September 10, 2015

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest redux — by Bob Patterson

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 11:39 am

Note from Jane Stillwater:  Bob had a stroke and is having trouble posting so I’m doing it for him.

After a stroke and some rehabilitation therapy and a possible clerical error, the World’s Laziest Journalist wound up in a board and care facility out in the boonies of East Oakland the other day.

Most of the staff there spoke excellent Mandarin — which was of no help to me.

It seemed to us that the daily routine for the patients there was to be belted into wheelchairs and shuffled about between bedroom and dining room and occasionally the bathroom and TV room.

We did our best to channel the Cooler King, Cool Hand Luke and Jean Valjean but it was no use. So thanks to the assistance of a well-known write-in candidate for mayor of San Francisco and the summer intern for this columnist, we did our best to channel Randall P. McMurphy and leave the cuckoo’s nest behind.

We have heard the expression “pharmaceutical handcuffs” and and “chemical restraints,” and also have noticed there is a growing trend to put older Americans under the auspices of a conservator whether they want (or need) one or not.

Don’t fear Death Panels. Fear board and care homes that are designed to make sure you never leave alive.

One of our goals for full rehabilitation is to apply for press credentials for the next Oscar ceremony because we want to see how things have changed since we covered the 1976 ceremony when “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” swept that night’s awards.

After being served an evening meal at the board and care home that consisted of one (1) peanut butter and jelly sandwich, rice soup and Kool Aid to drink, we were as frantic to get out of there as the Prisoner of Zenda.

When the intern came to visit and reconnoitered the situation, an immediate escape plan was formulated.

Less than nine hours later, as we settled into our bunk at the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory, we congratulated ourselves for making the right escape move.

Worst case scenario: We wanted to die at home rather than at that board and care facility.

This may sound like a frenzied attempt to imitate a Philip K. Dick plot, but it is now becoming all too close to real life. Since the Baby Boom generation, which has been subjected to close scrutiny since the phenomenon started, is now reaching retirement age, members of this generation had better check with their lawyers to see how possible this horror-movie scenario might be in their particular case.

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