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Are YOU truly prepared?

While everyone else and their lobbyist lap dog seems to be preoccupied with killing, saving or martyring Terri Schiavo, I am taking the legal steps necessary to make sure Tom DeLay and Jeb Bush have no say whatsoever if my wife is ever put in the position of having to pull my precious plug or forcing whatever’s left of my broccolized brain to subsist on a feeding tube of publicity for eternity.

I can see the headline now: “Beloved columnist now a vegetable!” (Hey, it’s my headline.) “Longtime local Richard Carnes succumbed to the unfortunate side effect of too much pleasure and not enough oxygen behind closed doors with his wife last Saturday night. Left a virtual vegetable and not having the foresight or apparent brains to leave a living will, the poor schmuck … .”

Having to spend time as an organic lab rat nicknamed Produce and being forced to spin round and round on a political wheel of righteousness by people I have never met but willing to capitalize on my misfortune for their own ideological gain is not my idea of a fulfilling life.



Take me out behind the woodshed and put a bullet in my brain, if necessary, but don’t leave me hanging around like a slab of tasteless meat with the only thing updated daily being the hospital bill.

Granted this is only a suggestion, but each of you able to read these words should at least consider making plans for the future that include a living will.



A “living will” is just that, a will that details your wishes while you are living but only comes into play if you can no longer communicate those wishes. This is, of course, completely different from a “dying will,” which is ” not to sound too patronizing ” only enforceable upon dying.

A LW says “disconnect me as soon as my wife says so and give my brain to Jon Stewart so he can make a witty remark about my death on ‘The Daily Show,'” A DW says “please distribute my Mad Magazine collection, including all paperback copies of ‘Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions’ to my three boys evenly and make sure my wife is not allowed to inspect the ‘Favorites’ folder on my Internet browser.”

You know, common sense stuff.



It’s quick and easy to have a living will drawn up, and in most cases will only cost a few hundred bucks or so with your neighborhood friendly lawyer (yes, such creatures do exist, but only if you look under the correct Happy Valley rocks). Please consider the possibilities. If not for you ” you selfish twit ” do it for your spouse and/or your children.

Meanwhile, watching these self-righteous bubbleheads do battle on the international level over Mrs. Schiavo’s faint heartbeat has been entertaining but somewhat embarrassing for the past few weeks.

We seem to care more about someone who has basically been dead for 15 years than we do 10 poor kids and adults in Minnesota who have barely been dead for 15 minutes. And they (well, nine of them) were murdered.

At the same time Congress sucks on a feeding tube of political pandering and defecates little pebbles of sanctimonious babble while tens of thousands of their constituents die each year at least partially due to the lack of reasonable health insurance. Don’t they have more important issues to deal with, like steroids and gay marriage?

Speaking of homo hubbies, what if Terri Schiavo were gay and her legal spouse were another woman? Would the Bush administration then allow Terri to quietly die in accordance with her apparent wishes, just like thousands of others have already?

For Pete’s sake, it has been 15 years since the woman said a single word or has so much as flushed a toilet. Noriega was still in power, USSR in existence, Mandela in prison and Michael Jackson was still black the last time she chewed a piece of food.

In the name of human compassion, let her go. If what is being done to Mrs. Schiavo were done to an animal, the outrage would be ten-fold from warped groups like PETA, but it’s only the holier-than-thou sect this time around.

Yet it is against federal law to starve a convicted felon to death. That would be considered cruel and unusual punishment, not to mention inhumane, a death not even provided for the likes of Timothy

McVeigh or Ted Bundy (unfortunately).

However, doctors are assuring those involved that Mrs. Schiavo is feeling no pain whatsoever, and will simply slip away without so much as a whimper.

If she has not passed away by the time this column is published, I will be hoping she does so soon. If not, just give her a divorce, let her parents take her home, and then we can move on to the next non-empirical issue to dominate the headlines.

Either way, enough time has passed, people hurt, money spent,

families torn, tempers flared, parents cried, politicians politicized and emotions ripped to shreds over an issue that should have been left solely to the family to begin with.

Just please do what’s right so it does not happen to you and yours.

Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at poor@vail.net.

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