Main Street

Main Street with Roger Allen publisher

September 25, 2009 // 0 Comments

Some words on words “Teen-agers” is becoming a passé term. More and more I hear this age group referred to as “young adults.” Doesn’t seem like a good substitute to me. Shouldn’t “young adults” be out making a living? I can remember when “young adults” held down serious jobs, got married, and began raising families. I’m not grumbling about this. It’s the nature of language to change with changes in society’s perception. It wasn’t so long ago when being “gay” meant you were cheerful and friendly. However, I’m not so happy with the term “senior citizen.” I stuck with describing myself as “middle-aged” for a long time. When people began laughing about it openly, I finally stopped. Since then I’ve been looking for something a little more complimentary, something that recognizes not just the creaky movements and the white hair, but the wisdom acquired in a lifetime. The best I’ve come up with so far is “experienced citizen.” On the other hand, it would probably be contracted to “ex-cit.” And that sounds too much like “exit.” I’m open to suggestions. Hang in there! A group of senior citizens were sitting around, talking about their ailments. “My arms are so weak I can hardly hold this cup of coffee,” said one. “Yes, I know,” said another. “My cataracts are so fuzzy I can’t even see the coffee.” “I can’t turn my head because of the arthritis in my neck,” said a third, to which several nodded in agreement. “My blood pressure pills make me dizzy,” another went on. “I guess that’s the price we pay for getting old,” observed an old man. There was a short moment of silence. “Well, it’s not totally bad,” said one woman cheerfully. “At least we can still drive!” Warning A burglar broke into a house one night. He pointed his flashlight around, looking for valuables. When he picked up a CD player to place in his sack, a strange, disembodied voice echoed from out of the dark: “Jesus is watching you,” it said. The burglar nearly jumped out of his skin. He clicked his flashlight off and froze. After a bit, when he heard nothing more, he shook his head and continued. Just as he pulled the stereo out so […]

Main Street by Roger Allen publisher – September 17, 2009

September 17, 2009 // 0 Comments

  Somber anniversary We’ve just come through the eighth anniversary of 9/11. Osama Bin Laden is still at large, and the war in Afghanistan goes on. Hope springs eternal: maybe the coming year will bring good news. Poor value? The President’s recent speech to Congress on his plan for health care reform contained many specifics. We needed that, but what will happen now? Over the centuries, our two-party system has worked. Too bad the health care debate has gone so far off track. The issue is extremely complicated; the number of people who really understand it would probably fit on the head of a pin. That makes exaggerations and outright lies easier to pull off. The one thing that seems easy to understand is the need for change. As it is, the U.S. has the highest-priced health care system in the world. Despite this, according to the World Health Organization, 27 nations have a better healthy life expectancy than we do. How can this be? Is it inefficiency? Greed in the American health care industry? Something else? I wish we had more facts and less partisan rhetoric about such an important issue. “Doctor will see you now” Continued from last week: More (supposedly) actual notes in patients’ hospital records: 1.She is numb from her toes down. 2. While in ER, she was examined, x-rated and sent home. 3. Skin: somewhat pale but present. 4. Rectal examination revealed a normal size thyroid. 5. The lab test indicated abnormal lover function. 6. I saw your patient today, who is still under our car for physical therapy. 7. The skin was moist and dry. 8. Occasional, constant infrequent headaches. 9. Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch. 10.Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities. Careers A second-grade teacher introduced a career unit to her class by asking students what their parents did for a living. “Tim, you go first,” she said. “What does your mother do all day?” Tim stood up and proudly said, “She’s a doctor.” “Thank you, Tim,” said the teacher. “How about you, Amy?” Amy shyly stood up and said, “My father is a mailman.” “That’s wonderful, Amy,” said the teacher. “What about your father, Billy?” Billy proudly announced, “My dad murders people, steals from […]

Main Street by Roger Allen publisher – September 10, 2009

September 10, 2009 // 0 Comments

  Good news Latest reports indicate the recession may be nearing an end. This is typical of business cycles; we’ve always had them and probably always will. That’s capitalism for you. The TARP funds, despite starting out with poor oversight in 2008, have helped avert a longer and deeper financial mess, and by any measure, the stimulus program of 2009 is working. Capitalism can use some government help from time to time. The current recession is not the worst we ever had and we will come out of it. Less than good news The President’s health insurance initiative seems to have foundered on vociferous protest from those who resist change. In retrospect, the plan probably should have been called Medicare for All—no ifs, ands, or buts. Medicare and Social Security have been well accepted and have done a good job. Simply expanding Medicare into universal health care might have gone over. Medicare has money problems because our population is aging and we have more money going out. Growth in the working population has not kept up, so we have less money going in. The result is a foregone conclusion, which has nothing to do with politics. It isn’t rocket science to know we will have to cut benefits, raise taxes, or cut costs of the program. The hundreds of private medical insurance companies, most of them “for profit,” each has its own bureaucracy to support. Seems to me, eliminating multiple insurance bureaucracies would help cut costs of medical care. The fantasies about government “death panels” would actually be funny if so many people didn’t take them seriously. Those of us who have private medical insurance are already at the mercy of our insurance companies. Their expensive lobbying to kill the President’s initiative tells us a lot. And one more thing: we taxpayers already are paying the medical costs of many of the poor, particularly uninsured sick children. Is that “socialized medicine”? Let’s get organized and not allow the shouters to sabotage our opportunity to bring America’s healthcare delivery system into the 21st century. “Doctor will see you now” Supposedly, these are actual hospital notes in patient records. A little reform might be in order. 1. The patient refused autopsy. 2. The patient has no previous […]

Main Street by Roger Allen Publisher – September 3, 2009

September 3, 2009 // 0 Comments

Saving money These may not be the most popular ideas I’ve proposed but I think they are worth discussion. Maybe, after we get through the health insurance problem, we can talk about them. The war in Iraq was a pretty bad idea, but it looks like we can get out of it now. We are heavily invested in Afghanistan and maybe that is not such a good idea. We seem to be in the middle of a religious war. We’ve lost more Americans in those wars than we did in the World Trade Centers. And then we have Pakistan, Somalia, and an unending stream of nasty governments. We could sure save a lot of money if we came home. The war on drugs is certainly not going well, either. We are spending millions to stop drugs coming into the country and it doesn’t work. We should legalize drugs, tax them, and spend our money helping educate and cure addicts. Wow, I’m going to be in trouble! The lighter side CREATIVE PUNS FOR “EDUCATED MINDS” 1. The roundest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi. 2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian. 3. She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still. 4. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption. 5. The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work. 6. No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery. 7. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering. Zachary, age 4, came screaming out of the bathroom to tell me he’d dropped his toothbrush in the toilet. So I fished it out and threw it in the garbage. Zachary stood there thinking for a moment, then ran to my bathroom and came out with my toothbrush. He held it up and said with a charming little smile, “We better throw this one out too then, ’cause it fell in the toilet a few days ago. A little boy got lost at the YMCA and […]

Main Street by Roger Allen publisher – August 27 2009

August 27, 2009 // 0 Comments

The Good News With all the bad news in the world, I’m happy to see that we’re getting off the gasoline kick. Crude oil was formed from living things buried under prehistoric seas, and eventually it will all be used up. The automobile made use of cheap petroleum but, a century later, it’s not so cheap anymore. One look at the Interstate and you can see the results of supply and demand. Transportation has drastically changed our lives and we can’t easily give it up. But it looks like the human race is getting serious about exchanging gasoline for renewable-source electricity. (Thank you, Thomas Edison!) We’re on our way to an oil-free future. That’s good news! Extinction Not us! Charles Darwin, in postulating the theory of evolution, noted that plants and animals best adapted to the environment were the ones who survived. He never figured on the changes humans could make on the environment. We have species disappearing because humans are taking away their habitat. You know what happened to the passenger pigeon, the bison, the great auk, and many others too small to notice. Humans are the worst enemy of lots of plants, birds and animals. We hunt them, eat them and change them by breeding. We have to live, too. About all we can do is keep a few samples around to remind us. I guess that’s what zoos are for. Health Insurance Confusion There’s too much misinformation floating around to figure out what’s going on with the 3-5 bills in Congress. It’s too much to cover in one fell swoop. Medicare has been a successful program, although expensive. It can be expanded and made less expensive. Congress should concentrate on “Medicare for all.” Frankly, I trust the government more than the competing, for-profit insurance companies. Abby Strikes Out Dear Abby admitted she was at a loss to answer the following: “Dear Abby, “A couple of women moved in across the hall from me. One is a middle-aged gym teacher and the other is a social worker in her mid twenties. These two women go everywhere together and I’ve never seen a man go into or leave their apartment. Do you think they could be Lebanese?” “Dear Abby, “What can I do about […]

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