Wednesday, March 13, 2019
I’m sitting in my cubicle in the emergency room waiting to be seen. Outside in the corridor is a commode. Beautiful commode. It looks shiny and new, probably yet to be Christened. I begin to fantasize.
Because I have a crippled buddy who would kill to have that commode right now. I shall give him an alias, so as not to violate the privacy of his bathroom habits. I’ll call him Bing Crosby.
Bing Crosby entered a phrase of life that every cripple enters sooner or later. One day you slither onto the crapper (or however it is you transfer). And then you try to slither back off but you can’t. You try and try but you just can’t. Your ability to safely and successfully slither is suddenly and permanently gone.
So now what do you do? Should you call one of those few people in your inner sanctum that you can comfortably summon in the event you get stuck on the crapper? Should you call the fire department? Should you keep slithering?
Regardless of the exit strategy you ultimately employ, you find yourself steeped in a harsh reality that you must rethink the way you take a crap. In Bing Crosby’s case, he knew it was time to hire assistants to spot and aid him as he slithered. He also wanted to reduce his amount of slithering. They key to achieving that goal was to acquire a commode on wheels. That way he could slither directly onto the commode from bed, roll from bed to crapper to shower and back again, reducing the need to slither by 50 percent.
Ah but acquiring a commode is not that easy. In a perfect would, there would be commode fairies that would appear in an instant to grant our wishes. But in this brutal world, commodes cost money. Cripples like Bing Crosby, who don’t have disposable income to blow on stuff like commodes, might be able to get Medicare to pay for 80 percent of it. I suppose having 80 percent of a commode could suffice, as long as that 80 percent includes the seat, legs and wheels.
But Medicare’s gonna want a prescription from a doctor plus a whole lot of paperwork. And then there’s the time spent waiting for approval or denial and the appeal.
You can get a commode in a flash from Amazon. You don’t need no stinkin’ prescription. They’ll sell a commode to anybody, no questions asked. But you gotta pay in full. No 80/20 split. The commode Bing Crosby has his eye on costs $250.
Bing Crosby is trying to get a big charity that says it takes care of cripples like him to buy him a commode. They say they’ll pay for the whole thing, but they still require a prescription and a whole lot of paperwork. Bing Crosby is a month into the process, and still no thumbs up on the commode. If any of Bing Crosby’s kitchen chairs had wheels on them, he’d probably say fuck it and cut a hole in the seat and stick a bucket underneath.
So as I’m looking at that gorgeous, alluring commode, I’m fantasizing. I ought just swipe the damn thing and take it right to him. Wrap it up with a ribbon and bow. To get past the ER security guard, I’d have to pose as a commode repairman or maybe say I’m with the FDA and there’s been a recall. Sitting on this commode makes your ass break out in hives.
I’m sure there are tens of thousands of cripples in commode limbo, like Bing Crosby. I should organize a band of bandits for justice who steal commodes from the rich, like big honkin’ corporate hospitals and nursing homes and medical supply companies, and give them to the poor.
I’d be the Robin Hood of commodes. Just call our toll-free number anytime. Free next-day delivery guaranteed. And you don’t need a goddam prescription.
By the way, the ER trip was a false alarm. I'm fine. Thanks for asking.
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