For whatever reason, I felt strongly compelled to visit my parents this weekend. While I still suspect my gut instincts, I am enjoying the time and the gray, foggy Seattle-like weather. After planting flowers with my mom yesterday, we sat down for a well-deserved rest and shared our similar and previously unspoken fears about my fathers health. He has, and remains, a key reason for my battle against socialized healthcare. You see, he'll be one of those "useless bread gobblers" that Hitler propagandist Joseph Geobbels referred to while discussing those whose life became too costly to maintain, what the Nazi party described as "Life unworthy of life." He worked his whole young life as a mechanic. He paid into the tax, Social Security and Medicaid kitty all of his adult life and now as a middle-aged man he is reaping the consequences of a lifestyle of Clinton-esque decadence. Parmesan wings for lunch, cigarettes and Budweiser during Steeler and Penguin seasons, Philly Steak and Hoagies as only Pittsburgh Delis can produce and 20 years, a heart attack and open heart surgery later, my father is practically swimming in prescription medication. This one is for blood pressure and those ones are for cholesterol. I get cortisone for foot pain and Advair for COPD... [which mysteriously crept up only after the bypass surgery] and half a dozen others that I eye skeptically. The latest addition to the pill-a-polooza, a sleep aid, has my own blood pressure sky rocketing. My father is only 55 but he seems so much older, now muted and sullen.
My mom works at a tiny coffee shop on the boulevard, and as is our tradition when visiting we belly up to the counter for coffee and the best French Toast to be had. My anti-Socialist bumper stickers have been getting alot of notice, but while I am representing my mom at her place of business, I sip my coffee and make nice with the retired Democratic swath that make up her loyal regulars. I pretend to forget that each moment that Congress is in session, my children are less free, that we have eugenicists in unaccountable positions of power and the head of ACORN is luring the remaining closet Socialist out from under their rocks and fitting them for riot gear. I nearly drowned myself with a deeper-than-normal gulp when a kindly old lady I have known literally half my life exclaims her desire to see Ann Coulter shot. Another couple, new to the shop thanks to a kind review in the Post Gazette, are discussing the upcoming birth of their first child and their struggles to get state medical coverage since the mother is neither black nor Hispanic. The father acrimoniously describes the social workers indifferent attitude, bemoaning her lack of ethnic "credentials". The fact that she is an unemployed child educator is apparently irrelevant. The man down the counter laughs about the "Lights Out" night in the city encouraging energy conservation. He chronicles how he turned on every light in his home and then stopped down to the local tavern enlisting help to hang all of his Christmas lights- in Spring. "Pretty much, when the government starts telling me 'You can't do this.' I take it as full authority to do the exact opposite to the furthest extreme I can think of."
I know what you mean, guy. I know what you mean.