Friday, June 10, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate The Benefit

Someone I work with asked me to attend a benefit dinner for a woman that was suffering from some unbelievably horrifying disease. I received the quick pitch as I walked by. "Greg, will you come to the benefit we are having on Saturday? Kathy is a friend of my sister's brother-in-law that had to have her leg amputated up to her butt cheek because of bone cancer. The doctors don't think they got it all either. It's really sad."

Now I am not a heartless beast. I agree that this is a terrible situation. I assume that this woman that had half of her ass chopped off is an all-around good egg. Conceptually I can get my arms around having a benefit for her. However, it is hard for me to attend a benefit for someone that I don't know personally, much less the person that invited me doesn't appear to even know either. Since there is a detachment here, can we take a closer look at this idea? Can we start to really think about this "benefit" idea with a cool distant head?

I assume that having your ass chopped off is expensive. The medical bills must be absolutely staggering. It has to be something along the lines of the gross national product of Ecuador. I think it cost me $892 to have someone give me sinus medicine this Spring. The ass chopping procedure has to be killer. Additionally, the Insurance Companies are probably fighting tooth and nail not to pay anything, and I like their odds against a woman that has cancer in her remaining bones. The stricken family probably isn't much help either. Do you think they are outfitted to deal with those hedgehogs on the phones at State Prudential Medical Trust Insurance? "Sorry ma'am, but this illness was pre-existing. What's that? Give you an example of a non pre-existing illness? I'm sorry. The connection just got bad. Hello? I can't hear you. Gotta run. Ta-ta." Those fuckers will grind you. So how do we pay for the medical bills? Let's put a show on at Spanky's Barn! We'll all cook up some food and get a band! Let's help this poor woman! Good intentions, bad probable ending.

The benefit was a home spun effort. Some sort of Lodge Hall was rented out. People chipped in and baked pans of lasagna. Someone cooked pork and cabbage or some shit like that. Keg beer and well liquor were served. Plastic plates and utensils were placed in front of the steam table. A horrible cover band played. The front man made awkward announcements. "We are so sorry to hear about Kathy having half of her ass chopped off, but let's all dance the Watusi!" In the end, $5000-$7000 was probably grossed, with a net of about $3800. What the fuck good is $3800 going to do against $782,000 of medical bills and the never ending "therapy" keeping the meter running until her demise in 2-6 months? It just seems like a colossal waste of time and energy to try and fix the financial situation.

Why not just get all of her close friends together, and have a "We Love Kathy" dinner? If Kathy is up to it, people she actually knows can pay homage to her while she is still able to appreciate how much others care for her. It would be a good way to get a circle of people together and connect for maybe the last time in that way. Why go through the mirage of trying to solve the medical bills? Write that shit off. You can NEVER pay for it. The family and loved ones have enough of a burden with her failing health than to worry about mammoth bills that can't be paid. Why hammer that point home with everyone they know trying to pull together with all their resources and then the result is to come up 97% short? If there was a truckload of money in Elks Halls and local rock bands, wouldn't you see a lot more sports cars drive in to load in gear at clubs as opposed to beat-to-shit cargo vans?

I don't know this woman, and me spending $50 on a plate of ziti in a gloomy Elks Hall isn't going to do her a bit of good. Does Kathy really need some stranger sipping a Bud Light in a plastic cup looking her over and swaying his head back and forth in the "isn't it a shame" gesture? If I had half my ass cut off, I wouldn't want to see some stranger trying to clumsily explain the six degrees of separation of why he/she is here to eat my neighbor's shitty three bean salad and slap me a fifty. The real "benefit" is to avoid that kind of awkward situation for Kathy. I'll give you $50 to get her friends together for strictly a good time though. Forget the bills. Leave all that behind for a night. That's a real "benefit".

Quick Note: I couldn't have been any happier to see LeBron James come up short again. As I have said for years, that guy can't win anything. Bring him on in Space Invaders, checkers, or poker. I will beat his ass in anything but basketball. (I wouldn't be fair for me to play him in hoops, or him to compete vs me in writing a stupid song. Let's keep it fair.) I feel so happy to see a guy that is an obvious dildo not have his schemes come through. Even better, the entire population now considers him as a guy that not only can't play in the clutch, but totally wilts away. Then he lets loose with that "tomorrow you are all losers but I am still me" rant? Awesome! Let's stop all that "He's just a kid" bullshit too. He is 26, and put a giant tattoo across his back of "Chosen One". He refers to himself as "King James". He considers himself above you because he can put a ball in a hoop. Doesn't it feel great to see that kind of guy take shit from all corners? I love it, and I hope he continues to humiliate himself for years to come.


At June 22, 2011 at 8:30:00 PM EDT , Blogger Dave L. said...

That's a brilliant and actually compassionate take on the innumerable fund-raisers we all get asked to attend.


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