Earlier this evening I spent a few hours hanging out in an area ER. I'll get to the reason I was there in a bit. About a half hour after I got there they wheeled a new patient in the exam room next to me. I've spent a fair amount of time in the ER the last few months and normally I ignore the conversations of others in order to give them privacy. In this case it was a bit hard to do because the fellow next door was speaking loudly in the most indignant and entitled Berkley accent you can imagine. It turns out that his story of how he broke his leg (he loudly told EVERYBODY that came into his exam room the entire story) began about 30 days ago. He was riding his Segway down a sidewalk when a car backed into him even though it was a bright sunny day and he was wearing his bright red helmet. He had returned to the scene of the crime and set up a camera on a tripod to recreate the accident under similar conditions. No doubt he has or is entertaining a lawsuit of some sort. The only problem is that when he rode past the driveway he lost control of his Segway, fell off it, and apparently broke his leg. Now this guy is somewhere in his late 20's early 30's, and as retelling after retelling took place it turns out he lives with his Mom, has been on unemployment for ten years and doesn't have insurance because Cover Oregon doesn't provide a plan subsidized enough (read free) for him to afford. Since he is in an ER, though, they are required by law to treat him meaning that costs are passed along to paying customers (like me). This guy whines incessantly about the quality of care, where are his pain meds, they didn't give him enough pain meds, wants to talk to a Doctor RIGHT NOW because he has LOTS of questions about his care, why does he have to wait for anything, where is my nurse call button, etc., making sure everybody understood that the world owes him anything he wants. At some point I decided that maybe the driver who hit him a month ago probably had looked behind her and when she recognized the guy punched it. Now let me tell you what I was doing in the ER. My wife and I caretake for my elderly parents. Mom just turned 92 and fell down walking and snapped her fibia. We didn't realize immediately she had broken her leg because she refused to let us know initially that she was in pain. It wasn't until we needed to get her to stand up from her chair and saw the look on her face did we realize that we had a problem. We had to transport he via ambulance to the ER because we couldn't even get her into a wheelchair without a lot of pain. Her only complaint during this process was that is was cold outside. She never asked for a pain med, never made a complaint even when they put on the splint. She grew up poor on a farm and without any privilege or sense of entitlement. She and my Dad worked their way out of poverty with nothing but sweat and determination, and have been comfortably well off for decades. The irony of this was most definitely not lost on me and I spent quite a bit of time alternating between trying not to audibly laugh and trying not to go next door and setting his whiny @$$ straight. My wife was also having a hard time holding back the laughter. The high point was when a nurse leaving his room saw me laughing silently. She almost lost it, and also got the irony of a frail but tough 92 year woman old in the room next to him (separated only by curtain) with pretty much the same injury was toughing it out much better. BTW, Mom as you would expect is in great spirits and is doing fine, though they admitted her due to her age.