Tilefortlauderdale

One woman, lots of paint and hundreds of tiles. If you're here because you found a painted tile, it's yours to keep.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

"The Countess of Tipico"


Maria knows exactly how many dots are on her shirt, and how many cracks are in the sidewalk between her house and the Mini-Mart. She also knows how many stop signs she passes on the way to work. Counting helps her to feel in control. That's why they call her The Countess.

Dropped The Countess off at Tipico Cafe, so she could count how many people were talking about the new Michael Moore movie Sicko, which was showing right next door at the Sunrise Cinema in Gateway. That's a lot of pissed-off people to count. Maria wishes she could try to count the number of angry people taking to the street in protest of a system that abandons and kills people who don't have the money to pay grossly inflated hospital bills. She wishes there would be too many angry protesting people to count.

She hopes it happens quickly, before millions more people die at the hands of a system that rewards insurance claims reviewers for denying people life-saving care ... in essence, killing them to cut losses for filthy rich corporations whose head honchos get fatter and richer every time one of their paying customers is sentenced to death.

Maria, meanwhile, has a disorder that makes her keep counting things. Her doctor recommended a medication, and even provided Maria with a free sample that the doc got from the pharmaceutical rep the day he took the doc and her entire staff to lunch at an expensive five-star restaurant. Next month, the doc may have to attend a "continuing education" program sponsored by his pharmaceutical company, somewhere in Hawaii, I think. All expenses paid. Maria refused the meds. She likes counting better than she likes pharmaceutical companies. Sometimes, when she can't sleep at night, she counts pharmaceutical company CEOs. She imagines each one in a small locked room with no access to the things they need to live.

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