Saturday, April 17, 2010

Take Heed, All You Mortals

The movie re-make of “Clash of the Titans” is playing now in BKK. In a fit of needing something to do for a couple of hours recently, I almost went to see it. I passed, and there were three reasons:

1. I loved the original, and this one just looked like warmed-over “Transformers” computerized over-production, in 3D no less, which makes me dizzy;

2. I think that gods and mortals should just get along; and

3. I had seen Liam Neeson deliver the line, “release the Kraken,” in the trailer, and I honestly felt that if I had to see him say it again, all of the beauty and meaning in the world would be gone for me, gone forever.

Gods aside, we mortals aren’t having too easy a time of it these days. Some new annoyances, but mostly it’s the same old stuff. Further proof this week, as though any were needed, that we live a precarious existence, at the whim of everything and anything at all.

My nephew is a fine, tall, strapping thirty-something, with no known history of particular physical problems, not known to me anyway, and I think my sister would have mentioned it. This week fate surprised him with a heart attack, that’s what I heard anyway. The doctors hadn’t opened him up yet at last report, I think the operation was scheduled for yesterday but I haven’t heard anything about results. Doctors are generally very careful about making false reports of heart attacks though. America is a very litigious country, and nobody likes to be frightened like that for no purpose.

Here’s wishing my nephew luck, he’ll need it. These days, the odds are that he will survive nicely and then suffer most of a normal lifetime under intense, continuous doctors’ care, including many subsequent operations. Only in America could I go on to say with a straight face: “luckily, he’s already thoroughly impoverished, a ward of the state, and unemployable.” At least he won’t have to worry about the bills.


Anonymous said...

Having had heart bypass myself in my 40's, I have to agree--he's screwed. Life as he knew it is over.
He will be unemployable. No company wiil take a risk on him. He should start his own business asap. He apparently has an agressive form of heart disease since he is only in his 30's. So he will be having stents and other crude ways to keep his arteries open at regular intervals, if a blood clot just doesn't drop him before he can get to a hospital. He should try to get some life insurance to help his family should he drop dead, although it will be nearly impossible to get more than $50k in coverage. He should be prepared to spend 10K on various heart meds and blood tests and doctor visits every year.
In the past, guys with heart attacks were allowed to die. It may have been better that way.

fred c said...

On the basis of your thoughtful comment, I'm glad that you're still around. But I know that it's rough. A close friend of mine had his first heart attack/bypass a couple of weeks before his thirtieth birthday, and four more since (three? it's every seven or eight years). Now he's on the list for a transplant.

Good luck to you, and others similarly situated. We love you. (Every day above ground is a good day.)

Anonymous said...

Last week, an old girfriend died of devastating liver cancer. She was 53. Left 2 teenage kids, whose dad had also died 8 years earlier. Today I found out a girl I dated when I was 18 has been dead for 5 years now, cause unknown, she was just 55. Either I am a jinx, and all the women I've dated or wed should worry, or there's just something in the environment, or the food supply, or something, killing off our generation, particularly the women, much sooner than in the old days.

who will Sixty in a couple months, crosses fingers

fred c said...

Oh, Ed, if I had any ex-girlfriends I'd probably have those stories too! It's hard though, watching people die and/or hearing all the stories. No one said this getting-older thing would be easy.

You stay positive, get your exercise, stay away from KFC Double Downs, and you'll be fine.

P.S. on the jinx thing, it's a good idea! Who do you want to play you in the movie?

Anonymous said...

Oh, Robert Downey Jr. would do me justice.

And BTW, you should hope my jinx isn't working--after all, I dated your sister-in-law, and I hear she's doing fine and is on track to living to a ripe old age!


fred c said...

Oh Ed, you're too charming to be a jinx!

Me? I want to be played by a digitally reanimated Steve McQueen.