Wednesday, May 14, 2008

“C” is for spectacle

So, last weekend, the little family and I had to travel through the “big city” (that’s what Marcus calls it) to attend an outing. There we were on Saturday, around 11:00 a.m., making our way, when we noticed that a large portion of the downtown area was completely closed off: a plethora of orange cones, police vehicles in bulk on every corner, confused-looking pedestrians looking up and up… What the—? There was a helicopter hovering above us, not directly overhead but darned close. Even more odd were the mammoth letters that appeared to be partially attached to the utmost, tippy top of the USX Tower: the letters “U” and “P.”

U. P. Hmmmmmm. What local monopoly of a health-care company could those letters possibly stand for? I’ll let you ponder that question for a moment.

Picture it: a huge chunk of our fair city, blocked off. Policemen and women as far as the eye could see. A helicopter, burning fuel and spewing noxious byproducts—and likely piloted by a highly skilled (i.e. highly compensated) person who can be trusted to fly so near to tall buildings with lots of windows. How much could all this be costing?

The kicker was that as we drove to church Sunday morning, I couldn’t help looking across the lovely river and into town…where yet another helicopter was hovering next to USX. This one was proudly sporting a huge “C.” And the wind was kicking up, and the clouds were rolling in. And the “C” was swinging, swinging, ominously swinging.

I don’t know if the task was ever completed; rain was falling when church ended and the kid and I left. No copter was in sight, which was probably wise considering the grayness and breeziness that had gripped the area while we worshipped.

And all this was being done for a big, fat, wealthy university/hospital conglomerate.

If that doesn’t make you a tad distrustful of big healthcare business, you must have been born this morning.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dont forget, it was the airshow. And a Pens game. Hmmm.
Anyhoo, I keep forgetting to suggest to you a dandelion weeder. Its like a screwdriver but its bent at the end andhas a little cleft in it to get the root. I love mine and cant live without it. :D

chris h. said...

And let's not forget "nonprofit" -- HA!

Mel said...

the area around the arena wasn't blocked off. and the game was Sunday, right?

airshow? didn't know about that.

and thanks for recommending that tool--I have a cheap version but need one with another part attached to give you something to pry against... our yardener neighbor has a great one. you're right, it's priceless.

"nonprofit" my hind end.

Facie :-) said...

Just read this on the paper's website (name deleted to protect identity):
Big Guy in the company you refer to collected almost $3.95 million in compensation during fiscal 2007, up 18 percent from the year before.

BG also received pension plan contributions of $41,968 and an additional $20,380 for taxable expenses such as a car allowance, spousal travel, and legal and financial counseling.

Good thing he has financial counseling! And I have to wonder if Brian and I together will ever earn six figures. Sheesh!