Lum: Startling email
November 12, 2014
I was starting to write a column about all the wild rides my friend Hilary and I went on in Disneyland, but I got derailed by a furious email in response to my column about the lack of liquid oxygen these days ("Liquid oxygen dearth alert," Aspen Times, Oct. 29) and feel compelled to respond.
I don't know who the man is, but this is, in full, the message he sent to me:
"LUM: Liquid oxygen dearth alert.
"In your article you stated 'Our only hope is the stream of baby boomers who will add their loud voices.'
"In all actuality, our only hope as a nation is the exact opposite, maybe baby boomers the very generation that is being dubbed the WORST AMERICANA GENERATION!!! Google it!!! should shut up for once. If you have a problem with not getting liquid then maybe as a generation you should pay for it your self (sic). Stop leaching off of your parents success and stop mooching off of the younger generation. Baby boomers are the ones with your entitlement and laziness who have caused the problems!!!! As a generation, you did not pay enough into the system to support getting such entitlements.
"The tax payers (sic) should not have to pay for you to have liquid when there are cheaper options out there. If you don't like the cheaper option with E tanks and portable O2 generators, then you can always pay for it your self (sic). Quit being so entitled!!!!! You are a perfect example of why BABY BOOMERS ARE AWFUL AMERICANS!!!! As a generation, your entitlements attitude ruined this great country!!!!"
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I feel kind of kicked in the teeth here on a number of fronts. First, I am way too old to be a baby boomer. I'm pushing 80 and remember the war all too well. If you're going to send attack mail, know your opponent.
Second, I have never leached off my parents nor mooched off my daughters.
Third, I was not objecting to the lack of free liquid oxygen, I was objecting to its unavailability under any circumstances. One small liquid-oxygen tank would have taken care of all my needs — instead, it took a concentrator, eight small tanks, five large tanks and a cart for the big tanks, and even then we had to ration the oxygen.
For this the bill was more than $400 for a stay of less than four days. I do not know if this cost is covered by Medicare and my supplemental insurance policy or not, and that was not the point of my column.
As to the point that taxpayers (me included — in the workforce for more than 60 years) should not have to pay for liquid oxygen when there are "cheaper options," I would submit that making surgery patients drink a quart of whiskey and then knocking them over the head with the bottle — as they did when performing amputations in the Civil War days — is definitely a cheaper solution than anesthesia.
It's cheaper to take a few aspirin than antibiotics, cheaper to have a wooden leg than a prosthetic. Canisters of oxygen are the wooden legs for pulmonary patients.
And screw you, buddy, I am not lazy. And neither are my kids — too young to be boomers — or my granddaughter, who is a hot go-getter.
Su Lum is a longtime local who says if you don't want it printed, don't send it to me. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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