Topic: "Willie B had heart" (5)
When Frodo first visited the Zoo of Atlanta, it was generally regarded as the worst such facility in the developed world. Frodo would not argue with that assessment, for he well remembers both his sense of shame and his mind-numbing anger. He has often recalled his first encounter with Willie B, the dean of the gorillas on exhibit at the time, and the fact that he was housed in a smaller space than that currently reserved for Charles Manson. Frodo is pleased to report that, over the years, the situation improved immensely, and in Willie B's later years he became the star attraction at the magnificent gorilla facility in Atlanta, and even fathered several off-spring prior to his peaceful death, at age 55.
Willie B died from heart disease. It seems that heart disease is the number one killer of gorillas in captivity, and that made Frodo think about all of the people he knows with heart ailments who might be interested in what the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech has learned from its work with Willie B's compatriots. Starting with Ozzie, the current primogenitor, the project has been to teach the 22 gorillas to take their own blood pressure readings periodically throughout the day. Now that Ozzie has begun performing the testing on his own, four more gorillas are currently undergoing training.
In sum, an electronic "cuff" has been placed in the exhibit area, where, under the direct observation of the trainers, once Ozzie places his arm in the cuff, a blood pressure reading is taken, then Ozzie receives a treat. In this case, Ozzie receives, and seems to prefer, vanilla pudding (sugar-free). According to the trainers, medication can be administered to any gorilla suffering from high blood pressure, as necessary, once the readings are verified.
Frodo asked if that would include LIPITOR, one of those disgusting products whose advertisements disturb his time before the black-and-white? Frodo was shocked to find that his flippant query yielded a positive response. The gorillas could be administered to with LIPITOR, or indeed with many other treatments available to Man or Hobbit.
Frodo thought about Dick Cheney. Nahh, he'd argue that he couldn't follow in the path of a simian. Or would he argue that he couldn't follow in that path again?