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 Visitor 60,000!

While you may be simply visiting here for the celebrity gossip, I ‘d like to offer you a personalized message nonetheless.

Here it is:

Thank you Visitor 60,000. I wanted to do this for Visitor 50,000 but I forgot and then the numbers ballooned to limits not thought possible. I had to be patient. You see Visitor 60,000, I’ve been waiting for you for a long time.

It’s been a fine year for me. I’ve written meaningful correspondence with various objects and people, earned a pair of robot boots and a sack of gems, built a homunculus, killed a homunculus etc. etc.

This is well and good, but sadly something is amiss within the meaty cockles of my chest. I’m not sure why I feel the need to share this information with you Visitor 60,000 but I must. I can’t seem to put my finger on it. Perhaps my enemies have been secretly increasing in strength and it is indeed time for me to flee. Maybe my odd sleeping patterns are having an effect. In an effort to be considered to colonize Mars, I’ve recently switched to Martian time. The Martian day is only 39 minutes longer than an Earth day, but I’ve started to think the subtle change is producing unintended effects.

We have a connection you and I, a connection that I intended to have with Visitor 50,000. But like so many things, it wasn’t meant to be. But you and I are different. One day we will travel to the Red Planet…

I can see it now…

Sincerely,

Fergis T. McGillicuddy

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

Dear Cough Medicine Jim

Howdy. It’s been a long time. But despite my best efforts we always spend a few days together this time of year. We enjoy some steaming mugs of Neo Citran together, down a Tylenol cough cap and do some DVD-watching. Later, when everything settles down, we listen to some sad music and muse briefly on the nature of the universe. You got some profound insight to share with the world Cough Medicine Jim. But understand our time needs to be short. Any longer and I’d be unable to reintegrate with society.

I’d need to give up my gainful position at the office. Any semblance of an intimate relationship would be obviously unrealistic to pursue. My bank account would slowly dwindle into the red.  I’d eventually succumb beside a lonely dumpster located in downtown Edmonton with a very sticky medicine beard.

When its time to say goodbye, don’t make it harder than it needs to be.

Sincerely,

Fergis