Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dear Santa:

First things first. Please bring world peace and good will towards men, women, children, and all creatures great and small. If you can. Even before you fill the stockings of good little boys and girls, including my wondrous grandchildren, who are, of course, too young to understand how much more they would benefit from peace and good will rather than the latest Bratz Doll. Then, if you still have some time and energy, here’s my Christmas wish list.

You could drop off an application for a job with the new administration in Washington. I understand they have openings. I previously worked for the State Department, the Defense Department, and the Veterans Administration. Maybe this time I should try something else. I was watching a re-run of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Is there still a Ministry of Funny Walks, or was that just in England? I am fully qualified. I lost 100 percent of my balance function in both ears when I was sick a couple of years ago. I can walk now, but I wobble and weave and stagger and stumble like a drunk leaving the bar at closing time. Every now and again, I see a cop watch me get into my car, and I know he is trying to decide if he should pull me over the moment I drive off. I contributed $25 to the Presidential campaign of Barack Obama. Twice. Of course, I would not want that to be interpreted as trying to influence anybody reviewing my job application. I heard what happened to the Governor of Illinois.

The number one thing I wish for is a national health care plan for the United States. It does not even have to be as good as the ones in Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Greece, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Scotland, or England, just to mention our friends and allies in Europe. Only good enough to keep people from having to chose between death, pain, incapacity, and bankruptcy in the event of a major illness. After I spent three weeks in the ICU and another month in rehab, my medical bills exceeded a quarter of a million dollars. I was lucky. I had a good job with an insurance plan, on which I had paid the high option premiums, so that my actual out of pocket expenses were no worse than an unexpected car repair bill for a new transmission. I also had some California do-gooder lawyers in my corner when the insurance company tried to leave me lying in the ditch on the side of the road.

You might remember something nice for all my doctors, not just the ones who saved my life and the ones who gave me my miraculous new, bionic hearing. Cheer up the grumps and those in such a rush to be somewhere else and who just ignore the pain that brings you to their office. You might consider gift certificates for having their hearing checked. I swear sometimes I think when patients talk, doctors go deaf.

I’m not going to bother to put in a good word for Wall Street, banks, insurance companies, or Detroit auto makers. They do not need Santa Claus. They’ve got Congress. One so-called expert, as if pronouncing the street name of a pile of feces in the middle of the living room floor, said on television that government meddling in the automobile business would end up with everyone driving a beige Taurus that got 100-miles-per gallon. Santa, make mine the station wagon. I need the extra room for my landlording equipment and my grandchildren.

Pa rum pum pum pum.

Copyright 2008 by William C. Cotter

3 comments:

Tina said...

Well done, Bill. I just got an email from a friend in california telling me how much she enjoyed that column.

gayle said...

With all of the problems with the investing, banks, and insurance companies, car companies, and others. The Govt. wants us to give up money, benefits, and other things. Will Congress be willing to give up their raises in January and also take a cut in pay? If we have to give up things, will the Government be willing to give up also! They always want more, and pork is everywhere, if they had the same retirement that most of us all have, then they may want to fix the system.

They give the money away without rules, and do not know what the banks have done with the money.Then they want the car companies and unions to go by rules or they will not receive money.

Bill, I cannot see that some should have and other not. I feel after I have worked for a company like Ford,(we signed an agreement to work all hours as needed) that they should do the right thing to the end. If all of us had known that we would not have the benefits, then most would not have stayed with them.

The other thing, is that the top people in the company, make good or bad decisions and still get huge salaries, and some have not been with the company long.

Paw Paw Bill said...

I share your concerns and think they are not represented in these discussions as much as they should be. You can rest assured anytime I have unfavorable things to say about the auto companies, my remarks are directed at corporate executives, who I think are guilty of shameful mismanagement and should be fired without benefits, severance pay, stock options, bonuses, etc., if not sued for gross negligence. I believe in the end union contracts will be honored but not without much scare tactics and threats and even perhaps a few concessions. Will givebacks also apply to corporate executives and Congressmen? I would not hold my breath.

 

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