I don't know about you guys, but I've had it up to here (insert image of me in your head here, right arm bent, with right hand held horizontally around mid-forehead, scowl on face) with health care. In all my forty-five years, I never imagined that the day would come where I would be using the term health care in my life, more than I use the term dry martini. I just watched the morning news, and in a short half hour I was told:
1. Not to get a mammogram or do self exams
3. That obesity is going to cost us $344 billion by 2018
3. That salt is bad for me
4. That the swine flu fairy did not show up again, so there are still not enough H1N1 vaccines to go around
5. And last but not least, that the über -contentious Health Care Bill is stiiiiiiiillllllll working it's way through our stellar bureaucracy
The media loves this type of stuff, as they seem to exist solely for the purpose of creating mass hysteria among hard-working, already-stressed-out-enough-about-the-economy Americans. "Hey, you guys are freaking out about paying your bills?! How about we add to it by talking endlessly about your potential health problems?!"
So, this morning I decided I would cut through all the clutter and noise, to give you the real deal on the health care news du jour.
Do not get a mammogram until you are 50, or do self-exams.
Let's just nip 1. right in the bud, shall we? Stupid freaking idea.
America, can you please, please, please head over to Target or Walmart -- or Restoration Hardware if you have good taste and cash to burn -- buy yourself a full length mirror, turn on all the lights in your house, remove every stitch of clothing you're wearing, then stand in front of your new mirror, and take a good, long, hard look? I mean, really soak it in. If you do not like what you see, chances are good you will be costing this nation lots and lots of money one day soon, if not already. So, what you need to do after you wipe away your tears, is put your clothes back on, get in your car, and drive to your nearest Weight Watchers meeting. Weight Watchers works. Really. I wouldn't lie to you. So does exercise, so do some of that as well. In fact, forget about driving to the meeting and instead, put some sneakers on and walk there.
I admit it--food without salt sucks. Have you ever tried eating a french fry that had no salt on it? Copy paper has more flavor. But if Joe Average simply stopped stuffing bags of salty snacks and processed foods down his pie hole, bookmarked epicurious, and learned to cook meals at home instead, dollars to donuts he wouldn't be on high blood pressure medication.
Swine Flu / H1N1
If you're going to name an epidemic--the next hot disease--then for Christ's Sake, come up with something sexier than The Swine Flu/H1N1. Throughout history, there have been some really great names for pandemics: there was the mysterious Black Death (aka, the bubonic plague), and the Seussical-sounding Spotted Fever. Even the Spanish Flu was nicknamed "La Grippe" which made is sound less like a scourge, more like your charming neighborhood bistro. Let's face it--the name Swine Flu is just not sexy, and H1N1 sounds like something a computer programmer in the back office at Microsoft came up with. I went on to Thesaurus.com to see if there were any other names relating to swine that might make this a more marketable pandemic. I crossed hog, oinker, pig, and porker off my list (although Porker Flu might tie in nicely with the whole obesity issue) and so far I have come up with:
Personally, I think Beast Flu has a nice ring to it, so I'm going to lobby for that one.
But I digress.
There's a flu going around. One goes around every year and (shocker!) people do die from it. If you've not gotten a shot yet--NEWSFLASH!--there are not enough vaccines to go around, so chances are pretty damn good that you're on your own.
- Carry some Purell with you and wash your hands whenever you can, and then wash them some more. Pretend you're a brain surgeon operating on your own brain -- that's how clean you'll want 'em.
- Watch what you touch when you are out in public, and do your best to keep your
filthy, germ-infestedhands away from your face. If you have to picktouch your nose (who doesn't?!), use a tissue.
- Wear a light scarf around your neck, and when you're on the subway, or in some public place where some fool is hacking up a lung right next to you, wrap it around your nose and mouth to avoid catching their scourge.
- Don't make-out with complete strangers. (just keeping you on your toes to see if you're still paying attention)
The Health Care Bill
Sorry, suddenly I am feeling too sick to go on....