Friday, June 23, 2017

Naked to the world...


I’m not sure when your private parts cease being private. Until I had a stroke about 8 months ago, I was a fairly modest guy. Except for my mother, my wife, and a few close friends, not many people had seen me buck naked. Outside of when I was in diapers, and that half-hearted streaking incident when I was much younger, I had managed to keep my private parts mostly private.

When the stroke hit, they stripped me of my clothes and cut me out of my underwear, but I wasn’t really in any shape to be overly concerned about it. By the time I got my wits about me, an untold number of nurses and orderlies had hooked up wires and inserted tubes in places that weren’t, in my opinion, made for wires and tubes. And while I remain extremely grateful for the excellent care I received at both hospitals that worked on me, I was also grateful when they told me I could put my pants back on, go home, and cover up what needed to be covered up whenever I felt like it needed to be covered up.

I knew I would have to go back in for some maintenance. They installed a sending unit in my chest, and cut my throat open to stick a wedge in beside a paralyzed vocal cord. I figured I could at least keep my pants on while they were working on my chest and throat, but it turns out I was wrong. No matter what they were working on, I had to put all of my clothes in a bag and put on a drafty and not very fashionable or flattering gown, a one-size-fits all creation with some fabric in the front, but lacking in the back and bottom.

By the time they got around to going in after a kidney stone, I was pretty well resigned to the notion that I had been exposed to just about everybody in the healthcare field in Richmond and Indianapolis, and it was getting to the point that it didn’t bother me much more than it seemed to bother them. As I said earlier, I’m not sure when my private parts ceased being private, but I figure that by my third trip to the operating room, most of the mystery and all of my modesty was gone.

I know they were all doing their best to keep me alive and mobile, so I didn’t complain too much about the over-exposure, but it did make me think about the loss of privacy in other parts of our lives.

When our national and state legislatures met this year, they decided to intrude a little further into private areas and private property. In Washington, a bill was introduced requiring persons who hold currency in places other than a registered bank, to report it to the IRS. Grandma’s secret butter and egg money would no longer be Grandma’s secret.

In Indianapolis, a law was passed requiring anybody under 18 years old to wear a helmet while driving or riding an off-road vehicle. And while it’s probably a good idea to wear a helmet when jumping over tree stumps, it’s a little over the top if Grandpa wants to cruise around the yard with a couple of Grandkids for a little Sunday afternoon relaxation. It falls in the “sometimes a good idea, but never a good law” category, aside from the fact it applies to private property.

For years, I’ve been asking people to name 3 things the government doesn’t tax or regulate. I’ve always hoped it would get to be a little easier. Just between you and me, and the government, it just got worse.

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