Thursday, August 13, 2009
The Gate Keeper: A Tale of Hope, Change and Unintended Consequences.
The Gate Keeper: A Tale of Hope, Change and Unintended Consequences
A Tragi-comedy by Mike Vanderboegh in two scenes, playing soon at a congressional office near you.
(Author's Note: My thanks to Big Mike Barlow for suggesting the idea.)
Scene the First
13 December 2012
Chuck fumbled with the keys, dropped them, snatched them up and, finally, got the door open. The hospice nurse, alerted by the noise, was already up and standing in the middle of the front room. One look at her careworn face told the story.
"I'm sorry Mr. Daniels," she said anyway. "She's gone."
Chuck dropped his keys on the table as he always did, cognizant only of the thought that nothing would ever be the same again.
Theresa was dead, then. Killed by health care rationing.
They had known this was the way it was going to be. Theresa had even stood in the town meeting, oh, how long ago, and told the congressman that if the Health Care Bill passed as written that it would come to this. They never thought it would be her. But she had been right. Government health care killed her. Too late diagnosed. Finally treated, too little, too late. And then, at the last, the "gate keepers" refused to pay for an experimental treatment that had shown great promise. Too "unproven," they said.
Now she was gone.
What was there left to say?
Maybe, just maybe, there was one thing.
Scene the Second
21 December 2012
The congressman was alone as he finished cleaning out the desk drawers in his local office. He'd laid off the rest of his staff, and even his secretary and part-time bed partner had gone, seeking other employment.
He had been defeated last month, by the revulsion and backlash created by the government-run health care system he had worked all his life to pass. Well, there was one thing he could hold onto. Like every other entitlement program ever made into law, they'd never repeal this one. Health care for all, the crown jewel of his legislative record, would never be repealed. The country was stuck with it now, and there was damn all his opponents could do about it.
The congressmen smiled, if bitterly. It was cold comfort for losing all those perks he had for so many years. But it was comfort.
The door to his office opened, and suddenly a man stood there. What the hell? I know I locked the front door.
"Who the hell are you?" the congressman demanded.
The man looked inoffensive enough. He had a beaten air about him. A sadness.
"I'm Theresa's husband."
"Who's Teresa?" The congressman balked, wondering if this was a jealous husband. He never could remember names.
"Not Teresa, The-resa," the man corrected.
"OK, who is she?"
"Just a woman you killed."
"What the hell are you talking about? I never killed anybody. Who the hell are YOU?"
Chuck Daniels smiled then, and it was a smile that frightened the congressman to his core.
"Why, don't you know? I'm your gate keeper."
"Gate keeper? What the he . . ." His voice stopped, as he involuntarily sucked in air at the sight of the pistol.
Where had that come from? the congressman wondered dully. Looking at his death, he could think of nothing to say.
The congressman just looked at him.
The shot seemed impossibly loud, even in the palatial room.
Postscript: This little drama is currently being scripted by Nancy Pelosi and her pals in the Imperial City of DC. The dramatic license taken for its future possible unintended consequences is my own. Feel free to spread this as far and wide as you like. Just do it in its entirety, unedited, with the information below. Oh, and be sure to send one copy to your congresscritter. It is only fiction, after all. Certainly nothing could ever happen like this. You think?
The alleged leader of a merry band of Three Pecenters
PO Box 926
Pinson, AL 35126