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An allegory on health care reform (featuring the hankerchief story)

November 6, 2009

This will be my final communication to the House of Representatives before this weekend.


Re: 2009 Affordable Health Care for America Act

Good morning, Congressman.  When I was 11 years old I once spent the day accompanying my father on some errands around town. It was mid-fall and I had an early case of the sniffles.  Like most kids that age (and some adults) I would just sniff whatever was falling out of my nose back up in a periodic battle against gravity.  My father was driving and looked over.  “You want my hanky?”  “No, I’m good. Thanks,” I replied.  This scene cycled around a few times.  I would give a few sniffs making a wet nose sucking noise and Dad would ask, “Want my hanky?”  Each time I rejected his offer.  An offer that I would later realize with kids of my own was as loving a gesture as one could make.  I ask my kids now, “Would you like to use my hanky to blow your bogies in to.  I will then carry it around in my back pocket for the rest of the day (or maybe two).”  That’s as real as it gets.

So my father and I rode down the road.  After a few more sniffs of mine, he says:  “How about we make a deal?  From now on, every time I ask you if you have a hanky and you do, I’ll give you a dollar.  If you don’t, I’ll smack you in the head.”  Me:  “Deal!”

It wasn’t more than a minute later that I sniffed again.  “Do you have a hanky?” my father asked.  “You know I don’t,” I replied.  Smack went his hand to the back of my head.  “Do you have a hanky?” my father asked again.  “No!  Come on,” I pleaded trying to get away from his long reach.  Smack, to the back of the head again.  We rode down the road a few miles just like that.  Him asking, me answering, and both of us holding up our end of the deal.

So please oppose this legislation, don’t blow your nose in my hanky, and think twice about whatever deals you are making.

Your pal,


  1. Tim permalink
    November 8, 2009 7:08 pm

    Ah, that timeless tale of abuse and mucus retold. Keep touchin’ my heart, H-dude!

  2. Dr. Zaius permalink
    November 11, 2009 9:49 pm

    My Dear Hugo,

    This childhood pain is reflected in your stale, blue eyes and sunken cheeks. Given the apparent lack of mobility of your tender arms, this fatherly lesson seems somewhat savage. Your thoughts?

    Dr. Z.

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