"He who knows best, best knows how little he knows."
- Thomas Jefferson
I’ve been thinking of expanding my mission statement to encompass my dawning suspicion that vicissitudes of my life don’t so much fluctuate these days as they increasingly tend to swirl around and down like water in a flushing toilet. I’d also like to express my inarticulate rage against the hegemony of the normative discourse that persists in believing life should have a purpose. Tough challenge. Like un-homogenizing milk, or growing tomatoes.
Or like dealing with Medi-Cal.
The lovely people at Medi-Cal have sent me a NOTICE OF ACTION. These words in bold caps at the top of a page strike fear into my heart, particularly if I’m not even halfway through my first martini when I read them. While just about any office of the great state of California is run with the bureaucratic efficiency that makes IRS bureaucrats look like precision diamond cutters in Amsterdam, the people at Medi-Cal are exceeded in their incompetence only by the people at CalTrans.
The letter begins: “You told us you were moving/moved to Riverside County. Therefore, handling of your Medi-Cal case will be transferred to Riverside County…”
Yeah, no. It’s actually more likely that the Medi-Cal recipient to whom this NOTICE OF ACTION was addressed would have told Medi-Cal she had used her frequent flyer miles to purchase tickets to the moon and would be “moving/moved” once they recovered her suitcase that fell out of the rocket shuttle while delivering her to the spaceport, and that she planned to depart as soon as her size XXX adult undergarments were gathered up by baggage handlers.
If my frustration could be expressed in the form of a death ray, it would melt glass. If the Medi-Cal bureaucracy could be described as a geographic phenomenon, I would be standing at the intersection of several merging tectonic plates where obliviousness is being subducted by incompetence and binders full of revised policies no longer mitigate the damage.
So, here’s what I’m thinking. I’ll reply in writing on the remote chance that the Case Worker can read. I’m not too optimistic about this because the unsigned letter identifies the “Worker Name” as “L. Case Closed”. Here’s my first draft.
NOTICE OF REACTION
Dear Mr/Ms Case Closed,
Noooooo! I’m not moving to Riverside County!
While it’s probably true that somebody told you they were moving, please be assured it wasn’t me.
a) I am unable to get up from the toilet without the help of a very strong nurse’s aid, so it’s
unlikely I could waddle all the way to Riverside;
b) Also, I’m not strong enough to break through the crust on my vanilla pudding, so picking
up a suitcase filled with just my prescription meds and some dryer lint is probably beyond me;
c) Also, I’m incapable of putting together a thought more complex than the design of a Popsicle
stick, let alone articulating it coherently.
d) And finally, I can’t remember which end of the bedside telephone to put to my ear so the
chances that I would be able to communicate anything more than “Hello? Hello?
There’s nobody there.” are about as likely as you figuring out who actually did tell you
they were moving to Riverside.
I respectfully request that you check your records to be sure it wasn’t your drunken whore of a mother who told you this while you were both smoking crack, that is, if you maintain actual records, and if you are ever sober enough to read them.
Pissedoffy McTaxpayer on behalf of client M______