This post is courtesy of guest-blogger Greg Mischio. Read more of his world-altering work at Epiphanies that Will Alter the Course of Human Events.
As it is an election year (and please tell me when it isn’t), the topic of Medicare and Social Security is at the forefront of most political discussions. I, being a bold revolutionary and cultivator of creative and wondrous thoughts, do not shy away from figuring out how to reform the massive entitlement programs that have become the cause for much grinding and gnashing of dentures. In fact, I’ve developed an incredibly innovative new plan.
I decided to tackle the issue a few weeks ago. I took pen and paper and waltzed down to a pond a half-mile from my house, where I could sit and contemplate in Walden-esque surroundings. I carried with me an extension cord and my desktop PC. One of these days, I plan on buying a laptop.
Before I could type a word, I heard the mournful howl of a timber wolf drift across our subdivision. At least I believed it was a timber wolf, although the more I listened, the more it sounded like a mini-dachshund.
I then realized it was not a howl, but more like a series of yips, and so I followed the incessant yippings back to my house, where I found my own wiener dog wrapped up in the extension cord that was powering my PC.
He was gasping for breath, as the cord was wrapped around his little wiener neck. Immediately, I began giving him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. I even had to break out the little wiener defibrillators and yell, “Clear!”
After administering several jolts, his little tail began to wag once more, and so I returned to my work.
My casual administration of doggie healthcare coalesced in my noggin with the pseudo-timber wolf howls, and a stunning solution to the Medicare/Social Security problem materialized.
Remember the Wolf Child?
Here’s a little background on what spurred the epiphany I’m about to reveal: When I was a youth, I distinctly remember stories of children being raised by wolves. On what seemed like a fairly regular basis, a little child would wander off into the wilderness, and a family of kindly wolves would find the child, and raise it as their own.
Eventually, some scientists would stumble upon the little wolf-child, and then make it their goal to de-program the furry little bugger and teach it how to eat with a fork.
So how does the wolf-boy tie in with reforming Medicare and Social Security? The solution I devised while sitting next to the pond was painfully simple: Instead of having wolves raise our children, we’ll have them take care of our elderly.
Why shower a senior with expensive Medicare insurance and cut them Social Security check after Social Security check? Instead, we’ll dump the person out in the wild and let the wolves administer to them during their golden years. If they can raise a child, they can surely tend to a senior.
“Bravo!” I cried out the moment I’d devised the solution. I ran home and called my neighbor, Molly. I needed a beta tester for the program, and Molly’s father sounded like a perfect candidate for WolfyCare.
The Perfect Beta Test: Someone Else’s Father
Molly’s father had just turned seventy. Because people are living longer, he will be draining social security funds for many, many years. Plus he was having problems with his hip, and you know what that means: Big Medicare bucks for a hip replacement.
I explained the program to Molly and she, for some strange reason, expressed some reservations.
“Why him? He’s in great shape and of sound mind,” she said.
“It’s nothing personal,” I replied. “Simply a numbers game.”
“Why can’t we use one of your parents?”
“Your dad lives closer. Do you realize how much money I’d spend on gas having to drive down to my parents home and drag one of them out into the wild? Besides, it’s not like you’ll never see him again. Like, when you go out for walks, he’ll probably be out there running around with the pack.”
“Yes,” she replied, “But he can’t live out in the wild. He hates camping.”
“But he loves dogs.”
“But these are bloodthirsty wolves.”
“Bloodthirsty is in the eye of the beholder.”
We went back and forth like this for a while, but eventually she conceded that, for the good of the nation, we needed to give my plan a try. We conference-called her parents and talked about the new proposal.
As we expected, her father objected. “Is this the work of the Republicans?!?” he shrieked.
“No, it’s just arithmetic,” I calmly replied.
He was really pissed and threatened to break my spleen if I came near him. However, Molly’s mother was totally for it. She called us later and assured us that by daybreak she’d arrive with him in the car.
Dragging an Old Man Into the Wilderness
Sure enough, she pulled up the next morning with Molly’s father snoring in the passenger seat. “I mixed in a mild sedative with his calcium pill this morning,” she whispered to me. “It should wear off by the time he’s out in the wild.”
I carried him to my SUV (Molly’s mother had done me the courtesy of tying him up and gagging him), and off we went. I had to travel quite a ways into the wilderness, because I sure as hell didn’t want him finding his way back and breaking my spleen.
Plus, I had to find those wolves. Eventually, I did, at a campsite of all places, where they were picking at the bones of a family of campers who had obviously chosen the wrong place to pitch a tent.
I whispered into Molly’s father’s ear, “I suggest you play nice,” and then I got the hell out of there and fast. I didn’t bother untying him, figuring if the wolves really wanted to take care of him, they’d chew the ropes off.
I sprinted like a madman, figuring I would only get a five-minute head-start if they decided to eat the old man and then come after me. I was huffing and puffing by the time I reached my SUV. Fortunately, no wolves were on my heels. My plan was underway.
Several weeks passed, with no word from Molly’s dad. She called me one day and asked how we would determine if the plan was a success. (Her mother didn’t seem too curious. Two weeks after she dropped her husband off, she’d moved to Bermuda with a guy named Antonio.)
I replied that simply the fact that we haven’t heard anything from her dad proved the program was working. Now Mother Nature was doling out the entitlements. “Mission accomplished!” I proclaimed.
That’s when I heard the knocking at the door. It was my neighbor, Donna, and she was weeping profusely. She was also rather pissed off.
“Your father is eating my husband!” she pointed a finger at Molly.
We gasped simultaneously, and sprinted to the garage where, sure enough, the old man was having himself a lunch – consuming Donna’s screaming, portly husband.
This was wonderful news, and I clicked my heels and did a little touchdown dance.
“What’s with the unfettered joy?” Donna, the soon-to-be-widow, sobbed.
“Don’t you see? Molly’s father is off the Medicare and Social Security rolls, and now he’s eating your husband, who recently was downsized from his job and will soon be claiming unemployment benefits. We’ve killed two entitlements with one stone!”
Even though there had been a lot of bloodshed and loss of loved ones, the ladies agreed the reform program had worked better than anyone ever imagined. It’s been one small epiphany for me, one gigantic cost-saving step for mankind.
Illustration by Brandon Smith.