Thursday, August 6, 2009

George of the Jungle Needs Universal Health Care

by Scott

I can't really blame a cartoon for my penchant for swinging on vines, though I did watch a lot of George of the Jungle when I was a kid. I also used to swing on a vine over the ravine in the woods behind our house in Indiana. That ended when one of the neighbor kids fell 15 feet and broke his arm. His dad then chopped down the vine. In any case, here I am thinking about turning 40 someday, and I still can't pass by a vine without taking it for a swing.

Lucky for me, the rain forests of Australia are littered with vines. Not so lucky for me, not all of them are swing worthy. In the Eungella rain forest in Queensland, there was a vine hanging directly over the path, just out of my reach. However, if I jumped, I could bat it uphill, run up the hillside, and hold onto a small tree until it swung back. I gave it a good tug to make sure it was stable, and then swung out over the trail. I was cautious on the first attempt, but started pushing it on the next couple swings. Heather captured this picture, but it's hard to tell that I'm a good 12 feet above the rocky ground.

Not wanting to miss out on all the fun, Heather took a couple swings. I tried to take pictures, but they didn't turn out very well. We decided to try video. Bad idea. I decided to go big. As you can see in the video, I went big, but not in the manner I intended. The vine immediately started coming down, but like a good captain, I went down with the ship, never releasing my death grip on the vine. Watch as my head bounces off the edge of the trail.

Don't hold back your laughter. Heather didn't. She did stop the video, but after I recited all known curse words, she started laughing hysterically. I didn't immediately get the joke, but after realizing I wasn't too hurt, I saw the humor...and saw it over and over again in the video. Since the damage to my head was all internal, you can only see the damage to my back.

While this is primarily a comedy, there is a moral to the story. Australia has public health care for all, and private health care for those that want it. Heather worked in both the public and private hospitals. Someday, we will return to the United States, and I really, really need universal health care. I could go the employer provided route, but that means employment, which means work, or pretending to work. Both cut into my vine swinging time. The other route is private insurance, but seriously, what for-profit company is going to sign up to cover me? I need a public option. After all, your own private nurse can only do so much, especially when she's laughing.


MamaAndHerBoys said...
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MamaAndHerBoys said...

I love it, and I apologize for my hysterical laughter, but I assumed since you wrote this you were obviously okay!
That Dad in Indiana sure didn't cut down all the vines in the woods behind our house, because I too grew up with a Tarzan desire to swing on vines (and still do). AND, Uncle Scott-you would appreciate that my boys enjoy vine swinging as well... Hopefully I can convince them to stop once they are adults...although it looks like that doesn't work well in our family!

Danno said...

I don't know what is better, the video or the post? Awesome.