Sunday, August 30, 2009

Walgreen with Envy at Canadian Healthcare

Here's a helpful tip for our fair neighbor to the North (and by that, I mean Canada, and not just the Walgreen's):

Fire the police.

No, I'm not misquoting rap lyrics again. The four-letter F word I meant was indeed Fire.

Why would I suggest such a moronic thing? Not because I have anything against those charming Canuck gendarmes, I assure you.

I'd hate to see them all tossed out on their jodhpur-clad behinds.

I'm just extending the logic of the Republican's anti-health care rhetoric.

See, here in the U.S., we have public policing. And sure, it's good for emergencies. And for off-loading donuts.
But still, some wealthy people feel they have to wait too long or can't get the service they deserve if they rely solely on the "public option." So they choose to pay out-of-pocket for private security guards to keep their personal parking lot, gated community, or shopping mall of choice secure.

And, according to the Republicans,
if anyone anywhere in your country chooses to squander their hard-earned loonies (yes, I know, it's a little, well, luney, that that's what the Canucks call their money, but they do. I guess it's for the picture on the $1 coin. And I do mean the one of the Queen) for private care, then you can bet your maple glazed that no one can possibly benefit from having any public care.

I am quite proud of my rather charming Fire the Police analogy. Indeed, I'm hoping this blog entry will get picked up by all the major news outlets. Because of course I'm ready to weigh in as a leading voice in the whole health care debate. Since I am not a health care provider. Nor am I an economist who specializes in analyzing delivery of care. Not a medical ethicist. Not a . . .

Well, we could go on all day. The point is, I am not especially qualified. And lately it seems like I'm the only person who's not especially qualified who HASN'T weighed in.

For the record, I'm also not especially qualified to care for my squeeze the Cheez's aging parents, who suffer from every disease from diabetes to osteoporosis to cardiopathy to multiple sclerosis.

I am qualified to write a poem, maybe something with a charming ABCB that rhymes osteoporosis to multiple sclerosis, with, if the mood strikes and the meter holds, a possible forced rhyme of diabetes and cardiopathy. But actually caring for the ill, no dice.

Luckily, I don't have to do that. Nor does the Cheez. Nor do we have to go broke to pay those who do. Nor do his parents.

Let me say it, loud and proud. Cheez's parents are not dead thanks to Canada's healthcare system.

They're not even bankrupt over not being dead.

Which, given their lifelong relationship to matters fiduciary, is a freaking miracle.

So really, I don't think the public option is so bad.

Not for health care, and not for cops.

Truth is, I'd hate to see the Mounties go. Because they are so charming and so rich for metaphoric allusion.

As Cheez likes to note, the difference between his native land and mine is that in Canada, the national symbol is the Mountie. Order. Discipline. Abiding by the law.

In the good old U.S. of A, it's the cowboy. Rugged individualist. Romantic. Freedom-loving. All very well and good, but is that really who'd you trust with your long-term healthcare?

But for now, the closest I'm coming to healthcare of the quality enjoyed by our neighbors to the North is a little self-diagnosis and out-of-pocket over-the-countering over at the Walgreen's.

Friday, August 7, 2009

If a Jew Shmears in the Woods, You Know You Will Hear About It

Overheard on the McKenzie River last weekend:

You know how when you're scaling fish . . . began Nate.

I'm a Jewish woman I interrupted, so unless what you mean by scaling fish is "weighing the lox from the deli case to see if you have a quarter pound or maybe closer to a half pound," I have absolutely no idea what you could be talking about.

Yes, it's true.  When I go to the country (as I noted to our hosts before departure, in my tribe "the country" is defined as any place a hot pastrami sandwich cannot readily be purchased, a definition that I hold to even though as a confirmed pescetarian, I last ate pastrami during the Carter presidency), I should be packing a Nature-to-Yiddish dictionary.

Where I'm from, "going for a float" involves root beer, and not a trailer hitch.
Nevertheless, I do have certain skills I bring to the great outdoors.  After all, anyone who was raised at Loehmann's can hunt-and-gather with the best of them.

That's why I hunted up some habanero pepper at the grocery store, then gathered some vodka with which to infuse it, all before leaving Portland.  

Because although this is an inspiring vista, complete with unbelievably rich and beautiful hues:

So is this:

  Not to mention this:

Just be glad you weren't on hand for the raising and lowering of the flag out at Camp Kiltowski.

Anyway, we did have a lovely time, even if I felt very inadequate as hostess-with-the-utmostest Pat was pointing out flora and fauna and all that other nature crap that I can never remember.  

At least anyone who's spent as much time weighing a shmear (aka scaling fish) as I have can tell a bagel . . .
 . . . from A (Flock of) Seagull(s)
(hostess with the utmostest Pat
demonstrating just what damage 
one too many habanero vodkas can do to a lady)