Tuesday, October 23, 2007

cost of injury

--related to me by a health-care worker:

The other day, a patient, a lady, came in for an exam.
She had been injured in her own home;
evidently her refrigerator had had a faulty door,
and so when she tried to open it, it got stuck in the process,
and somehow, it fell forward on her (!),
pinning her between it and the countertop.

Scary, yes. Sympathy-eliciting, yes.

But this lady insisted on specifying
to the health-care worker the material-details:
"My seven-thousand dollar refrigerator fell forward
and I was caught between it and my granite-countertop!"

Necessary details?
A twenty-year-old frigidaire with no ice-maker pinning a poor person to a formica counter would do the same damage, no?

This expense-citing mentality is notable, eh?

...like right now, all the news footage showing the burning hillsides in southern California--
the half-million evacuees in the San Diego area, etc. etc...
Truly frightening and disruptive, yes, yes...

But why all the insistence, on the part of journalists,
on saying "multi-million dollar homes are going up in smoke"?
Would it be any less tragic if a ho-hum 'poor house' were to burn?
Is that somehow less worthy of news coverage or sympathy?
Everyone's loss--tract-houses with a decades-old-fridges, or custom-homes with Italian marble--everything that goes up in smoke is a family's hardship...why should the dollar-figure matter?
Or, is there a schadenfreude that accompanies these news pictures as the
plebian masses watch celebrities' palaces burn?

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