I went to check on a friend in a dangerous situation recently. Call him “W.”
He was in the hospital.
Dangerous? Yes! As you may know, “hospital” is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.
But there’s another good reason to avoid hospitals that I didn’t know. So bitch-slap me.
Since he had all sorts of insurance, “W” probably looked like $$$$$ as they wheeled him into the emergency room. Sort of like when you take your car in for an oil change and suddenly you have new shocks, a new muffler, relined brakes and a big bill.
No such problems this time. And I already knew about that danger.
However, on my way in, I’d noticed two deserted police vehicles parked outside the Emergency Room doors. OK, no biggie, maybe they were waiting for a convict that needed a procedure or something. Since the U.S. has the largest per-capita prison population in the history of the world, that was a reasonable guess.
But both vehicles were still parked in exactly the same spot when I was leaving. Neither had moved. Complete face transplant for the witness protection program maybe? Boob-job? Surgery for another gynecomastia victim? Taxpayer-financed sex-change?
I looked through the tinted window of one of the vehicles. It had the full complement: Computer console, shotgun locked in a center rack, extra handcuffs, bag of donuts, etc. And still deserted.
Kidding about the donuts.
Then I noticed the logo. Both vehicles had “UHPD” included in the classic black-and-white motif.
“That’s odd,” I thought. “What’s that stand for?” The PD was clear — “Police Department.” But what the heck did the “UH” stand for?
Then I got it — but I had to Yahoo! it before I’d believe it.
“Shocked-and-appalled” kicked in.
Sure enough, hospitals now often have their own police force. The “UH” tipped me off. It stood for “Ulster Hospital.” The two stacked police vehicles belonged to the Ulster Hospital Police Department, hence UHPD.
This early tell-tale proto-police-state practice apparently started in the 1970s in tandem with chronic big-time drug busts. The Wikipedia article comfortingly states that “Hospitals have the potential for violence on a daily basis.”
Hmmm, well, OK, but that’s not the other big reason to avoid hospitals either — though it may be worth weighing in the balance.
Later, safely back home, I told “W” about my new discovery.
He pointed out that I’d missed the important part.
“When you check into a hospital, what do you have to do first?”
I had to stop and think for a moment. I bet you know – – –
You give Reception your ID and insurance information. Including your Social so-called Security number.
Guess where that goes immediately.
If you guessed, “The hospital police desk,” you get five gold stars — unless you have outstanding warrants. For anything.
No auto-insurance? Expired vehicle registration? Too many unpaid parking tickets? Citation because your grass was too high? Something you didn’t even know was illegal?
You are aware you unknowingly commit an estimated three felonies a day, right? And that “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.” Right?
“W,” tells me you may be arrested on the spot.
And that’s ANOTHER good reason to avoid hospitals if you can — and welcome to the freest country in the world.
Also for the same reason, check for outstanding warrants before you visit your criminal too-high-grass neighbor when he’s in the joint.
Oh, yes, and now please bitch-slap me — I could use some help with this level four shocked and appalled.
AND, “LIKE,” tweet, and otherwise, pass this along!
L. Reichard White [send him mail] taught physics, designed and built a house, ran for Nevada State Senate, served two terms on the Libertarian National Committee, managed a theater company, etc. For the last few decades, he’s supported his writing habit by beating casinos at their own games. His hobby, though, is explaining things he wishes someone had explained to him. You can find a few of his other explanations listed here.