What do you think of the current healthcare issues?
I am assuming you ask this odd question of me as I had been president and had influence and interest in the health and care of our society Americana, and not because you believe that I have dared to undergo medical procedures.
Your hospitals terrify me, dear Lincoln. And your doctors doubly terrify me. The nurses offer some succor, but then la petite école en médecine treble-terrify me. According to the Additive Property of Fears, if I were to enter a hospital, speak to a pair of doctor and then be "aided" by a medical student, I would be septerrified.
Once, when I first moved from Cincinnati, Ohio to the urban sprawl of Detroit, Michigan I was injured in an automobile accident. I had been out testing a new armored and encapsulated driving machine that Devo and Spider had crafted for me, when I lost control and plunged off of the Freeway of Lodge. My containment bubble was badly cracked and the glass had cut my skin in dozens of places. The small amount of breathable water encased in my suit rapidly became blood befogged and unpleasant. I called out to my faithful lab assistant, Rob, and he indicated that the best course of action was to acquire medical attentions with a quickness, and for such reason contracted the labors of a flatbedded towing service via cellular telephone, and I was rushéd to the receiving room at Harper-Grace Hospitality Center, near the street of Woodward, in the Downtown of the D-Town.
It was mayhem inside, nothing near the cool and collected demeanor I was expecting from the televisual programs of "The Saints are Otherwise Engaged" or "Eee Yarr". Doctors ran about the room screaming, "Dear god in heaven, what is that horrid thing!" While nurses beat about my person with planks of wood and crutches.
Rob, ever concerned with the speedy completion of my assigned tasks, roared and pushed back the marauding healthcare providers. "What's wrong with you daffy bitches?" he screamed, "This space alien motherfucker needs some goddamn medical attention!"
After I did not disembowel them nor devour them with my razor-sharp beak, the doctors crept forward and agreed to take my health into their tiny, soft hands. Over the intervening weeks prior to my hospitalization, Rob and I had often discussed the specific patois of the Detroit. Glad to have had such tutelage, I put my lessons into immediate use: "YO, MY HOMEBODIES, WHAT IS THE FOUR-AND-ONE-AND-ONE?" all present shuddered at the volume, a window shattered, and I did adjust my public-address amplifier, "I HAVE CRASHÉD MY HOOPTIE AND REQUIRE THE FAT HEALING, OF A NON-SEXUAL, NON-MARVIN-GAYE VARIETY, ERM, DAWGS." Upon uttering this, all of the hospital staff grew quiet.
"Shit Lord A, why are you talking like that?" Rob muttered. He had an arm under my hunting tentacle—encased in rubber, in my containment suit, though leaking through hundreds of tiny pin-prick punctures, lubricating the floor with my fluids and salinated environ—and he was pulling me across the floor with the help of a dozen orderlies.
"I AM SPEAKING THE LOCAL DIALECT," I replied, sotto voce, "AM I NOT?" louder, I directed to the medical personal, "I DID ACT THE FOOL IN MY BANGING, PIMP-THE-RIDE, AND NOW SUFFERED A SUDDEN UNEXPECTED DECELERATION. NONETHELESS, I CONTINUE TO KEEP IT REAL, AND HAVE CONCERNS FOR THE CONDITION OF MY SPINNERS; CAN THIS BE LOOKED AFTER IN THIS FACILITY AS WELL?" and then to Rob, YOU INSTRUCTED ME ON HOW TO SPEAK WITH THE MEN OF DEE-TROIT. WE ARE IN DEE-TROIT, SO I AM USING THE COMMON PARLANCE. WE ARE BLENDING IN, KEEPING THE PROFILES AS LOW AS IS POSSIBLE SO THE LOCALS DO NOT SET UPON ME WITH THE TORCHES AND STONES AND PITCHFORKS AND BARKING DOGS AGAIN."
The orderlies and Tom slid half of my primitive exoskeleton onto a gurney, which promptly collapsed. A lumbering and bluberous man—an orca unto himself—rushed down the hall and returned with a sturdy handcart, upon which I was loaded. The disorderly orderlies took turns pushing and pulling me bodily down the hall, towards the Operating Theatre.
"Yeah, but that was for the locals, y'know like, cats on the street—"
"Regular folks" he clarified.
The red filled my dome, and my optically perfect eyes were blinded by my own blood.
"THESE FOLK, THEY ARE IRREGULAR? CURIOUS, ROB. THEY DID APPEAR TO ME TO BE REGULAR—AS REGULAR AS HUMANS MIGHT BE." I was feeling the woozy, "ARE YOU CLAIMING THAT PREVIOUS TO SPEAKING TO A HUMAN, I MUST FIRST HAVE NEEDS TO KNOW HIS REGULARITY IN MORE DETAIL THAN MIGHT BE VISUALLY CONFIRMED? THIS WILL GREATLY COMPLICATE COMMUNICATION. HOW WILL I KNOW HOW TO ASK THE NEEDED QUESTIONS TO ASCERTAIN REGULARITY, IF I MUST KNOW IF ONE IS REGULAR OR IRREGULAR BEFORE I KNOW HOW TO ASK?" I paused as my vision entirely clouded, and I felt rough hands prodding my person. "ROB, IS THIS ONE OF THOSE QUESTIONS DESIGNED TO BE ASKED OF ROBOTS AND COMPUTERS TO SHORT-CIRCUIT THEIR BRAIN WITH IMPOSSIBLE LOGIC? I AM NOT A ROBOT, ROB. SPARE ME THEIR . . . WHAT IS THAT?" I could feel a sharp poking into the suit above my left eye.
"Just calm down, Lord A, the doctors need to remove your suit to be able to pull the glass out of your huge ass."
"BUT I AM ASSLESS," I muttered. Oxygen was not properly communicating through my tissues in the blood-fouled water, and for that reason—although I had dire forebodings for the coming moments—I could not immediately identify what was so soon to run so terribly a-foul.Dear Lincoln, I live in a pressurized environ. I was born and raised in the benthic hug of the deepest ocean on this planet. This "atmosphere" as you call it, in the searing dry Upspace airéd-land, is like a poisonous vacuum to me. Being ejected into it for me would be the same as if you were to BE ripped from your Space-Suit while walking upon the Moon: Unpleasant, messy, and explosive.
"ROB," I bellowed forth, "DO NOT LET THEM DO THIS! I SHALL EXPLODE IF THEY PUNCTURE MY ENVIRO-SUIT!" Still, I could feel the prodding and the sharpness of the knife. "I REQUEST A SECOND OPINION! I REQUIRE DOOGIE THE HOWITZER, OR GEORGE OF CLOONEY! HELP!
But the blade still fell. As the lancet bit through the rubber of my suit's starboard fore gasket, the enormous hydropressure of my suit was released, violently projecting his surgeon's knife into the adjacent wall, and forcing a pencil-thin stream of water through the hole with cutting force.
"Jesus!" the doctor did shout, "What—"
A clear and impatient asiatic voice cut through the racket. "Desist!" It was my lab's director, Sang, "You risk damaging a very valuable specimen, absconded with by this confused and drug-addled young man. You will release both to my custody immed—"
"Listen," a doctorial voice commanded, "I don't know who you lunatics are or what kind of crazy plot this is, but I'm calling the goddamn authorities and no one is going anywhere—"
And then darkness fell, and there was a francophonic chatter of razor-wielding chimps. Chaos—a chaos more chaotic than afore—ensued.
"Holy shit!" the doctor wailed, "What are those goddamned animals!"
There was a shouting and a screeching, the thunks and hollers of a close-quarters melee, cries and weeping. ducting tape was wrapped about my person, I am told, to prevent more of my vital fluids from leaking into space.
I was swiftly accelerated, as Sang hissed to his troupe, "Le toit" in chopped, Vietnamese French. There was the clatter and squeal of a freight elevator.
"Where the fuck are we going?"
"Shut up, you pot-headed fool."
"THE ELEVATOR RISES FROM THE DEEP," I observed vacantly, growing intellectually dim in the draining and oxygen poor environment.
We exited to the windswept rooftop, the full moon glowing a mellow orange in my blood dyed waters. Rotors hummed and humped in the air, dropping in pitch as they approached.
"We have a Huey?" Rob asked, his voice chopped by the icey wind cutting across the rooftop, "That's pretty fucking convenient."
Sang's reply was cold, colder than the winds high atop the hospital's tower.
"It is indeed convenient, Robert. Would you prefer to exit through the front doors, as the police arrive looking for a terrorist of your description? Did you ever work out your legal problems arriving from your prior indiscretions."
Rob was silent, and then there was no more room for conversation as the roar of heliocoptered salvation descended to us.
When all was said and done, the hospital had done nothing for me save drag me down a long hallway by my mating tentacle, and nearly depressurize me. And yet still they have sent me—now, after more than three years!—a bill for seventy-five thousand dollars. Such an invoice. Here, in this mobile home with Hazel and my new friends, there is no way I shall be able to pay it. No way at all.
So, my dear Mr. Lincoln Taubman, this is my opinion of the current healthcare issues: if you enter into a hospital with an injury you shall certainly be screamed at, bullied, nearly killed and then charged far too much for failing to cure you. I recommend instead the delicate and gentle hands of the professional veterinarian.
Your Giant Squid
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