The Doctors of Plutoria Avenue in "Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich"

Some of the people, as already said, went for business reasons, to avoid the suspicion of having to work all the year round. Others went to Europe to avoid the reproach of living always in America. Others, perhaps most people, went for medical reasons, being sent away by their doctors. Not that they were ill; but the doctors of Plutoria Avenue, such as Doctor Slyder, always preferred to send all their patients out of town during the summer months. No well-to-do doctor cares to be bothered with them. And of course patients, even when they are anxious to go anywhere on their own account, much prefer to be sent there by their doctor.

"My dear madam," Dr. Slyder would say to a lady who, as he knew, was most anxious to go to Virginia, "there's really nothing I can do for you." Here he spoke the truth. "It's not a case of treatment. It's simply a matter of dropping everything and going away. Now why don't you go for a month or two to some quiet place, where you will simply do nothing?" (She never, as he knew, did anything, anyway.) "What do you say to Hot Springs, Virginia?— absolute quiet, good golf, not a soul there, plenty of tennis." Or else he would say, "My dear madam, you're simply worn out. Why don't you just drop everything and go to Canada?— perfectly quiet, not a soul there, and, I believe, nowadays quite fashionable."

Thus, after all the patients had been sent away, Dr. Slyder and his colleagues of Plutoria Avenue managed to slip away themselves for a month or two, heading straight for Paris and Vienna. There they were able, so they said, to keep in touch with what continental doctors were doing. They probably were.

Source: Stephen Leacock, Arcadian Adventures With the Idle Rich (Toronto: Bell & Cockburn, 1914), 166-168

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