I’ve said it before, I’m not really up on current events. I try to pay attention if some whole region of a small country was wiped out by a killer storm and I really do try to make sure I know just a teensy bit about the newest bacteria that’s going to destroy us all if we catch it from touching the handle of a shopping cart.
One flaw in my personality that I really do not feel bad about is politics. I am vaguely aware that we have a President. I know his name, I know his wife is a lovely woman who’s been ripped apart for trying to get kids to exercise. I know he has two kids but I couldn’t pick their faces out in a crowded elevator, a fact that in my mind already makes the Obamas Parents of the Year. That’s pretty much the extent of my knowledge on politics because I Just. Don’t. Care. Most of our government is controlled by a network of people who spend millions of dollars to snag a job that pays less than $500,000 a year, which right off the bat tells you something is going on.
But here in my hometown, there is one campaign that I watch eagerly every election year by following the candidates’ platforms and listening for any hint of scandal from their respective war rooms. It’s the coroner.
Yes, we still elect our coroners in this state. I don’t know, maybe your state does, too. But little known fact about my state (and maybe your state)…YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A DOCTOR TO BE THE CORONER.
Yup. Probably stemming from a shortage of doctors that were less than a two-day horse ride away, but you don’t have to be the doctor to legally declare someone dead. And that, my friends, keeps me awake at night. What if some backhoe driver wins the election and declares me prematurely dead just because they’re having a little trouble waking me up? What if I’m in a car wreck and the coroner is actually a pizza delivery guy and he tells them, “Bag her up. She’s a goner.”
My real concern is the fact that a lot of would-be coroneratorial candidates are actually funeral home owners, which on the surface would make sense. They see a lot of dead people, and not just in the creepy way like that kid in the movie. But doesn’t anyone else see the conflict of interest here? THESE PEOPLE MAKE MONEY OFF OF DEAD PEOPLE. We don’t need them drumming up business by being called to the scene to declare someone dead. They’ll be calling the time of death from across the Walmart parking lot, just to pay off their kids’ braces.
That’s why I’m running for coroner on the Let’s Not Be Too Hasty platform. I’m so squeamish it will takes days for me to declare you dead, because I’m going to wait until you start to smell and flies hover around you before I’m willing to get close enough to check. I’ll just sit way over here and if you haven’t moved (and your left eyeball falls out from the decay), I’ll know. I wonder how much coroners get paid.