With the big news that we're turning over Memorial Health System to University of Colorado Health, many villagers are asking the following obvious questions related to health care:
Out of 10 attempts, how many times can the CU mascot, Ralphie the buffalo, accurately pee into a bedpan?
The answer is a surprising eight times out of 10 from the traditional buffalo position. Just like male humans, however, accuracy figures plummet dramatically when Ralphie is standing on his hind legs and holding a beer.
(In a harrowing moment during the testing, Ralphie spotted a wolf mascot and ran so fast his handlers could not keep up with him. Especially the guy holding the pan.)
Seriously, as our village leases its health care system to UCH and begins a new chapter without the hospital it bought in 1943, we today direct our questions to Mr. Hospital Answer Man.
Q: How much did we pay for the hospital in 1943, and what was its name?
A: The village paid $76,500 for the Beth-El Hospital, changing the name in ensuing years from Beth-El to Beth-Em, Beth-En, Beth-Oo and Beth-Pee before angry anti-alphabet activists intervened.
Q: Is that true?
A: No. And while we're at it, buffalo cannot actually hold a beer because they, like 67 percent of high school wood shop teachers, do not have thumbs.
Q: Our mayor, beloved supreme leader and director of propaganda, Steve-Kim Jong-Bach, said after the deal, "I'm so proud to be standing here today, and so thankful." What did he mean?
A: Supreme leader Jong-Bach will be 137 years old in November. Frankly, he's thankful to be standing anywhere.
Q: I see the deal also involves Children's Hospital Colorado and its CEO, Jim Shmerling. What is a Shmerling?
A: It's a 1-year-old Shmer.
Q: Officials said the deal would change the face of health care in our village. Is that a good thing?
A: Yes. Unless the new face looks like singer Kenny Rogers, actor Burt Reynolds or Olympian Bruce Jenner, who all look like Eleanor Roosevelt.
Q: When the vote was announced, UCH CEO Bruce Schroffel said, "I'm sort of in shock ... " Why did he say that?
A: He had just accidentally dropped a set of fully charged heart defibrillator paddles down the front of his $1,400 pants.
Q: That sounds painful. What did hospital employees do?
A: They shouted, "Clear!!!!"
Q: The lease agreement will pay the village $74 million up front and $5.6 million annually. What will be done with that money?
A: Mayor Jong-Bach will get the $74 million in $20 bills and distribute it quietly, at night, to his developer buddies. The $5.6 million per year will then be spent on massive airdrops of leaflets demanding cooperation from all of us, or our rice rations will be drastically reduced.
Q: Rice rations? Since when are we on rice rations?
A: Since April, when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, R-Hostess Truck, ate all of America's food.
Q: City Council backed the deal. Wasn't this the same frightened, spineless Council that got bullied into giving a $1.15 million severance package to ex-hospital boss Larry McEvoy, the blood-sucking leech?
A: I will not condone that type of improper and, frankly, misguided name-calling. Technically, he is DOCTOR Larry McEvoy, the blood-sucking leech.
Q: I once got a bill from Memorial Hospital for $2,464 for a tongue depressor, two Advil tablets and 90 seconds with a doctor who told me to drink plenty of fluids and get some rest. Is that going to change?
A: Yes. The bill will now come from UC Health.
(Important price-change announcement: Because of UCH's new recycling program, the tongue depressor will drop from $387 to just $12. But the depressor will have been previously used by the proctology department.)
Q: UCH president Rulon Stacey said last week, "Tomorrow we're going to roll up our sleeves and get to work." Why would they have to roll up their sleeves?
A: Ralphie is coming in for another round of testing. On his hind legs.
Rich Tosches (firstname.lastname@example.org) also writes a Sunday column in the Denver Post.
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