Posted in Almost Dorothy, Aunt Jill, Characters, Family, Politics, The Mother, Themes

In Defense of Healthcare: An Open Letter to Barney Frank


Ma’am, trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table. I have no interest in doing it. —Representative Barney Frank from Massachusetts.

Dear Barney Frank,

My neighbor told me I obviously need a civics lesson when I told him Nazis are un-American and full of shit. “The only normal Americans are US citizens,” he said. “Guys who are here legally. Don’t abuse alcohol, drugs or people. Are Christian. Are heterosexual. No fags. Male or female (nothing else).”

“What about shemales,” I asked. “A combo of sorts.” He was totally perplexed and gave me the finger. “Fat ass.”

“Your indiscriminate tolerance demonstrates your deep ignorance of real life,” he said. “Fucking fag.”

No one swooped down to haul him away, not even aliens, or men in black masks or mascara, not even Obama in his pin stripe suit and fancy brown loafers. No one skinned the swastika tattooed on his right arm or the heart tattooed on his chest, or confiscated his balls or ak 47. God didn’t even strike him down for using the F word in front of children, not the word fucking of course, but fag.

Mr. Frank, I think your last name defines your character and I’m not referring to hot dogs. For example, I heard what you said yesterday to that wailing woman, that sheepish banshee who spoke to dining room tables like mom does after too many men or cocktails. Mom is kind of pissed you didn’t take further action against that cute bat, like sucker punching or karate chopping down that picture of Obama defaced as Hitler she held like a white flag in her hand.

“Fucking Aunt Shelly fought the Nazis. What does that teabagger know about tolerance? Barney is a solid piece of flesh,” mom said. “And probably a total a drunk too. I’d love to get him into bed.”

“Mom,” I said. “He’s gay. Keep on topic.”

“Even better,” she said. “I like to be on top.”

I’ve mentioned this a thousand times but mom hits the bottle a lot, any bottle of course, even a baby bottle, especially if it’s loaded with Bartles & James. She’s totally un-American in the most American way, fucked up and royally screwed because mouths speak louder than logic. She likes to swig a little on the bus between the two jobs she got as a result of moving to work from welfare, the pub and the diner, assgrabville and tittytouchville she lovingly calls them.

I know you don’t want to hear about her anymore but she’s the ticket, the cashmere scarf I don’t have because we don’t have much at all, not even healthcare for minors or teeth insurance. I don’t even have candy-striped knickers or fancy Hello Kitty school supplies but I have straight A’s and a cute smile. Thank God America is more concerned about Dr. Mengele being resurrected from the dead than curing dementia. I guess it’s good news then that we don’t invest much in DNA or embryonic research. Who needs those things?

I heard on TV that people who don’t have healthcare should get a better paying job and get it themselves. I heard people on TV shout that people who don’t have healthcare are lazy slugs and should go to school to better themselves. I saw people on TV with signs that read “Healthcare Isn’t A Family Value. Freedom Is.” I saw an elderly woman in a wheelchair get shoved aside because she wore a “Reform Healthcare Now” baseball cap. She smiled.

Dear Mr. Frank, mom graduates next week, after 6 years of community college and learning ABC’s and 123’s. She can’t get insurance because she’s certifiably insane even though she has offered HMO’s her arm and her leg.

“Denied,” they wrote. “Your inane request for coverage is laughable, silly woman. No, a picture of your tits will not help. We won’t take you up on your offer although you have nice nipples. I don’t understand your fetish for teabagging, anyway. You must be insane. Good luck with your health and we wish your daughter our best.”

Dear Mr. Frank, mom says she’d rather go to hell, burning, just to defend Aunt Shelly’s honor even if it means pole dancing.

“I’ll do what I gotta’ do,” she says. “And you too, my little fairy princess. And that Barney Frank better too.”

Yours truly,

Almost Dorothy

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I'm not real, but I'm a writer.

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