Wednesday, August 16, 2006


I have wasted the last two days allowing the government institution known as "MediCare" to freely and purposely devour my cell phone minutres.

You think this program is hungry now, wait another ten years.

Usually every three months, like amazing clockwork, the government's financial hampster wheel spins wildly until a bill for $148.50 spits out and lands in my apartment door mail slot.

I didn't glance at the calendar to check the date. I knew in my pocketbook that it was time for another bill to arrive.

I don't know if our President needs one of those large belt buckles declaring his state of origin (you said "confused?" Ha ha. Don't forget to tip your waitress on your exit from the blog...) or Cheney needs another gun safety, but my bill has ballooned to $402.

Deep breaths. Don't panic. Close your eyes and think of puppies.

That's better.

The government still wants over $500 in taxes from last year's return. Now this.


This is where the government dolts you see biding their time in their little pre-fabricated cubes inadvertantly display how clever they truly are.

I trekked from work to the Social Security office, avoiding construction signs for a freeway that will never be wide enough, eventually arriving in what I affectionaitely call "Slimy Town."

It's a part of Santa Rosa where you want all your senses at full alert. My Dad once taught me it was all about attitude when you're walking by your lonesome. Place both hands deep into your front pockets and play with your keys like you have some sort of weapon. When you pass someone, look them directly in the eye whether they want to or not.

Pretty damn good advice.

The security guard at the SS Office is the nicest gentleman you'd ever want to meet. Regardless of who you are or how you might be dressed, he wishes you a good day and asks about your weapon inventory.

I didn't really consider a copy of "USA Today" violent, but I guess that depends on your political view. I like their pie charts.

Here's where I gamble with my medical insurance future. I've been here numerous times to make a last minute payment before they cancel my Medicare benefits and it's a crap shoot as far as who you meet at the window. If it's the short raven haired temptress at Window #3 with too much makeup and her nose tilted ever so subtle into the stale air, you're fucked.

"I have a question about my premium statement."

Her nose wrinkled up and twisted her pretty little face into a contortion that didn't bode well for my financial future.

"We don't answer billing questions. We just take payments. We're the middle man."

"But I've..."

She cut me off with a slice of attitude.

"'s the phone number. Call them and they'll take care of it."

Over my head she sceams, "Next."

I was too tired and dizzy from a lack of blood pressure medication, so I exited and allowed a few expletives from languages other than English to escape my lips.

So she was the government's first patsy in the way of resolving my problem.

Sneaky lackeys.

The number she gave me was for the Social Security office, not Medicare, so she fucked me while only displaying her massive bosom at the SS Office.

The frustrated lackey at the 800 Social Security number gave me the 1-800-Medicare number.

That turned out to be for people wishing to file a claim, not ask a billing question, even though one of the choices on the overly verbose menu was "billing."

I wanted to jam my cell phone antenna deep into my ear in hopes of connecting with someone with some compassion, but all that managed to do was bring in the local "hits of the 80's, 90's and today" station. Since I wasn't in the mood to "Chaka Khan" I removed the device and tried one last time.

"You have reached the Office of Billing for Medicare Part B..."

Success! Hooray! Booyah!

"...we are presently closed."

"Bastardos! Vendejos! Putas!"

That's all the Spanish curse words I could remember from my time as an Assistant Manager at Mama's Pizza in Seal Beach during my ever fading college years.

It then occured to me that I could have shoved the cell phone up my skinny pale ass and achieved just as much as I had in the previous two hours.

Which is pretty much how I see my government from time to time.

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