Thursday, May 21, 2009

Your Tax Dollars at Work - 5/21/09

I was in the VA Clinic recently and a stack of brochures caught my eye. They were tri-fold, multi-colored on glossy paper. My first thought was that they must have cost a fortune since obviously thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands were printed. Here is the brochure.

I then imagined that there must have been a breakthrough in the field of suicide prevention in the years since I had manned a hot-line and these pamphlets were essential to get the word out. Interested, I picked up the brochure and read.


1. Thinking about hurting or killing yourself
2. Looking for ways to kill yourself
3. Talking about death, dying or suicide
4. Self-destructive behavior such as drug abuse, weapons, etc.

Wow! What Algonquin Round Table came up with this information? This is groundbreaking stuff that really needs to be distributed, regardless of the cost to the taxpayer. When VA funding is so limited that they can't prescribe medications that are critically needed to treat vets, providing this information is obviously a higher priority. Who would have guessed that the above could lead to suicide? Glad we now know. "I am thinking about killing myself, what could a possible outcome be?"

But the pamphlet continued:


1. Hopelessness, feeling like there's no way out
2. Anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness, mood swings
3. Feeling there is no reason to live
4. Rage or anger
5. Engaging in risky activities without thinking
6. Increasing alcohol or drug abuse
7. Withdrawing from family and friends

Oh, now I get it. Suicide stems from a negative mental outlook on life. Just think how many lives could have been saved if we had only known. So, conversely, happy people are not a suicide risk. We can thank the federal government for clearing that up for us. A million dollars well spent. And that is just the printing. It is impossible to gauge the research and funded studies that went into creating this document.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

55 Flash Fiction Friday - Dog walk

Each week G-Man of 55 Flash Fiction Friday challenges us to write a piece using only 55 words. The following came to mind this morning. I am posting it early as we are off to the mountains this weekend and I didn't want to forget. I have been lazy about posting lately. Not everyone is Shakespeare. Someone will GROK it I hope.

An Elke Sommer Doris Day, Pete Roses in Orlando Bloom. Took Snoop Dogg Christopher Walken down Nathan Lane to Rosa Parks. The Sun Myung Moon lit Alonzo Mourning sky. Julia Child played Lucille Ball when a Nate Dogg began to Chevy Chase and Gordon Jump. Jason Kidd and his Joyce Brothers threw a Chris Rock.