Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dad's Estate Planning

"Do you need a set of buggy springs?" my Dad asked when he called last night.

Hmmm. I know from previous queries this summer ("do you have any use for an anvil?") that this is partially another adventure in estate planning,  and partially a segue into a meditation on the state of health care reform.

"I can't imagine that I do," was my answer, as I pictured the looks on the neighbors' faces if I just parked a skeleton of rusty wagon wheels in the driveway.

"They're probably at least 150 years old," he added by way of modification - slash - persuasion. 

"Nope," I said, refusing to elaborate, knowing that otherwise this could turn into a fairly lengthy debate on their merits (which I'm sure are substantial).  Then I asked an open-ended question, certain that the full story would come out, uninterrupted. (According to the audiology tests after he punctured his eardrum last year, his hearing is about 70 percent gone... but to be fair, he never listened. His preferred conversational format has always been The Monologue.)

So his latest brush with death -- precipitating the necessary dispensation of the buggy -- involved some sort of injury incurred while feeding the catfish in the pond. Possibly, something was broken tripping over a bucket. Did he go to the doctor? Don't be absurd. Why not?

"Do you know what it cost me last time I went to the doctor?" he asked indignantly.  "A hundred and ninety bucks just to rub some salve on my belly!"

"You mean the ultrasound?"

"Yeah, I guess. But what I am saying is that was just MY PART of it. It COST more than THAT. A lot more than that." 

"Is that the one where they found out about those last couple heart attacks?" I asked.

"I got a new haircut," was the answer. "You know my barber retired. And every time I went in there I had to wait and wait and wait. And you know all those men in there don't have but seven hairs on their head all together," and this was followed by a long list of the virtues of Myra, the new barber, and how he found her.

So, what about this injury?

"What about it?" he responded. "Oh, I cussed more than I probably have in the last six months," he added.

Was that the entirety of the treatment? "Nahhhhhh. I found these two old pills from the Dentist. So I took them, and then I laid on the sofa and watched Gunsmoke."

Anything else?

"Yeah. Midnight Cowboy." 


"Oh you've seen Midnight Cowboy. Jon Voight?  Dustin Hoffman?"

I must have paused too long there. "You knoooooow, Ratso Rizzo." 

I wondered aloud if maybe an X-Ray or something was called for... something more restorative than the powers of say, AMC or TNT.

"Did I tell you about my new phone?" was the answer.


 The Family Estate 
 Six Feet Under
 Ease Up Florence Nightingale

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