#037 - HOBBIES SHOULDN'T HURT SO MUCH - OR - WHY I LOVE OHIP
I'm limping again. Last year, it was a tumble with the horse - he tripped; we both fell down - and I was limping for weeks. Generally, it was my fault, as I'm well aware that riding is one of the most dangerous hobbies in the world, but I do it anyway. This past weekend, my partner's horse kicked me as we were riding to hounds. Specifically, it was my fault, as I was riding too close. Not that it SHOULD have happened. These horses know each other - and it was the kicking horse's lack of maturity to not know that kicking another horse while being ridden is very bad form. But still, horses, even ones you think you know, can be unpredictable. And I should know that.
Which is why I don't like the argument that there should be repercussions for smokers when they require treatment after a lifetime of putting crud into their lungs.
"Huh? How did you segue into THAT belief?" you say.
I've heard the argument made that smoker's who are unrepentant should in some way pay for their health care later in life. More taxes, extra health premiums, direct payments, whatever... If you do something that's really bad for your health like smoking, why should everyone else have to pay for it? Why burden the health care system intentionally and needlessly?
I'll tell you why - because people like doing stupid things.
I ride horses a lot. I joust. I go fox hunting. I do barn renovations with power tools. All of this, for fun. And I've hurt myself doing each of these things.
Thus far, the renovations haven't ended up in a trip to the hospital, but only because my partner is very good at first aid. The jousting and fox hunting have put me in the emergency ward, but only for a brief number of hours. Then it's home and sitting in front of the TV, like the people that have less dangerous hobbies. Like watching TV.
If smoker's are asked to pay extra into the health care system, who would be next? I'm thinking hockey players - all those concussions. Then the football players - all those concussions. Then the soccer players - all those concussions. At some point down the line, I'm sure they'd get to me. Even though I've never had a concussion.
I thank my lucky whatevers that I live in a province with health care for stupid people. I fully intend to go through life on the edge. Or as close to the edge as someone with a fear of heights can get.
So, let those smokers keep puffing away, and let them rack up all the health care bills they want. I intend to.
In the meantime, when I am walking straight again, I am going to put my Grandmother's walking stick in the horse trailer - and leave it there. After all, that's when I'm most likely to need it.
21 April 2010