Everybodys up in arms about this healthcare debate, and its easy to see why: We are being asked, as a country, to either sacrifice our lives to the faulty healthcare system we already have, or sacrifice the very beliefs that this great nation was founded on and yield to socialism. Theres no easy answer to a debate as complicated as this, but a recent trip to the doctors office really helped me put some things into perspective. Allow me to relate:
So weve had you on the Celexa for a few months now, Robert, and you say youre not feeling any progress? I had to commend the doctor on his bedside manner: He looked genuinely concerned. Maybe it had something to do with the sackful of doorknobs I was swinging relentlessly about my head.
Yep, no progress whatsoever. These things didnt get me high at all, I replied, destroying his computer with a thundering metallic crash.
You wait. Why were you taking the Celexa again? Its a commonly prescribed anti-depressant. Id just assumed you were showing some symptoms. He seemed to be edging toward the phone, so I shattered that next. My doorknob sack cut the air audibly and fragments of his answering machine ricocheted from the walls. One hit him on the cheek. A solitary line of blood divided his face.
Well, my last doctor thought it would help take the edge off my sobriety, I answered testily. Jesus, did this guy get his doctorate in Stupid Questions at Asshole University?
My arm was starting to get sore. Id started swinging the knob-sack soon after I entered the office, when the receptionist informed me that there was a wait-time of 15 minutes. I find a makeshift brass flail tends to put you at the front of lines almost immediately. I call it the Expediter.
And who was your last physician? The doctor was visibly shaking now, and that made me nervous. I wasnt sure I trusted him. He could be on something.
Jesus Christ, I said.
What? Whats wrong?! I promise you, whatever it is, we can fix it! He cried out, cowering.
No, you misunderstand. Thats my doctor. Doctor Jesus. Check the chart, I was feeling unsure about how long I could continue to keep the Expediter in motion, and I find that most of my appointments usually end soon after the motivating presence of a knob-sack does.
Ah, yes. I see. Right here on the prescription pad: Signed by 'Doctor Jesus Christ (The Best Doctor). Did you, ah did you write this yourself?
"No, dude. Look. It says right here: prayer. The treatment for cardiomyopathy is prayer."
Of course, I replied, trying to see how close I could swing the sack to his face without hitting him. Not very close, it turned out. I nicked him a little, but he seemed to feel a bit better after spitting out that tooth. You think Id trust just anybody to put crap into my body? This shit is a temple. Ask your wife. She worships here every night.
I held out my unoccupied hand for a high five, but I didnt trust the way he went in for it, so I hit him with the Expediter again instead.
Oh god, please. Please stop. Just just tell me what happened.
Well, I saw a commercial telling me to ask my doctor if Celexa was right for me, so I mugged a doctor and told him to tell me it was right for me.' But this doesnt do shit!" I cried, heartbreakingly sober. "In the commercials some guy was staring through a window all bored, then he took the stuff, and next thing you know he was seeing horses run down the beach and some lady jerking it in a field of flowers."
"I figured it was a heavy-grade hallucinogen. But the only things Ive seen so far are real. You know, boring crap like restraining orders and terrified doctors, my arm was starting to dip; I would have to speed this up.
Well, yes, its just for depression and anxiety. It doesnt have any uh narcotic effects. However, I feel pressed to inform you that you shouldnt simply stop taking it, as it can have some serious side effects like nausea, suicidal urges and Paraesthesia, or what we call electric shocks.
I brought my knob-sack to a sudden halt. The momentum change threw me off balance and I slammed into the doorjamb. As the blood streamed down my face, I couldn't help but laugh hysterically at my own slapstick. That seemed to unnerve him for some reason.
What?! No shit? I quit this stuff and I get electric powers? Like a wizard?!
No, theyre not really electric its just-"
So what youre saying is, I stop dosing up on half a bottle of this crap every morning, and I just suddenly get lightning powers like the Emperor from Star Wars? Fuck yes! Medical science is tits on toast! Now that I had lost momentum on the knob-sack, I knew I couldnt get it up and going again before the doctor could make a move on me. I saw the same realization dawn on his face, and we both broke for the door simultaneously. He got there first, but as our hands touched a bolt arced between us and he went down like a tazed fish.
Fuckin sweet! I yelled, staring awestruck at my own sparking hands.
Wh how did you? Its not real! It doesnt work like that! He was clearly having trouble understanding basic biology, so I shot him with another burst. I heard somewhere that violent electric shocks really boost your learning capacity. Sesame Street, I think it was.
"Electricity helps you learn, and burning helps you grow!"
As I emerged from the doctors office, I saw the usual security contingent waiting for me. Doctors, man! Aint that always the way? You gotta wait in line all day, reading outdated magazines and sitting on paisley chairs, and then 14 unprovoked assaults later and all of a sudden youre under arrest. Typical.
In the interest of sport, I hollered down the hallway to the waiting police officers, I feel pressed to inform you gentlemen that I just quit Celexa and now I control lightning.
Thats not what he meant, the nurse poked her head around the corner, its just the sensation of ele-
SILENCE FOOLS! I thundered, both metaphorically and literally. Lightning bolts raced from my hands and traced the doorways in jumping arcs as they traveled down the narrow hall, ELECTRONICO SPEAKS NOW.
(I figured I should probably be called Electronico from that point on).
LISTEN TO HIS DEMANDS AND OBEY. HE... umm HE WANTS I panicked, not having any actual demands ready. ELECTRONICO DEMANDS A NEW BELT, FOR HIS BELT IS JUST A TAPE MEASURE KNOTTED ABOUT HIS PANTS AND IT IS VERY CHAFING.
All right, that would do. What it lacked in glamor if made up for in functionality. The new kingdom of Electronico would be one ruled by utilitarianism. No longer would the bourgeoisie oppress the lower class with their selfish, rampant hedonism!
ALSO TO SHOWER IN CHAMPAGNE. ELECTRONICO DEMANDS THAT TOO! I added. Hey, sometimes a brothers got to treat himself, you know? The bubbles really help exfoliate.
After Id made one of the nurses strip the unconscious doctor of his belt (and pants, because that's just funny) and bathed in the finest sparkling wines of France, I found myself suddenly concerned with the workings of the world. Yes, I had welded myself a shining throne from the carcasses of the hospital staffs cars. And yes, I had set up a makeshift fiefdom in the parking garage. And yes, I made the nurses dance for me every hour on the hour while I rained lightning down on the peasants to display my dominance--but I needed to contribute something valuable to society.
And I knew what that something was.
Herald, I called out for my herald: The man who was my voice to the masses, who recorded my demands and presented them to the world outside. Nobody stepped forward. I should've probably appointed one, and then called for him, come to think of it.
Thats you, I said to the pants-less doctor, youre my herald. Doctor No-pants. Whatever your name is.
My names Harold, he replied, meekly.
I shocked him in the eyeball, and he yelped. Dont be a smartass, herald. Record my words so that the world might hear my wisdom, and despair.
Why would they despair at wisdom? The herald asked me. I shocked him in the other eye. Now each eye was twitching with alternating frequency. He looked like he was continuously winking. How darling!
Tell the world that I have the answer for our current healthcare woes, I laughed as the herald scrambled for a pen, winking frantically. The twitching must have made seeing difficult, because he fell several times.
As I have sat and ruled over this medical establishment, I have long pondered the state of our healthcare system and, indeed, have found it in need of reform, the herald dutifully transcribed my words, timing the writing in between eye-blinks. Relying on an entirely capitalist approach to something as direly important as ones health makes little sense. The concern for profit is at direct odds with the concern for the sanctity of human life. Profit, by its very nature, is selfish. Profit is concerned only with prolonging and enhancing profit, and if it is required to do so at the expense of life, it will. Running healthcare like a business means that patients are merely assets, and assets are expendable.
Some around the room nodded in mystified agreement.
Yeah! Its a moral imperative to care for the sick! Keep capitalism out of it! Free Tibet! Screamed one particularly filthy looking individual. Admittedly my kingdom of Parking Level Orange was a rough and tumble place, but I was nonetheless astounded at just how filthy the peasant had managed to get so quickly.
The realization struck me with nauseating impact.
Hippy! I screamed in horror, shooting a bolt of ozone-splitting electricity into his dreadlocks. I needed to think quickly. I simply could not reconcile myself to agreeing with mewling, puking babes like that.
But socialism is not the answer, either! The herald looked confused, but dutifully continued writing. No, socialism is the most corruptible form of government. When lives are on the line, one cannot simply hope and place their well-being in the hands of a vast agency with no incentive to do well by their charges. What better motive to excel at ones field than profit?
Yeah! Cried another peasant, this one so clearly ravaged by inbreeding that his teeth were backwards. Love it or leave it, this is a capitalist system! Fuckin these colors dont run! Git-R-Done! He seemed furious, but deeply confused as to exactly why. His stupidity revolted me, so I called down the thunder and reaped the whirlwind on his groin.
No, neither option is the answer I trailed off. I had nothing, but my kingdom could not see their ruler admit fault. A long, silent moment passed, with no sound to be heard but the sickly wet blinking of my herald.
My people began to get restless. There were murmurs of dissent, and still I remained silent.
Squick went the herald. Squick.
So what is the answer?! Demanded a voice from the crowd. Suddenly it came to me: The perfect solution to the healthcare debate! An answer that would apply equally to both sides, addressing all current concerns so thoroughly and completely that even the extremists would receive it with open arms.
The answer is lightning, motherfucker! I rained a thunderstorm down on the crowd, and cackled as they jerked and seized like broken marionettes. I used the brief time they were stunned to make good my escape.
As I ran through the empty and now utterly destroyed offices, idly wondering if I had accidentally electrocuted 20 people to death in the parking garage, I couldnt help but think that I had really dodged a bullet on that one. That healthcare shit is tricky.
What? You didnt seriously think I had an answer, did you?
Several assaults and one brief kidnapping later, I discovered that detoxing from Celexa doesnt actually grant you super powers, it just creates the sensation of an electric shock. When asked why I briefly experienced electrical mastery, an unnamed accredited medical professional (Hint: He cries when covered in spiders) informed me that I was simply so astoundingly susceptible to the placebo effect that, as long as I believed it was true, it actually worked. When asked to explain this in simpler terms, he elaborated that I was so retarded that it crossed the line into the supernatural. When asked to further simplify, he sighed wearily and showed me a Wile E. Coyote cartoon where the character ran on air until he realized the ground was gone. I finally got it.
It was magic, right?
Don't forget to check out today's feature: 5 Superpowers You Didn't Know Your Body Was Hiding From You. And also check out our Photoshop Contest: 22 Awesome Ways to Reboot Classic TV Shows.
You can pre-order Robert's book, Everything is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead on Amazon, or find him on Twitter, Facebook and his own site, I Fight Robots for more helpful answers to all of your political queries (in the form of swearing and lies).