That Which Shall Not Be Named
May 1, 2020
That Which Shall Not Be Named
Not long ago I was sitting in the park with Pete the Pissed (we were about ten feet apart sitting on separate picnic table benches) and we were sorting through the chopped salad in our brains, bemoaning the Trump Virus and worrying about our retirement accounts due to the Trump Recession, all the usual suspects.
"It's that other issue, though, that finds me vexed," Pete said.
"Vexed?" I said. "I like it when you're vexed, Pete. What's the other issue?" I said.
"Essential surgeries," he said. "People not getting what they need because someone has said their new knee or new hip isn't important. You know, buck up sissypants and work your pain. It's the other one, though, that's the thing."
"Okay?" I said. "That other one?"
"A woman says, 'It's just not possible for me to have a child, to have my world turned upside down in a world that's already upside down,'" he said. "Then we tell her she's not allowed to solve her own problem."
My spirits sagged as I thought of yet one more discussion of this most problematic issue. It's like a family discussing a troubling relative for whom there simply are no good answers.
"You're pro-choice, Pete?" I said. "I didn't know that. I always thought …"
"No, no, no," he began. "Nothing like that. What we have right now is like the same two baseball teams playing an endless game with an endless number of innings. Goes nowhere, my friend. My position is this: I am pro-solution."
"Not to put you down, Pete, but isn't everyone?" I said.
"With one exception," he said.
"What's that?" I said.
"Yes. I am not only pro-solution. I have a solution."
"Experts and passionistas have battled this issue for a long time and now you're saying you have a solution?" I said.
"Look, my friend," he began, "no matter where your beliefs come from – your church, your mom and dad, the bottom of your snow globe – the bottom line is that it's a legislative issue, a political issue."
"That's true," I said.
"Which means ultimately it's a Democrat versus Republican issue. And you know what that means," Pete said.
"I do?" I said.
"Sure. Democrats like to change things, Republicans don't. Democrats aren't all that big on money, Republicans are. Just two positions, my friend, each defensible," he concluded.
"Where are you going with this, Pete?" I said.
"Look. Democrats want the procedure easily available. Republicans don't. So we compromise. For each procedure $1,000 will go to the Republican central committee in the state where the procedure was performed, paid by the individual, insurance, Medicaid, partner, mom and dad – whatever works for the woman involved."
"I'm intrigued, buddy," I said.
"This will visit moral woe upon the Republicans," he said. "They will have a conundrum and they don't like conundrums."
"They will resolve it?" I asked.
"Indeed," Pete said.
"Just show them the money, my friend. Show them the money."
Mr. Attitude never fails to teach me something.
Photoillustration by the author