Friday, January 07, 2011

You're Shoveling Wrong

Another Drudge linked story:

The two neighbours, one man in his seventies and the other in his eighties, disagreed on how to properly deal with removing the snow from the area around their homes.

As the two elderly men were unable to reach resolve their dispute amicably, the disagreement turned ever more heated, soon escalating to a full-out fight, with the men using their snow shovels as weapons.

"Something happened that upset one of the neighbours, who then attacked, while the other one defended himself. It started out with a little shove, then some chaos ensued," Nils-Erik Eriksson, media relations officer at the Jönköping police force, told the local newspaper J-Nytt.

No one was seriously injured in the snowy brawl, although one of the men went to the hospital with a bump on his head and some scratches. The two neighbours have now reported each other to the police for assault, reported the radio station Sveriges Radio Jönköping.

This seems to be one of those silly news stories. Cute, but odd, in a quirky kind of eccentric way. But have you ever seen a Swedish battle shovel? Yeah, didn't think so.

Anyway, this isn't fluff; if you look past the surface, it's serious news. The important question is: Would these ancient shovelers have been so reckless if they had to pay for their own health care? Would either of them have been so bold if they didn't know there was a warm plastic chair waiting for them in a Swedish clinic? A place where they could complain about Lutefisk for the ten hours it took to get their band-aid?

Does state sponsored health care encourage risky behavior in elderly Swedes? That's not a real question - it's the title of my grant application. I figure the American taxpayer can afford to pay me a half million dollars to study this problem. I expect it stands a fair chance of getting approved. And it will be a dead certain winner if I hint that my conclusions will bash Christianity and prop up Global Warming.

I may be a God-bothering gun clinger (Lileks' wonderful term) but I know where the money is.