Bought and Paid For

While back in the Midwest helping my mother to recoup from her emergency open heart valve repair, I inevitably had to drive on the roads and highways and even spent some time with my brothers at restaurants and in some bars. The experience was, well interesting.

There, just outside Chicago, or maybe in the whole Chicago-land area, people seem to be living a paradox. They pay doctors for medical care to cure them of all types of ailments, diseases, and conditions that might kill them when all the while they live a life style that makes me think they are in a hurry to die.

Let me explain. It seems that speed limits, stop signs, red lights and safe driving habits are just suggestions. Passing on the right is customary and squeezing between semis to make the next exit on the freeway is not given a second thought. Tailgating at high speeds is a game to see who can draft the closest. And don’t get caught with 3 inches more than a subcompact space between you and the car in front of you; “hell I can fit my four door full bed pick-up in there bud!”

I’ll admit it! Driving on the roads there scared me s#*!less.

In the bars I heard guys brag that they were wearing the same size jeans and the same belt that they wore in high school. The beer belly hanging over that belt though is a “keg instead of a six pack” and they think the doc will fix all that goes so they can drink to their hearts content.

Diets and health food are for the “left coast.” “If it ain’t steak and the potatoes ain’t fried, why eat it,” and salads, well there for cows. “I got canine teeth for a reason.” As for exercise, walking from the front door to the car door is enough.

I just don’t understand all this bragging about how much beer they drink and food they eat. Later in life they will be bragging that they had bypass surgery and the number of heart arteries bypassed will be like notches on the gun of a gun fighter in the wild-west. They’ll sit back in their Lazy Boy, (sorry to the Lazy Boy Company) in front of their big screen TV, open their shirt to expose the neck to navel scar and brag that their bypasses are all “bought and paid for” just like their beer gut.

Me, I’d rather live my life in the slow lane here in Oregon, obey the speed limits, courteously let other drivers through the 4-way stop in front of me, don’t tailgate,  watch my diet, eat my salads and exercise. Later sitting in a beach chair, holding hands with my wife on a tropical island, watching the waves crash on the shore and the sun setting over the horizon is a more desirable way to spend my money. I’ll use the money that I didn’t spend on diet related bypass surgery to pay for it all and brag that this is all “bought and paid for.”

This seems a lot more attractive to me than having my doctor sit on the fantail of a yacht somewhere in the Bahamas with the name on the stern declaring that this is “ALL BOUGHT AND PAID FOR”.

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