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December 15, 2005 Edition

Dear Max:

I have had many friends tell me that food poisoning takes 24 hours to kick in. But on more than one occasion, especially after eating hot and sour soup and other Chinese foods, I’ll suddenly get a “rumble in my jumble” and be scrambling for the nearest bathroom. Is this not food poisoning??

Poodles and Shih-tzus

Dear P&S,

Nice choice of words on the “kicking in.” I’ve been there. I ate a bag of Runts candy recently and this shit-tsu had the … well, let’s just say that somebody needs to take the wrapper off for me next time before I dig in (see? no opposable thumbs, just this odd little flap up the backside of my leg). After receiving your question, I went on shih-tsoogle.com and found the trouble can begin well before a day has passed. Yep. It’s food poisoning. Your stomach is faster than your brain at sensing something’s up — or about to be. And since 97% of it is caused by improper food handling, follow the bathroom-wall advice: WASH HANDS before returning to work!

Dear Max:

I am starting a business with a friend of mine and I was wondering if you could tell me if we’ll be successful or not. We are trying to save the world from all kinds of disease areas, although we don’t have a cure for the common flea itch as of yet.

Aaron Rothschild

Dear Aaron,

That’s a hell of a business idea, that saving the world from diseases thing. Look where it got Harold Schering and Eddie Plough, Gertrude Merck, and Swoozie Viagra. Is your friend honest, hard-working, good under pressure, and able to sell snow tires to the Saudis? You should be fine. Also, it would be a good idea to team up with someone with a last name like “Nexium” or “Claritin,” but maybe not “Vioxx.” I don’t think flea itch will ever be cured. It’s kept alive by a conspiracy of the flea-collar makers and the dog-nail-clipper people.

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