I’ve worked in a number of clinical laboratories across this beautiful land. I’ve heard the “owi vyes” on the Jersey Shore, the “uffdas” of the Midwest, and the “a chiwawas” in the Southwest. During my early working years, I thought pathologists were typical physicians: the gods of medicine who mysteriously cured most human maladies. I soon learned Paths were a unique group. One was a closet smoker who, barricaded in his office, smoke rolling out under the door, managed to violate the no-smoking-on-hospital-grounds regulation on an hourly basis. There was the paranoid individual compelled to wear a bullet-proof vest under his lab coat because he was convinced the CIA was interested in his dictation. One unique person had a neon cactus sign displayed on his office wall which he turned to flashing mode when he was in a particularly “prickly” mood. The biggest phony shot his wife to death in front of their small children. They they have provided me with interesting characters I can work into my writing, making the statement “truth is stranger than fiction” more than a trite cliché. The plot thickens.