It’s Not Easy Being Stupid.

Before I forget, Donald “Tiny Hands” der Drumpf is a self-serving blowhard maggoty half-man and every word that he vomits out of his little girly pie-hole is a lie: a deliberate, democracy-destroying horse-shitting puke-encrusted lie.

“It’s not easy being stupid…”

Today’s headline is a quote from page 89 of Michael Nesmith’s new book-long “autobiographical riff” about his life (so far) on Earth. I love the title, and as a life-long Mike/George fan in the Monkees/Beatles vortex I was vastly interested in finding out what one does in life after becoming very famous, for three years, in your twenties. In Mr. Nesmith’s case, fame and money allow you to unfetter your thinking from the usual day-to-day preoccupations of the un-famous and the un-rich (paying bills, keeping the boss happy, wondering if your life has any meaning), which leaves you frees to spend the rest of your life thinking up stuff to do that keeps you living about 7 years in advance of the culture. He’s a very clever guy.

You remember him then:

This is him now:

On page 89 Mr. Nesmith, in his characteristically elliptical way with words, takes himself to task for letting his fame and money give him a huge ego and overblown sense of entitlement (see: stupidity) by writing: “It’s not easy being stupid“, which is his way of explaining how the consequences of his pathological celebrity behavior made his and others’ life unnecessarily complicated, anxious, emotionally draining, spiritually unstable, and unhappy. That is to say, fame and money don’t make life easy: it makes life hard.

On the other hand, it seems to me that there are plenty of people who find it  easy to be stupid. Just take the plaintiffs and defendants on any average episode of Judge Judy. They are all un-famous and un-rich and they all seem to revel in their stupidity.

The uninsured driver who is indignant that she has to pay for the damage she caused when she T-boned an unsuspecting Honda because she didn’t hit that Honda on purpose. The unmarried mother-of-three with one-on-the-way who claims she shouldn’t have to pay back a personal loan from her best friend because she’s a single mom. The owner of an unleashed  German Shepherd who says her dog only bit the plaintiff because the plaintiff annoyed the dog by walking neat it. The plaintiff who is suing for harassment because the woman to whom she owes $1,200 keeps calling her to ask where’s the money she’s owed.

For these people, it’s really easy being stupid because they live their lives believing that I should not be held accountable when my actions have consequences that I don’t like.

(I thank the great Neil deGrasse Tyson for that pithy summation of human nature.)

Speaking of which, last February my own actions had a consequence I did not like, not one little bit, and I’ll be goddamned if I’m going to be held accountable.

Last February was when I tried to rescue a blind raccoon from my backyard, only to have the little bugger turn around and bite me on my right hand.

The actual raccoon. I thought he was stuck on that fence and I tried to lift him off of it. Stupid idea.

With shaking and bloodied fingers I ran to my computer and looked up “Rabies, vaccination for” on the internet and was directed to the emergency room at a Catholic hospital about a mile away. Off I went.

I also did research on the cost of rabies vaccines for humans.  Like all other aspects of health care in America there is a wide range of prices nationwide, from a low of $167 to a high of $957.

However, in the New York/New Jersey/ Connecticut neighborhood where I live, the prices range from $317 to $365 for the vaccine. To this base price one must add the administrative cost of having someone fill in my three-page emergency room patient paperwork, weigh me and take my blood pressure,  have a doctor come inspect the bite mark before prescribing the approx. $350 rabies vaccine administered by a nurse, and of course I must be charged for the band aid I got from another different nurse (my FOUR HOUR wait time, by the way, was FREE). I refused x-rays because I’d already been there for two hours and could tell that waiting for x-rays would take all damn day.

Now, I have private health insurance. I never had Obamacare and the current debate about Drumpfcare does not affect me personally. And I still get shitty health care, at least as far as the rest of this story goes.

OK, about this incident with the raccoon, I felt bad that my lifestyle choice (of trying to free wild raccoons from my backyard) had resulted in my becoming a burden to the policy holders of my insurance company, because I believe that unhealthy lifestyle choices are the kind of pre-existing condition that should be exempt from coverage: You smoke, you pay for your own emphysema. But I rationalized that this piddling rabies vaccine cost was a one-time expense in my lifetime. I am NEVER going to try to rescue any more raccoons, ever.

I recently received my co-pay bill for this treatment — my out of pocket fees are $200. So, try to guess what my insurance company was billed for the rest of this little emergency room adventure.

Go ahead. GUESS how much this hospital charged my insurance company for this dose of $350 medicine plus paperwork cost.  The correct guess is:

$21,629.00

When I heard that the hospital charged my insurance company $21,629.00, my heart literally skipped a beat. My next call was to my insurance company, to warn them that they were getting conned by St. Francis Hospital, who had obviously charged them for some kind of pricey hand replacement surgery plus diamond-studded manicure that I never received.

Thankfully, I was assured that the insurance company did NOT pay that outrageous bill in full. As is (apparently) common practice, my insurance company negotiated that figure down to a much more reasonable figure:

$7,062.97.

This is a raccoon-flavored example of what is the problem with health care in America.

I called St. Francis back and spoke to Dolores (probably to er real name) in their billing department (which is in Billings, Montana — approx. 2,000 miles from the emergency room here on Long Island) and asked for their itemized $21,629.00 invoice. I want to see how a simple $350 rabies vaccine ends up costing tens of thousands of dollars.

As they say, that bill is in the mail. I expect to be outraged. But somebody will be held accountable.

Still fuming, I donned my Michael Kors swimsuit and tore out of the house, for I have recently discovered the way to achieve inner peace. As a way to escape the stupidity of the world I just love swimming laps, averaging 70 laps per hour in a 25-meter pool. I can’t wait for Pool Day, twice a week; it’s the quietest and calmest hour of my life. Also, that swimsuit cost $100 for just the top (when did swimsuits get so expensive???) so I’m swimming until I amortize it to $1 per kilometer.

The other three days a week I traipse upon a treadmill; average 4.3 MPH at 3.5% incline for 65 minutes.  But if there’s anyone on the treadmill next to me, I have to outlast them because I am usually quite annoyed with the world (see: der Drumpf). In my mind, I am the righteous  Robin Wright, Amazon General Antiope in Wonder Woman (GO SEE THIS MOVIE), sleek and dangerous and fierce as all get-out.In reality (according to my new physical trainer) I have to tone up my puny 20.02% BMI so I need to incorporate upper body resistance work into my routine. I hate lifting stuff but I do want der Drumpf-face-punching arms like General Antiope.

Thank you, each and every Dear Reader who sent me your Comments re: that anonymous der Drumpf-er two weeks ago; and for last week, when I was too sick of myself to show up for duty. Your Comments mean that keeping this space is worth it, and that what we share here is real and meaningful.  Thank you.

And since several of you Wonderful Yous have asked about the new book I seemed to have written, all I can say for now is that it was a small book I did just for myself and sent to my agent never thinking that she would never find it worth putting out in the world. It’s  a pure indulgence on my part, something I thought was definitely not at all commercial . . . but my agent read it and was so enthusiastic that I was at first thinking she was kidding. She called it “magical”.  I have a contract with Bloomsbury which means that they get first look at it, so it is currently being sussed by my editor there and as soon as I have any news I will Tell All.

One of our most loyal Commenters, Kirra, is arriving upon these shores from yon Down Under this coming week and lo, there will be face time and meanderings and perhaps a cup of tea or two to report on when we next gather.

And don’t forget to wish Canada a Happy 150th birthday on July 1 — we love you Canada!! You’re the world’s best neighbor!

Have a great weekend. And, oh yeah, der Drumpf is a pig-eyed asshole.

17 Comments, RSS

  1. jeanie June 30, 2017 @ 7:48 am

    I don’t know where to begin so first I’ll start with the stuff that made me smile! Yay, Kirra! I’m hoping to face-up too when she lands in Michigan, schedules permitting but lucky you! (We’d all kill for a face-up with Vivian!)

    And the book — that makes me smile big, too! Even a little book is a Vivian book and that’s four-star!

    I won’t even try to smile on Der Drumpf. It’s not possible. Or the stupid people — I’ve seen more than a few. But the insurance — one time? Boy, what about those Critter Catcher people — I hope they have a different policy. That’s ridiculous — it’s not like you pick a fight with a raccoon so you can go take advantage of the system. The costs are unbelievable — even the bartered down prices, when you think about it. I have insurance company issues — not so much mine but in general (along with hospital issues) so I’ll be intrigued to hear what the itemization shows. I would be happy to bring my own band aid!

    Ah, Mike Nesmith.Thanks for the book recommendation — that looks like one I’d like. I was a Monkee girl too!

  2. Megan June 30, 2017 @ 9:34 am

    I’m in shock about that bill… it is outrageous and criminal… very cute racoon, he didn’t know you were helping!

  3. Alex MacKenzie June 30, 2017 @ 9:40 am

    Michael “Woolhat” Nesmith was also my favorite Monkee, and I was ecstatic to see the Monkees in concert in Portland, Oregon on August 26, 1967, when my sister and two friends and I had seats four rows from the stage. We screamed the entire time. We shouted “Smile, Mike, Smile!” periodically throughout, as he was renowned for his stolid stance–until near the end of the show, when he broke out into a beautiful grin and boy, how we screamed even louder then. A magical moment indeed. Thank you for noting the book!

    And I’m excited to hear more about your own book, however small–I know it will be delightful and witty and wonderful.

  4. Sue R June 30, 2017 @ 9:47 am

    Hi Vivian! I’ve not commented before but am a long-time reader/fan/wanna-be watercolor painter/enthusiast. So glad to see you back this week. These political times have been a challenge for all of us. Ugh. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and has a right to express it, which is the essence of a blog, for cryin’ out loud. So do your thing, girl! Nuff said.

    I also want to say that your beautiful painting, thorough lessons, and, let’s face it, the funniest blog on the internet is much anticipated here on Friday nights when my hub, The SweetieMan, and I sit out on the patio, light up the fire pit, pop open the sauv blanc or scotch or what-have-you, clink our glasses together to another week done, and nestle into our comfy chairs for “the reading of the VS blog.” Seriously. The weekend does not start without it. After five long days of work, news, elderly parents, errands and cat vomit, Friday night is our time to chill and that is best begun with a smile on our faces from out favorite blog.

    Thanks for returning to the blogosphere this week! It’s so refreshing to see something witty and intelligent over social media. WRITE ON!

    P.S. Do you have good advice on keeping cats off the counter?

  5. Vicki in Michigan June 30, 2017 @ 7:19 pm

    With you all the way. Except for one small thing — let’s not use “girly” as a pejorative, right?

    • Fan in VT July 4, 2017 @ 9:57 pm

      Right. Little girly and Girly and woman are all awesome kinds of people to be. And the &%$# that somehow became the president of my country does not deserve such a great complement.

      Thanks for making that comment. I can now read the rest of what is probably an awesome post.

    • deb mattin July 6, 2017 @ 8:37 pm

      Sorry about the raccoon incident and the indecent ED bill! And yet have 45 and company actively cozying up to the insurance companies. Grrr

      I’m not sure how long the daily outrage can continue, nor how many “I can’t believe he said/tweeted/did that” moments we have to endure.

      A new book – YIPPEE. Works with my survival plan – more mixed media and journal videos, less news. Can’t wait to hear the details.

    • deb mattin July 6, 2017 @ 8:38 pm

      Have to agree – 45 isn’t worthy to have the word “girlie” associated with him.

  6. Judy Jennings June 30, 2017 @ 8:38 pm

    Vivian,
    #1 Your opening statement about the pig-eyed asshole is right on.
    #2 Michael Nesmith was SO my favorite Monkee. Thanks for showing his current photo. VaVoom.
    #3 My 21 pills per month for my cancer are over $13,000. A MONTH! I think they’re made of solid gold. Or rat poison. Medical costs are infuriating.
    #4 I cannot WAIT to see your book. 💕
    #5 “Raccoon-flavored example.” 😄😄😄 You’re so funny.
    #6 How can anyone take offense about what you or I say about Drumpf (it’s all true), when he is Tweeting the most horrible things about people every day. Every school in America is teaching against bullying, yet Drumpf bullies people all day long. And he’s the president! Setting an example for all to follow?
    #7 Yes to Canada’s being a wonderful neighbor.

    You’re the greatest. 💕

  7. Kirra June 30, 2017 @ 10:56 pm

    Great to catch up on your blog now that I’ve arrived in the USA! Unfortunately our luggage didn’t make it with us from LA, so hopefully it turns up tomorrow or we get to go shopping for a new set of clothes thanks to travel insurance.

    I have to say I was cheered up seeing a news tv show at the airport (waiting for the non appearing suitcases) and a reporter was saying in an interview ‘…I don’t understand what D.Trump and his team are doing….etc’. I think you guys have totally busted him and I hope he doesn’t do too much damage.

    Your racoon health insurance story is pretty scary, we have good nation wide healthcare in Australia, you would just get treated at the hospital if you were bitten by an animal. We have lots of more isolated towns where people need to be helicoptered to a main city hospital, all part of the system. It would be fascinating to see what that mega bill was itemized, I know health care is expensive but not that steep!

    See you soon! 🙂

  8. Elizabeth July 1, 2017 @ 7:20 am

    Longing to see the itemized rabies bill…..
    and you.
    No longer watch news on TV or read NY Times.

  9. Casey July 2, 2017 @ 12:05 pm

    It’s getting harder and harder to laugh at Drumpf especially this past week, when the women in his life are actually DEFENDING this piece of shit.

    But Thank You for meeting me in this space this week. I really needed you.

  10. Kate July 4, 2017 @ 12:08 pm

    Canada thanks you for the birthday wishes and sends you a happy Fourth of July salutation! We too are watching and waiting for this madness to end, we share your contempt and disdain for you know who….some of us wonder if our protest of refusing to come visit you folks until he is gone is supported….we haven’t been visiting as we don’t want to appear complicit….there are many people in Canada who really like and love our neighbors in America…but we sure do miss you and your friendliness and beautiful country….Happy Fourth of July!!!!!

  11. Marilyn July 4, 2017 @ 3:01 pm

    Good for you for speaking up on Drumph and also medical charges. We have to let our voices be heard. I can’t believe it, but those selfish insurance companies are a part of what is wrong in this country.

  12. Melissa July 5, 2017 @ 3:53 am

    Also, I heard a rumor that Mike Nesmith’s mom invented the Post-It note, so there’s that to sustain him.

    That health care story? You should copy it and send it to your senators.

    Didn’t Robin Wright look AMAZING? I couldn’t believe it.

  13. Janice July 6, 2017 @ 4:15 pm

    Secretly celebrating July 4 by reading ‘When Wanderers Cease to Roam’ in solitude! Not doing what I don’t want to do! Sorry family. There will be more years for grilling and games but this evening will be memorable to me for traveling the world via Vivian Swift…what a pleasure!!!

  14. Sharon July 6, 2017 @ 4:17 pm

    Love, love, love Le Road trip. So I decided to check out your blog. Your Trump comments are hilarious. As a northern neighbour I am baffled by this choice of president. Decided to treat the whole spectacle as a really bad soap opera. I don’t know why but every time I read one of his tweets I visualize Trump sitting on the toilet writing them instead of reading a magazine.
    Anyway trying to figure out how I sign up or your blog ( I am technologically inept) Any help would be welcome.

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