Back when Putin installed Pumpkinhead in the Oval in 2016, as a student of history I didn’t waste any time starting my search for a civilized country in which to live. I considered Thailand, on account of I’ve never heard anyone who has actually been there talk about much of anything other than how beautiful it is, which I take as a recommendation. Then I checked their politics.
Having lived the previous dozen years in Alaska, and most of my considerable years in cold climates, I declared myself ready for someplace sunny, so yes, I considered South Asia, Southern Europe, the Maldives, South America and similar destinations, looking for a reasonably stable, moderately rational, possibly even mildly well-adjusted culture where I didn’t run such a high risk of being riddled with bullets for going to the grocery store as I might in the Lower 48. I’m too old for that shit, which is the right segue into my dilemma.
I settled on Mexico. It’s cheap, sunny, friendly, and a shit-ton safer than the US. Too many Murrikans believe the sensationalist crap the media force-feeds them about Mexico, so a majority believe it’s dangerous here. I stopped trying to educate them long ago. As long as people are afraid to come here, I don’t have to deal with them, and the kind that are constitute exactly the segment of humanity I prefer not to encounter. Win-win.
Medical care in Mexico is cheaper, safer, and more accessible than in the US. Alas, it is primarily a cash gig. If you’re a citizen, the government pretty much foots the bill and lets you focus on getting care. If not, the laws of Nature and economics kick in—you might find yourself in a poorly equipped, poorly staffed local hospital emergency room for many hours at a time before some overworked, under-motivated doctor from the bottom third of their class takes a cursory glance before tossing you a packet of aspirin. Been there, got the T-shirt, lost it in the wash.
Because I need a few minor procedures I need to return to the US and have Medicare pay for them. When the cardiologist here--who did a very comprehensive, state-of-the-art diagnostic workup—told me how much an angiogram would cost me there in Guadalajara I know I laughed right out loud. I was worried I might be offending him but I couldn’t stop myself—it was that silly a number.
So yeah, I have to return to the US, probably for months, and it looks like I’m going to have to be there during the elections, and that’s my dilemma. Of all the places in the universe I really don’t want to be around that time, downtown Philadelphia is very near the top of the list, just below central Pennsylvania—a vassal-state of Alabama—which is my other option.
I’m not the kind of person to worry about things, but this looming misadventure has me anxious. I’ll be thrilled to reconnect with many loved ones, but I’m confused about many things.
Are there parts of states where I will be required to carry an AR-15? Right now I don’t own one--can the NRA help me with financing? Will my side ventures to Massachusetts and Vermont require me to get an abortion, or at least assist in one? If I botch someone’s pronouns, will that get me arrested, or elected to public office?
I will probably have to vote while I’m there but because I’m a retired white guy who will be voting in a lily-white county somewhere in the triangle between Philly, Boston and Burlington, I’ll probably be allowed to do it in my sleep. If I’m unfortunate enough to have to vote in central PA I’m sure the poll-workers will be empowered to take one look and mark my ballot for me—straight Repukelikan. That’s allowed, cuz it’s in the Bible. If I see a ballot collection box, does it mean I’m on YouTube?
I don’t own a vehicle, but am I still obligated to bitch about gas prices? Likewise, I have no weapons to carry openly or otherwise, so will that get me some kind of ticket, at least in Texas, while I await my connecting flight?
I’ll bring a mask just in case, but will that get me pulled aside by TSA? And what is the exact protocol for when some MAGAtt goes into meltdown on the airplane over there not being any straws? Do you subdue them, ignore them, or just throw them out? As for masks, are there any requirements left, other than screeching at them if you love Jesus?
See. I’ve been away for so long—almost three years now—I feel almost as if I’m heading to a different planet, and nothing I see or hear convinces me otherwise.
A little help?