Thursday, July 2, 2009

"A Modest Proposal On Healthcare"

We are told that skyrocketing health care costs are sinking our economy. I offer here a suggestion that could, at least slightly, lower those costs.

You know those monitoring machines people get hooked up to in hospitals – the machine beeps repeatedly and you’re alive, an extended “Eeeeeeee” and you’re dead? Those machines have to be expensive, don’t you think?

Well here’s my suggestion. What if you got rid of those high-priced monitoring machines, and replaced them with harmonicas? Hold on. Just listen.

You place a harmonica into every seriously ill patient’s mouth. The patient breathes directly through the harmonica, and as a result of the sounds that come out, we’d be able to know whether or not they were still alive.

A nurse walks by a hospital room, they stop and they listen. If they hear the rhythmic whine of the harmonica, the second note pitched slightly higher than the first – “Ah-hah…Ah-hah…Ah-hah…Ah-hah” – then they know that all is well. No “Ah-hah” and it’s “Code Red.” (You should hear me do that harmonica sound. I’m really good at it.)

Nothing could be more natural. It’s already how harmonicas function. On some notes, you breathe in, and on others, you breathe out. I say, let’s put this natural function to work saving lives.

I see no “down side” to this proposal. When one guy dies, you just wash off the harmonica, and stick it in another guy’s mouth.

A radical proposal? People will try to convince you it is. Which people? The “monitoring machine” lobby for one. But we need to stand up to them and get serious about health care costs.

There’s no question, those harmonicas would save us a whole lot of money.


A. Buck Short said...

I'm trying to punch some holes in your theory, but so far it seems really, really sound. Did I ever post my Franken comment yesterday? Because I didn't see it and never save these things. They're like Navajo and Tibetan sand paintings. You're supposed to sweep em away the moment you finish or its some kind of bad luck. In my case the bad luck is being reminded of any comments I've made.

A. Buck Short said...

So let’s get everybody into the 4th of July spirit as we roll down life’s highway:

Fireworks -- Yes, we’re open.


A. Buck Short said...

Fireworks – Buy one, get one free.


A. Buck Short said...

Fireworks – Buy one, get two free.


A. Buck Short said...

Fireworks – Buy one, get three free.

A. Buck missing a finger. said...


Anonymous said...

I don't know if would help the health care crisis, but it sure might revive "The Harmonicats" career.
"Anonymous Brian"

Joe said...

An even better variation of this is to (watch this, now) give everyone harmonicas tuned to a different note.

That way the sounds emanating from the patients will be more mellifluous and aid in healing.

Also, if you hear a missing know someone's Not With Us Any More.

PS What would you do for the asthma ward?

Anonymous said...

Can you make a harmonica work with a ventilator? Oh, sure - just use alot of duct tape, right? Or maybe I've watched too many Red Green shows.

Gnasche said...

Weird. I once came up with a proposal to dramatically increase the cost of folk music by using a heart-rate monitor in place of the wood block.

A. Buck Short said...

(But only because I haven't monopolized this comment section quite enough.)

See that's exactly the kind of volley everbody was waiting for. I once took a nice French provincial bureau and candelabra, worked on them both for 3 months, and at the end we had a very handsome orange crate and a chianti bottle.

When I was a little kid walking along the beach and found some clam shells, Mom would say, something like, "Good, take a couple of them home, you can paint them and they make great ash trays." This kept me busy for two summers until I realized we didn't know anybody who smoked.