(Yeah, I know. My yiddish accent is a shandeh un a charpeh. But what can you do?)
And thumbing around the internet this weekend, I came across a “Boycott Whole Foods” group in Facebook. (For anybody who may not be aware, the owner of Whole Foods, John Mackey, a millionaire who makes enough money that he won’t be thrown into bankruptcy the first time he gets sick, wrote an editorial saying that universal health care was a bad idea.)
So anyway, like I said, I found the "Boycott Whole Foods" group in Facebook. And on the first page, I noted that among its almost 28,000 members was a friend of mine named Melissa. So, on a whim, I joined. Apparently, I’m now boycotting Whole Foods.
Now, here’s the thing. This won’t be a particularly arduous boycott for me, because I never shop there (I just don’t see the sense in paying twice as much, or more, for an apple just because somebody slapped an “organic” label on it – and since “organic” really doesn’t mean much, I’m just as happy paying less at a standard grocery store). However, since Melissa, as far as I know, shops almost exclusively at Whole Foods, maybe the excessive amount of inconvenience that she’s dealing with, makes up for my lackadaisical boycott.
(For the record, I also boycott veal. Since I never bought it anyway, this is another boycott that isn’t exactly causing me excessive pain. So in the end, when I do the right thing in a completely passive manner like this, does it increase my chances of going to heaven? Do I get a couple of points in the “nice” column on Santa’s list or anything?)
My wife, being on a low-protein diet, has extremely fine hair. This did not, however, prevent me from removing a hair clump the size of a vole from our bathtub drain yesterday. (It was too small to be an ordinary mouse, so “vole” seemed appropriate. But it’s a descriptor that nobody uses, at least here in the USA, so I’m happy to throw it in there.)
It shames me to admit it, but I’m not the biggest opera fan in the world. However, after years of forced association, I find that I can stomach it to a limited extent (and I’m actually a big fan of Amici Forever, despite the fact that they’re in contention for the stupidest band name ever). And, if you happen to be in the Albuquerque area on a Friday night, and you happen to be an opera fan (and statistically, these two occurrences aren’t likely to converge to any great extent), quite probably the best place to go is a coffee bar called the Roasted Bean Café, down by Old Town, where the three best singers in Albuquerque (and whoever else shows up) spend the evening singing operatic arias, art songs, and the occasional Broadway number (over the strenuous objections of Erskine, the baritone). It is, in fact, called “Opera and Broadway Open Mike Night,” and it starts at 8:00 p.m.
This has been an entirely unpaid advertisement, neither requested nor approved by the singers, the venue, or the owner of the Roasted Bean. I apologize if anyone is offended. (I also feel compelled to apologize for including that link to the Roasted Bean; they have great coffee, but a butt-ugly website.)
We have a company which provides health screens to go along with our health insurance; it’s a different company than the one I bitched about last year. So I just registered with them, and I noticed the following statements in the middle of this long, three-page “Participant Notice and Consent.” Let’s see if you can spot the part that took me aback, just a little.
This program is being offered to help you become a healthier and happier you. Participation in this program is voluntary and is not considered part of your work-related duties and responsibilities. A health screening will be done at the beginning of the program to assess your current health status...What the hell kind of “wellness program” are they running here?
In consideration of your participation in the Bravo Wellness and Know Your Number programs, you hereby accept all risk to your health and any injury or death that may result from such participation and you hereby release your employer, Bravo Wellness, BioSignia, Hooper Holmes, Heritage Labs, and their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, successors and assigns from any and all liability to you, your personal representatives, estate, heirs, next of kin and assigns, from any and all claims and causes of actions for all illness or injury to your person resulting from your participation in the Bravo Wellness and Know Your Number programs, including, without limitation, your death, any medical problems or any health issues, whether caused by the negligence of your employer, Bravo Wellness, BioSignia, Hooper Holmes, Heritage Labs, or any of their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, successors and assigns.
That looks a hell of a lot more like the "death panels" that Sarah Palin is whining about than anything that’s come out of the White House.