Monday, June 4, 2012

In a Truly Liberal World....

Sam loves his car.  He's named the car "Lucy."  Lucy had been his for years now, staying in his garage.  He cares for her, washes her, changes her oil regularly, even cleans her tires.  In short, he is truly in love with her.

So Sam, being a liberal, decides to marry his car. 

Sam goes down to the courthouse and asks the clerk for a marriage license.  He has an easy enough time filling out the demographic information for himself, but the part for the other "spouse" is a bit trickier.  (Not to mention the fact that it looks suspicious that Lucy's actual age is 7.)  He hands the completed paperwork to the clerk, who observes that "Lucy" not only lacks a last name, but is also not present.  The clerk asks where Lucy is; Sam replies, quite naturally, that she is outside in the parking lot.  The clerk asks if Lucy can come inside; Sam replies, quite naturally, that this is not logistically convenient.

Sam explains that, in a truly liberal world, that the definition of marriage as between "one man and one woman," or as between "any two people" (as the truly liberal government recently redefined it) is discriminatory, and that marriage should be allowed between any two entities, as long as at least one of them is alive.  (The current debate in truly liberal society is whether "not alive" is a discriminatory category.)  Therefore, he wishes to marry Lucy.  The clerk, puzzled by the novelty, gives in and processes the paperwork.

Sam and Lucy go on a brief honeymoon highlighted by a trip to Fred's Auto Detailing.

A few months later, Sam goes to Wal-Mart and upon departing, he realizes to his horror that someone has backed in to his beloved, defenseless Lucy and put an ugly gash in her bumper.  He promptly takes her to the auto body shop, where Lucy is evaluated.  Repairs are estimated to cost $823.46.  Sam is asked how he will pay for it—cash, credit card, etc.  Having realized an error in the process himself, he suddenly asks if Lucy should first have gone to a primary care provider, instead of this specialist.  The body shop guys look at him like he's sucked on the exhaust pipe.  After all, Sam explains, Lucy is his "wife," and she is carried on his insurance policy at work.  The body shop guys suddenly decide that Sam really needs to find a "primary care provider" first and get that in order...and then return. 

Sam calls his health insurance company and demands that his spouse receive the prompt and humane care she deserves.  The health insurance company responds that since Lucy's injuries are not life-threatening, she needs to go to a primary care provider first.  They then wrangle over the fact that there are no primary care providers in-network that do auto body work.  Eight months later, Sam finally extracts the money from the insurance company—less his deductible—and Lucy is "whole" again.

Time goes by.  Lucy is starting to show her age (she's 14 now), and Sam decides to bring home another car.  This one is named Sally—and Sally is younger, faster, and goes longer between oil changes than Lucy.  Being truly liberal, it never really occurs to Sam that marriage usually just involves two entities.

Lucy and Sam still spend time together, but the love is cooling, and one day Lucy quits running.  The auto shop guys—still wary of Sam; they have nicknames like "crackpot" for him back in the garage—report that Lucy's transmission is cooked.  It will have to be replaced.  The cost will be $2,321.87.  Sam leaves Lucy at the shop and goes home to contemplate his choice.

But in this truly liberal world, Sam really doesn't have a choice.  What Sam's healthcare provider finally tells him is that auto shop care is now rationed, and unless he finds healthcare—I mean, in this case, transmission care—on the black market, Lucy will be forced into the Cash for Clunkers program.  He has her hauled to the junkyard, where the proprietor gives him $75 for Lucy.  (In Sam's truly liberal world, this is enough to put a third of a tank of gas in Sally.)

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