Friday, March 19, 2010

Parable #4: The Parable of the Octopus Man

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Once upon a time, a young man named Quincy got sick.

It wasn't anything serious, just a head cold-- a minor bit of sniffles. Every reputable doctor he visited told him to go home and drink fluids and sleep and he'd feel better within a few days. But, because Quincy was a hypochondriac, he continued searching until he found someone who told him what he wanted to hear.

"You are dying!" shouted Dr. Lyndon.

"I am?" Quincy asked?

"Oh, yes. You need my ministrations immediately!" and he pulled out a bottle marked MEDICAID. "Swallow this, and I'll have you right where I want you... um... I mean, you'll be right as rain!"

Quincy paid Dr. Lyndon a few hundred billion dollars and went home. That night, he took his first spoonful of MEDICAID. And, sure enough, after he'd slept a few days and had some fluids he did feel better!

And so, after that, he took a spoonful of MEDICAID every time he had a cough, or a cramp, or a bit of a chill. Strangely, these symptoms were coming on more and more. And he noticed something else-- he was growing suckers on his toes! In fact, his legs seemed to be becoming more like, well, tentacles!

He brought this unpleasant fact up to Dr. Lyndon, and was assured that it was the fault of the evil drug companies. He insisted that Quincy give up Dimetapp, Halls and Sudafed and rely on MEDICAID exclusively. Quincy agreed, and took out another hundred billion dollars.

Years went by. Quincy suffered from all sorts of ailments. He was constipated, and his arms hurt. He had constant headaches, sore throat. Perhaps even a touch of leprosy. But worst of all, his lower body had become entirely that of an octopus. Sometimes at night he would wake up to feel the tentacles around his own throat-- as if his octopus half intended to strangle him in his sleep.

And the pain!He didn't feel as if he had always been an octopus-- it didn't feel natural-- along his waist was a festering, creeping wound where his human torso was attempting to reject his octopus limbs. Like a badly performed transplant, his two halves were at war with each other-- neither able to accept the others existence.

He slithered into Dr. Lyndon's office. The old doctor peered through his spectacles and scratched his chin.

"I don't know what to make of it." he muttered. "What do you think, nurse? More MEDICAID?"

Nurse Obama inspected the problem."Oh, no, doctor. The problems are FAR too severe for that!" She said. "I recommend a fundamental transformation."

"A fundamental transformation?" gasped Quincy. "What do you mean?"

"We have to turn you entirely into an octopus!" Obama said.

"I agree." Said Lyndon. "MEDICAID isn't working, and it's better to do something instead of doing nothing."

"But..." stammered Quincy "Can't I just go back to being a man? Why don't I stop drinking the MEDICAID?"

"WHAT" shouted both at once.

"That's impossible!" Said Obama. "You're implying that MEDICAID did this to you, you ungrateful thing?"

Lyndon put a wizened hand on Quincy's shoulder. "The MEDICAID is the only thing keeping you alive, son. Let us do the operation. Let us transform you. Or you will surely die."

And so, because he was a hypochondriac, Quincy agreed to a fundamental transformation.

He was wheeled into the operating room to meet Specialist Pelosi and Anesthesiologist Reid. Lying under the hot lights of the operating table, Quincy heard a voice shouting in the distance.

"Don't do it! Don't do it! For the love of..." the voice was cut off by a slamming door.

"Let's go!" said Nurse Obama, cheerily, and Quincy inhaled the anesthesia.

And they went to work-- cutting off all the parts that were still human, and replacing them with pure octopus.

Hours later, the transformation was complete. Quincy was fundamentally transformed into a perfect octopus! His limbs were strong, with powerful suckers. He had a beak that could easily crush small businesses. He had beady little eyes fit for a tax collector. His whole body glistened a beautiful SEIU purple. Not a trace of humanity or reason was left in him.

And he was never sick again because, that night, Lyndon, Obama, Pelosi and Reid went to the home of Dr. Roosevelt, the inventor of the procedure; they celebrated late into the night, toasting their success-- stuffing their happy faces with caviar... and champagne...

...and fried octopus.


-Richard Gleaves

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1 comment:

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