Friday, April 29, 2005

Is it hot in here?

I read an article this morning in the Wall Street Journal (the tree-killing print version ... I’d link to it but you have to subscribe separately to the online version. Greedy capitalist pigs. Don’t worry, I’m not renewing my print subscription either ... I had subscribed in the notion that it’s best to “know thine enemy” but after a while I’ve realized that I’d really rather not and besides, he’s actually very dull and predictable.) ... where was I? Oh yeah, an article about a guy who was burned over 90% of his body in a freak tractor/propane tank accident. Getting burnt over 90% of one’s body has heretofore meant one really is toast, in the figurative as well as the literal sense, because skin does a lot more that just keep our innards from oozing out. But doctors at the University of Wisconsin gave this guy’s wife a choice: you can let us try experimental skin grafts using shark cartilage and other non-human stuff, which may or may not work and would require us to put your husband in a coma because it’s so painful and then would require him to go through years of rehabilitation and even then he’d still be missing a few fingers and ears and have a nose worse than Michael Jackson’s ... or you can say goodbye and pull the plug now. Oh and by the way you have to decide right away because we need to step lively if this thing is going to work ...

So the woman said do it, but in her journal she agonized over whether she had consigned her husband to a living hell or done what he would have wanted. He recovered, more or less ... in the sense that he is still alive and can sort of walk around and lend a hand--but only one because he lost part of the other one--on their farm. It sort of jumped out at me that the article does not quote him as saying he’s happy or lucky to be alive, however. In fact, after raising the question of whether this was the right decision for the guy’s wife to have made, the article doesn’t really answer it. And all day long I’ve had the nagging thought that I better hurry up and write my living will, because you never know when that propane tank is gonna blow up ...

So in addition to the if-I’m-a-vegetable-pull-the-plug-and-yank-the-tube-and-don’t-let-Randall-Terry-anywhere-near-me clause, I need to include something to the effect that if I’m all burned up and the only way to save me is to kill sharks and put me into a coma, please pull the plug and yank the tube. Quickly.

No comments: