14 August 2009

The Death Panel

CHAIRPERSON: Before we begin, I’d like to sing the national anthem.
“Hail to thee, Thou Great Obama!
Obama! Obama! Obama!
Hail! Hail! Hail!
All hail!”
Thank you. That brought quite the little tear to my eye. Now, our first order of business is an end-of-life consul­ta­tion for Mrs. Zachary David Alexander Efron, resident of the Southern Administrative District. Citizen Efron, are you here?

BRISTOL EFRON: You betcha.

CHAIRPERSON: Please state your full name for the record.

BRISTOL EFRON: Bristol Sheeran Marie Palin Efron.

CHAIRPERSON: You’ll pardon my saying so, but you seem to have an awful lot of children with you. Are they all yours?

BRISTOL EFRON: Yes, Citizen Chairperson, they sure are.

CHAIRPERSON: But your file clearly indicates that you have been a leading figure in the Teen Abstinence move­ment.

BRISTOL EFRON: I’m not a teenager any more! Besides, I don’t think you can really appreciate, just by looking at all thirteen of my children, exactly how often I do abstain! Why, just this morning, Zac and I —

CHAIRPERSON: But why did you bring them with you this morning? Surely you’re aware that, here in the United Socialist States of Obamerika, every citizen enjoys free childcare, whether they want it or not?

BRISTOL EFRON: I do, Citizen Chairperson. But I wanted my kids to bear witness to what we do here today. After all, some day it will be their turn to decide whether I live or die. I mean, I’m already 26!

CHAIRPERSON: I understand. Now then, whose fate are we deciding today? Whose life dangles like a piece of string cheese between our clumsy fingers? Whose —

BRISTOL EFRON: That would be my mother, Citizen Sarah Louise Heath Palin.

CHAIRPERSON: This would be the same Citizen Palin who was briefly governor of the present-day People’s Republic of Obamalaska, is that correct?

BRISTOL EFRON: You betcha. And for a slightly briefer period, she was also a candidate for the vice-presidency.

CHAIRPERSON: Excuse me — but according to her file, your mother isn’t particularly elderly. She’s not even 60 years old yet.

BRISTOL EFRON: Yes, that’s correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Why, then, have you come before this board for an end-of-life consultation?

BRISTOL EFRON: We’re kind of tired of having her around, you know?

CHAIRPERSON: I can understand that, but in the matter of termination, we weren’t expecting you for another 15 years. It’s highly unusual —

BRISTOL EFRON: We thought we could save the state a whole lot of money by terminating her now, instead of thirty years from now, when we’ve already paid to extend her life by artificial means, and all.

CHAIRPERSON: I see you’ve done your homework.

BRISTOL EFRON: I have, Citizen Chairperson. According to my research, caring for my mother could cost the United Socialist States of Obamerika as much as 60 thousand quatloos, by the time she’s 70. Whereas we could terminate her right now for a mere 40 quatloos — or even less, if we take her out in the back, hit her on the head, and bury her alive. I was really hoping the panel would approve that option.

CHAIRPERSON: I can see why. Is your mother able to appear before this panel today?

BRISTOL EFRON: No, Citizen Chairperson, she’s not.

CHAIRPERSON: Is she in poor health?

BRISTOL: Nope. She’s clinging onto life like a pit-bull, that one.

CHAIRPERSON: Then where is she?

BRISTOL EFRON: I believe right now she’s in Des Moines — I mean, the Central Administrative Zone of the People’s Republic of Iowabama. You see, my mom is, uh, currently campaigning. [Long pause] For the presidency.

CHAIRPERSON: The presidency! So there are mental issues involved?

BRISTOL EFRON: That’s right.

CHAIRPERSON: Her Obamacare file doesn’t indicate that.

BRISTOL EFRON: Well, how else would you explain her behavior?

CHAIRPERSON: I’m sure I wouldn’t try.

BRISTOL EFRON: Her positions on euthanasia have been made clear, however. Even before we knew she was … you know. [Gestures to depict moose antlers on either side of her head] As you can see, I have attached several statements, in which she totally says that there’s no point dragging things out, she’d only be a lame duck if she were to continue, and quitting before the job is finished is the best way to win in the long run. And like that.


BRISTOL EFRON: Basically, I’d like to do to her what she did to her governorship.


BRISTOL EFRON: And so, you know, I’m wondering whether the Glorious State will, you know … help me.

CHAIRPERSON: The deductible for her termination is rather high, I’m afraid. Are you and your family prepared to cover that expense?

BRISTOL EFRON: I was sorta hoping for a government grant, or some kind of bailout. And also not to get, you know, arrested, like I would if I just hit her with a shovel.

CHAIRPERSON: Have you filled out the relevant paper­work?

BRISTOL EFRON: Golly! There’s so much!

CHAIRPERSON: Termination of a Citizen is a weighty responsibility.

BRISTOL EFRON: It’s just that I’m not very good with exams and, you know, written stuff.

CHAIRPERSON: A fully licensed Obamacare representative will be able to advise you. Just fill these out, submit them, and we’ll have your answer in four to six years.

BRISTOL EFRON: That’s a long time! I was really hoping to get an answer right now!

CHAIRPERSON: Unfortunately, there’s a bit of a backlog at the present time. We have three members of the Bush family and Chelsea Clinton ahead of you already, as a matter of fact, with identical requests. It’s this panel’s Obama-given duty to determine which cases are truly urgent, and I’m afraid that —

BRISTOL EFRON: Urgent! Have you tried living with my mother? I don’t think I can take another two weeks!

CHAIRPERSON: We’ll do our best to speed up the process, Citizen Efron. But in the meantime, you may want to consider a little trip to Canada. If you know what I mean. They do good work there, very cheap, no questions asked and no deductible.

BRISTOL EFRON: Thank you, Citizen Chairperson! You won’t regret this.


wine&baguettes said...

I do rather enjoy getting free stuff. So free chidcare, even though I have no children, is right up my alley.

Anonymous said...

I am howling with laughter! Thanks, Bill. SK