In an appeal to the state supreme court, the California Public Employees Retirement System - CALPERS - seeks to overturn a lower court ruling that prohibits removal of the life-prolonging plug from the electric circuit that has kept a brain-dead 120-year-old pensioner alive for three decades. Massive demonstrations outside the court in Sacramento, with demonstrators on both sides, indicate the decision, whichever way it goes, may result in mob violence.
The unidentified patient, reportedly a one-time Spoof writer, who inadvertently swallowed a handful of hearing aid batteries that he mistakenly picked up off the bedroom floor, thinking they were the bedtime pills he had just dropped, has cost the retirement system an estimated $10 million in pension pay and health care costs since the event in July, 2021. The cash-strapped and underfunded pension plan has tried for years without success to find a judge who will approve the life-ending plug pull. CALPERS lawyers now believe that the current makeup of the state supreme court, with so many Jerry Brown appointees, will give them a favorable decision.
The "No Euthanasia" contingent outside the court house predicts that if this patient is allowed to die, the next step will be to move to euthanize all retirees at age 72, the actuarial age at which most pensioners have taken in benefits all that they contributed during their working years.
The legislature made the mistake, not the retirees. Why not euthanize all those legislators who voted for the law? They knew it wasn't sound, but it sure won them votes when they passed it. All were endorsed at the next election by the government workers' unions. Why not euthanize the legislators?"
The current age of those drawing benefits is 80, which accounts for the financial sinkhole the plan is in.
"Conservatives For Euthanasia" were out in great numbers as well, urging that the court support the CALPERS appeal."This is the first time we have ever been on the side of the pension plan. The "No Euthanasia"guys are right - as soon as we win this decision, we'll go to court to get all those old guys euthanize at 72. Actually, we'd prefer to have them euthanized at retirement, with a small sop to their spouses instead of a lifetime pension. We've had too many 70 year old retirees become "domestic partners" with 20-year-olds, who draw the pension seemingly forever. Hey, maybe we can euthanize them, too."
When asked why the conservatives oppose death with dignity laws for terminally ill patients but support it for retirees, the answer was simple. "God tells us when it's our time to go, not a law, but it's okay to end the life of gold-digging retired public workers because they've committed theft of public money."
Among the protesters was an elderly woman who gave only her first name, Mylvia - "It rhymes with Sylvia," she said. "No, don't let the old buzzard die. He deserves prolonged pain for trying to re-connect with me 30 years ago. The nut even wrote a Spoof about me. [See "Spoof Writer, 90. Dumped Twice by Same Girl 65 Years Apart."]
With her was a former Miss America contestant from 1950, renowned by Spoof in a "Dumped Again" story by the unidentified Spoofer. "Pull the plug. End my misery, I keep thinking he'll wake up and send me more emails."
The high court is expected to make a decision by summer's end. Since most of the judges are in their 80s and eligible for retirement pay, the fact that they were appointed by Jerry Brown may not be the determining factor.
State Supreme Court, Sacramento, CA. July 1, 2051. Woof Bluster reporting for The Spoof.