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Robert A. Mills

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The Better Angels

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Blogs by Robert A. Mills

OPEN WIDE
9/18/2009 7:32:09 AM
No one enjoys going to the doctor, and I’m no exception. Not that I go often—-on average once a year for a head-to-toe physical that includes all the thumping, prodding and inserting I’ve come to expect and detest over the decades.

Luckily, I’ve only had four GP internists to contend with, the first a very young neighborhood medico who gave way to a personal friend from the late ‘60s, then to a recommended physician here in Georgia who up and retired just when I was beginning to trust him. His practice was taken over by an associate, so I figured what the hell: one sawbones was as good as another, so I’ve been with him for about fifteen years.

All of them had framed MD degrees on their walls, but I demanded to see their report cards. Three of them had straight A’s in hearts, lungs, pancreases, colons and prostates; one (who barely made the cut) had a B- in spleens and livers.

When I was in the radio & TV dodge, I had company-paid health insurance that saw me through all the ills to which debauched flesh is heir to, and I doubt if I spent $50 out-of-pocket (who knew you don’t tip candy-stripers?) on myself, my wife or my kids for better than thirty years. The same held true for my tenure in advertising. To date, I figure I’m $2 ½ trillion ahead in health care savings.

But then one gloomy, rainy day I turned sixty-five and began the Medicare route. I suddenly had to pay over a grand a year for Medicare Part B, plus a supplement for stuff Medicare doesn’t fully cover. Bummer! Unlike many, I do not subscribe to Part D, as prescription drugs beyond $10 for generics have not, as yet, been required. If they ever are, I may put in a call to Dr. Krekorian.

Anyway, thanks in advance for all the advice you’re dying to give me, but save your breath. If we don’t get a health care reform bill, you may need it. (Breath, not advice.)

The unfortunate part is my wife is much younger than I and will not be eligible for Medicare for many moons (a price you pay for robbing the cradle.) I am now faced with having to purchase health care insurance for her, and that may well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back (or I may be forced to convince her back to Camels.)

Unless Congress comes up with a realistic, sensible plan, I could have no other alternative but to trade her in for a much older model. As Michael Palin would say, “Gadzooks, I’m the victim of a bloody sticky-wicket!”

It’s bad enough that we elect congressman who with no sense of decency interject venom into presidential speeches, and who make a blatant mockery out of lines by Harper Lee:
“The witnesses for the state have presented themselves to you gentlemen, to this court, in the cynical confidence that their testimony would not be doubted, confident that you gentlemen would go along with them on the assumption - the evil assumption - that all Negroes lie, that all Negroes are basically immoral beings . . . an assumption one associates with minds of their caliber. Which, gentlemen, we know is in itself a lie . . .a lie I do not have to point out to you. You know the truth, the truth is this: some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral . . . But this is a truth that applies to the human race and to no particular race of men.”

And what some see as worse, the Jimmy Carters of our nation forget how much they once wanted to be like Atticus Finch:
“Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don’t pretend to understand. . . . The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.”

The moment Miss Lee penned these words we knew the Pulitzer Prize was hers; the instant Gregory Peck spoke them, we knew the Oscar was his: “Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird. . . . Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”


Copyright © 2009 by Robert A. Mills


************

They tell me these twice-weekly Blogs are read by a multitude of people per publication. It has been suggested I expand my effort to four times a week. Three might be doable, but four, with my current workload, would be unmanageable.

Let me know what you think, and I’ll keep you posted, so to speak.











Comments (1)

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