eat it. It's applied topically."
"I rub it
on my body?"
has to be applied directly to the prostate."
as possible, yes. Rubbed in vigorously, for at
least ten minutes once a day."
Intra-rectally," he added to be sure there
was no misunderstanding.
sure this will work?"
results are unequivocal. It works."
discovered this from anecdotal reports? People
are doing this?"
people have tastes that we might consider unusual."
He glowered at
Charles. "Hrumph. Are you sure this is safe?"
care must be taken with the application, but yes
sir, it's safe."
looked at his physician, who shrugged. "I'd
want to see the data, but I can't imagine it
no worse than some of the alternatives this quack
one other factor," Charles said.
eyes narrowed as he looked back to Charles.
"What other factor?"
component in the pâté that has the effect
apparently works in synergy with the body's
hormonal environment at the time of application,
particularly with regard to dopamine and oxytocin,
which must be conducive to"
English, boy!" Mr. Hargrove tried to bellow
the words, but they came out as just an extra-loud
his eyes heavenward. Wincing, he said, "For
the treatment to work, sir, you have to enjoy it."