Blaze Fingers Episode 8:  A Stroke of Genius

Sunday March 2, 2025: John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County: Primary Stroke Center

Doctor James Derham III: Mr. Fingers, you are very lucky to be alive. I’m going to advise that you lose about 20 pounds, and you may want to STRONGLY consider shifting to a 100% vegan diet.

Blaze Fingers: Vegan!!?? Young man, are you mad!!?? I need to keep fish in my diet! Don’t you know that that’s one of the places that brain-power comes from!!!???

Doctor Derham: Actually Mr. Fingers, the brain-power derived from fish comes from Omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids. You can take a supplement to get those. I recommend Puritan’s Pride Organic Flaxseed Oil: I take it myself. If you switch to a vegan diet, and start to get some exercise, that 20 pounds will melt off pretty quickly.

Blaze Fingers: Why did I have a stroke?? And why can I speak to you right now after having a stroke?

Doctor Derham: You had an incredible stroke of luck, pun not intended. Doctor Rosita Amen happened to be in the audience when you had your stroke. She is one of the finest doctors on our Primary Stroke Center staff here at John Stroger hospital. She happened to have a small vial in her purse of an experimental anti-stroke medication under development at the University of Chicago. The medication is called Advanced Recombinant Tissue Plasminogen Activator, or ARTPA for short. You had what is called an ischemic stroke, where an artery supplying oxygen-rich blood to your brain becomes blocked. She was very quick thinking, and she injected you with the vial of ARTPA. It dissolved the blood clot in your brain very rapidly.

Blaze Fingers: So my mental faculties are not affected or diminished?

Doctor Derham: We performed a full battery of Magnetic Resonance Imaging tests on your brain, and everything appears to be normal. However, we also did bloods tests on you, and your cholesterol levels are EXTREMELY high. That is why I’m recommending a 100% vegan diet for you to quickly get your cholesterol levels under control. Will you please work with me Mr. Fingers???

Blaze Fingers: It appears that if I want to keep playing my saxophone at a high level, I don’t have much of a choice. Vegan it is!!

Doctor Derham: I’m so happy to hear that, Mr Fingers! One last thing…

Blaze Fingers: What is it doctor?

Doctor Derham: I’m almost ashamed to ask, but could you please….?

Doctor Derham reached into his desk and pulled out a full sized LP in it’s beautiful sleeve: “Blazer Fingers' Greatest Hits”.

Doctor Derham: Mr. Fingers, would you please sign this?

Blaze Fingers: You people saved my life!! It would be my pleasure!!

Monday March 3, 2025, 1 PM: Blaze Finger’s Home

Blaze was very happy to have arrived home after being discharged from the hospital. On the way home, he made a quick detour to his local grocery store. He looked down at the package in utter disgust: “Beyond Meat Beyond Burger Plant-Based Patties”. He looked over at his beloved 24 karat gold-plated Selmer Reference 54 alto saxophone sitting in its stand. “What do you think about this plant-based stuff?”

His saxophone didn’t answer. He fired up the grill, and twenty minutes later, his burger was ready. He looked down at his salt substitute bottle: “No Salt Sodium-Free Salt”.

“I’m 75 years old. I guess that all of these inconveniences had to start at some point,” Blaze thought to himself. He put a dash of No Salt on his plant-based burger, and he topped it off with a slice of vegan “cheese”. He had already toasted a whole wheat bun, so his burger was ready to assemble. It LOOKED just like a regular burger. Then he took a bite: “Hey, this is actually pretty good!”

He looked out of the window at the sun, and he marveled at how beautiful it was. “God is absolutely amazing: I’m 75 years old, and I keep on discovering new layers of creation”. The burger was delicious, and Blaze never would have imagined that he would one day eat synthetic meat. He was starting to realize that ANYTHING is possible. He looked at his music composition book lying on his desk. For decades, he had dreamed of writing a full orchestral piece featuring his alto saxophone: “It is time to get started writing it!!”


Thank you for reading Blaze Fingers “A Stroke of Genius”! The next exciting episode of Blaze Fingers will arrive on Friday, February 12, 2021. We’ll see you then!!

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