I actually had a similar idea--I wanted to start reciting good poetry loudly--but chickened out. But now I just might get the nerve to do it. Just imagine if all of us who hate public cell-phone use did this; it could be a movement!
I went to way too many rock concerts back in the day without protecting my ears, and I'm almost positive there are a lot of almost-old people out there like me who need hearing aids, except they're too vain or too broke to buy them. It could be why they talk so loudly on their cell phones.
All this background and/or in-your-face cell-phone use--NOISE--makes it very difficult for someone with hearing aids, who has enough trouble identifying sounds as it is! Background noise is extremely disturbing and annoying and makes me want to slap anyone using a cell phone, or at least lecture them on hearing loss and how much hearing aids cost and how I am about to go postal if they don't shut up. I haven't done any of this. Yet.
Here's what I'm gonna do. When I'm in Fry's, and someone is yelling into their phone, "Do you want fat-free taco sauce or Rosarita's or Mr. Taco's?" I think I'll jump up and down and snort like a pig, or maybe fall down in the aisle and pretend to have a heart attack. I wonder if this would be any more of a solution than the book-reading. I will write to you again with the results if I get up the nerve to try that.
In between the gynecologist and your afternoon eegee's, why not take the battle to Himmel Park? You've seen those pricks with their dogs running around off the leash, crapping all over the place. During the half-hour you spend there, banging out next week's article, go over to the shaded picnic table where these pricks gather, drop your trousers and pinch a noncommissioned loaf at their flip-flopped feet. Despite that old Klingon proverb, sometimes revenge is best served warm.
Later, while you are picking up your rotisserie chicken and loaf of French bread, why don't you tee off on that guy who goes straight from the gym to the store in his workout clothes? It's an irritating reminder of how much we're not working out (especially you). Why not saddle up to the guy, break off a piece of bread, sop up as much of that chicken grease as you can, stuff it in your face and show him an equally unwarranted peek into your lifestyle?
From the sounds of that little stunt you pulled at your gynecologist's office, its time to trade your laptop in for the Rascal Powerchair. Good luck to you in your fourth and likely most lucrative career as a crotchety old man. You will be missed. But not sorely missed.
The people who huddled in those ERs weren't sitting there on a whim. They expected the worst, only to find that the misery exceeded their expectations. But they went because they had no other choice.
Our health-care system is broken. Some were there because they lacked health insurance, but 86 percent of the people who visit an ER are there because they could not get an appointment with their regular provider.
Our health-care system discourages preventive medicine. The red tape, the cost and the assembly-line system of treatment forced on providers by the insurers discourages people from seeking routine treatment. Minor ailments are tolerated until they become intolerable. Routine ailments are ignored until they become serious health emergencies.
We need major reforms. That is why I introduced House Bill 2677, to establish a commission to study our broken system and implement an open health-care system that ensures equal access to good health, and treats everyone--including doctors, other health-care providers and patients--fairly and respectfully.
Unfortunately, the Republican majority places a higher priority on allowing guns in public buildings than fixing our health system. They buried my bill by assigning it to unfriendly committees. Not one of those panels gave it the courtesy of a committee hearing.
If Republicans won't allow my bill a fair hearing, the people will find another way to get the word out. This is why some groups want to put a universal health-care proposal on the Arizona ballot in 2008. Perhaps the threat of an initiative will force their hand when I reintroduce my bill next year.
Rep. Phil Lopes
District 27; leader, House Democrats
I'm all for bicycling as a means of transportation and a way to save gas. I'm not for all the "weekend warriors"--i.e., the majority of bicyclists in Tucson, who simply ride back and forth on their bikes, only to get into SUVs and go about their business. Nowhere in any of the recent articles on the subject does it mention the swarms of bicyclists who clog traffic riding four across in the bike lanes. Nowhere does it mention that the animosity for bicyclists by motorists mostly stems from the bicyclists' complete and utter disregard for their own and others' safety.
Some select few follow the laws and behave as sane individuals, while most--mostly the idiots in low-drag Spandex riding around aimlessly--generally act as if they weren't a human on a few pounds of aluminum versus several thousand pounds of steel.
If you're going to publish articles criticizing motorists for their behavior against bicyclists, do include the other side of the story.
I've been line-drying my clothes for years, and with our low humidity, they dry remarkably fast. However, I don't use fabric softener, a toxic chemical product that adds to air pollution and illness. For info on this, contact the Human Ecology Action League of Sothern Arizona at www.healsoaz.org .
For those who like its effects, one alternative is adding a quarter cup of white vinegar to the wash or rinse. In fact, vinegar alone (no detergent) will get clothes clean if they're just sweaty, not heavily soiled. I use half to a whole cup. We've been brainwashed by advertising to believe we need heavy-duty laundry products.
Thanks, Tucson Weekly, for your strong environmental commitment! I believe Tucson can be a leader in turning things around.