Dear Hon. Health and Wellness of Alberta Minister Ron Liepert:

According to recent statistics, Health and Wellness is spending $13.2 billion in 2008-09, equalling about $3771 for every person in the province.

I’ve done some calculations and I believe I’ve come up with an actionable “Made-in Alberta” solution to our health care crisis that will both increase system accessibly and reduce patient wait times.

The best part: It only requires two elements, both inexpensive and efficient.

A basic 16 oz. claw hammer from Home Depot retails for $6.27, tax included. A burlap sack costs around $2, even less if you buy in bulk. Call it the “fourth way.”

One hammer and sack for each man, woman and child in Alberta would only require an expenditure of about a half a million dollars ($423,216 to be exact). Apparently the province currently spends $1.5 million on health care every hour.

Treatment by medical specialists could begin almost immediately as a patient was brought to the facility, which wouldn’t need to be a hospital anymore. A warehouse or vacant lot would suffice.

The massive savings could then be passed on to truly essential expenditures, like ministerial pay hikes.

Surely a number of Albertans will be dismayed by this startlingly innovative method of health care delivery. I believe a simple ad campaign would assuage their fears and misconceptions. I’d suggest a cheeky print-based campaign centred on the slogan: “Get in the sack with Alberta Health and Wellness.”

As evidenced by your deft handling of the recent super board imposition and the like, I believe you are the forward-thinking leader that can will implement an efficient governance structure for a flexible and responsive health system of the 21st century. A hammer and a burlap sack is that system.

Cheers,

Fergis T. McGillicuddy

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Dear Lululemon “Manifesto”

Recently, a bag told me what to do and what to think. I thought it made some ballsy assertions. Though this is obviously a “wall poster,” one can purchase the same misguided philosophy on a “shoulder bag.”

1. Do one thing a day that scares you.

I just tried crack. Does that count? I had to go to a really freaky part of town to buy it.

2. Jealousy works the opposite way you want it to.

What does this even mean? Never end your sentences with a preposition.

3. Life is full of set backs. Success is determined by how you handle setbacks.

This is basically a description of basic economics re-interpreted through the eyes of a new-age marketing department. A sports company could put “the best way to win a game is to score more goals than your opponent” onto their bags. But even hockey players know better.

Here’s some mental jujitsu for you:

4. Don’t trust that an old-age pension will be sufficient. 

Damn right, especially if I’m buying clothes at Lululemon. I better start working 24/7 and my job is so stressful…

5. Stress is related to 99% of illness.

The highly trained medical staff (even the people who take out the garbage at Lululemon have extensive scientific credentials. It’s a little known fact those “yoga studios” are top shelf medical research facilities.) have changed my life! I’m going to quit my job that is obviously conspiring to end my life to do yoga all day. Which will be easy because…

6. Friends are more important than money.

I get it now. I just need to pour my hot bum into a pair of seamless yoga pants and get somebody wealthy enough to pay my way through life. Live Lulu!

7. Listen, listen, listen, and then ask strategic questions.  

Having heard, heard, heard, I’ll ask this question: “Do you actually believe this crap?”

Sincerely,

Fergis T. McGillicuddy

To Daylight Savings Time

The clock says the time is 3:06 A.M. It’s not 3:06 A.M. I know the correct time is 2:06 a.m.

I stayed up tonight to watch the magical hour of two o’clock disappear because some people in suits (probably men) decided it would save on energy and make people generally more productive. This was decided a long time ago when most people lived on farms. I’m understand this.

The problem is this year Daylight Savings Time kicks in three weeks early and leaves a week later than usual. Some people might say, “Fergis, it’s going to happen sooner or later. Why not suck it up and get up early?”

Sleep is incredibly precious to me. When I have problems sleeping I mope around the letter-writing shack all day, nursing bourbon on ice, sometimes rocking gently back and forth. Rational thought is difficult. Writing is impossible. An extra month of daylight savings will undoubtably throw me into a foul funk that will render me a terrible individual to be around (more so than usual).

It is not surprising I’ve chosen to boycott the change. I’ll set my clock forward three weeks from now. Until then I’ll go to work at the correct time…my co-workers will be exactly one hour early as far as I’m concerned.

Please reader, join me in the wonderous fields of reality. That hour didn’t disappear. It was simply ignored by the greedheads that rule the world from their frozen castle in Antarctica. Boycott the new Daylight Savings Regime!

Sincerely,

Fergis T. McGillicuddy

Dear Fans of Reality Television

This three minute trailer features a close associate experiencing a “breakdown.” Hilarious.

If you happen to live in Alberta, you can watch the madness on Access. If you own a fancy schmancy digital set-up, you can watch on BookTelevision or CLT. Don’t ask me when. See for yourself.

You should watch. It is full of touching drama…and Red Bull consumption. It makes for good television.

Sincerely,

Fergis T. McGillicuddy

To Club-Goers With Their Unhappy Faces On

Occasionally, I’ll put down my pen and glass of bourbon and head for the Avenue for some Whyte night life. There’s nothing quite like waiting outside a club in the Canadian winter for 30 minutes out to consume $6 draft beer and dance a little.

What could be better? Well, there seems to be a growing number of people on the weekends wearing their unhappy faces. These people in the latest styles dancing and drinking while looking as if they just came from a funeral. Don’t worry beautiful sad people, your cat didn’t die in a microwave, your mom still hasn’t found those spring break videos you made after drinking tequila for the first time,  and your boss hasn’t discovered you haven’t finished any work since you’ve started your job. There is no reason to look so upset.

Perhaps some people realize the promise of drunken casual sex and bathroom coke won’t rescue them from themselves, yet continue to engage in the nightlife out of habit. Who knows? Just try to look amused when I throw up on your shoes…

Sincerely,

Fergis T. McGillicuddy