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Hollywood’s Most Famous Bum & Oracle Talks Free Healthcare

Hollywood’s Most Famous Bum & Oracle Talks Free Healthcare
October 02
15:49 2013

I thought Lyle Shove-It would still be shaking from the high-powered espresso drink I bought him last week, but instead he sat quietly, with the qualities of a mountain, on his usual bus bench at a famous intersection in Hollywood. I wanted Shove-It’s take on Obamacare, or as it’s known as, the Affordable Care Act.

Lyle_ShoveItI sat on the other side of the bench and waited ten minutes before Shove-It noticed me. His shopping cart with the unmanageable wheel was parked idly behind the bench.

I jumped right into my question:

You might have seen in the newspaper that Obamacare is finally beginning to go into affect. I can’t seem to get a handle on what it means for the nation, I admitted. Sure, it helps loosen some very tight issues that plague sick and poor Americans needing healthcare, yet it’s written by multinational corporations, healthcare lobbyists, and the big pharmaceutical companies. And it’s going to reform our entire health care system, but under the fat-fingered fist of the global elite. I– but Shove-It cut me off.

Hollywood’s most famous bum and oracle removed his green army hat and wiped away the sweat from his forehead. “Every time I’ve needed a doc to look at something,” Shove-It said, yanking his hat over the tussles of overgrown black and grey hair, “I’ve had no problem getting accommodated.”

Is that right? I said, surprised. Charity care? Is that what it is? You go in and go to the front of the line if you don’t have documentation that you’re a legal citizen, or if you don’t have health insurance, the hospital must dedicate a portion of its earnings to charity care–

“I don’t step foot into any modern day health care facility,” Shove-It said. I could tell he relished using bland terms which he considered a part of my bullshit-nature of speech.

“I had a painful bump on the inside of my ear for weeks,” the Hollywood bum said, “and finally a good looking Asian fellow in a fancy suit stood here waiting for the bus. I asked if he was a medical professional,” Shove-It said, licking his lips, “and he said he was. So I showed him that growth. He was happy to look at it. He got up real close and used his thumb to brush away the hair out of my ear. Said it wasn’t anything dangerous, as far as he could tell, and would probably dry up on its own.”

Really? I asked again. I didn’t know you made small talk with people like that. I leaned close to Shove-It to see if the bump was still there.

“It ain’t in that ear,” he said, “and about a week later, it went away.”

There’s no way a doctor stood out here to get on a greasy LA bus, I said. You’re making this up. Could it be that you don’t have any wisdom about Obamacare, or the great government shutdown of 2013? So you’re making up this silly story. Doctors don’t ride the buses to work in Hollywood, I said.

“This one did,” Shove-It said.

A bus pulled up to the curb. Sales receipts, newspaper pages, and dead leaves swirled at our feet. Nine people stepped out of the bus. Two hipsters, both with tattoos, one with piercings in his lip. A girl in high heels followed. Her skirt blew in the breeze, and Shove-It got an eyeful. But no fancy-suited doctors. I glanced warily at Hollywood’s most famous oracle.

“It ain’t every day,” he said, watching the girl clip-clop away.

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