The Newnan Times-Herald


On the Road Again

  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Jan. 03, 2020 - 12:48 PM

On the Road Again

The Newnan Times-Herald

Alex McRae is a writer and ghostwriter and author of There Ain’t No Gentle Cycle on the Washing Machine of Love. He can be reached at:

Picking the 2020 New Year’s resolution was a snap.

No more vowing—and failing again—to lose weight, exercise more or give up M&Ms for good.

This year I am resolved to travel to new places and do new things. There are two main reasons.

First, because experiencing new adventures cranks up the writing side of my brain. Second, because if what I write is published, I can deduct the trip expenses from my taxes.

The list of potential travel targets is growing. My plan includes new destinations and adventures far and near. Places I’ve passed through before but haven’t actually pulled over and parked in are eligible. Texas, Georgia, is on the list. So is Alabama, Texas. I might even see the sights in Bagdad, Florida.

A new project I’m working on could take me to Prague. A side trip to northern Italy would be a nice bonus.

My adventure has one no-go zone. I will not, under any circumstances, travel to Russia. Not because I dislike Russians. I’m sure some are very nice.

I’m skipping Russia because I don’t want to risk an encounter with the Russian health care system.

American politicians love to talk about Medicare For All. This is a fancy name for government-controlled health care. Russia already has it. And I don’t want any part of it.

I’m afraid I’ll wind up like 56-year-old Ms.Galina Dmitriyeva, whose recent run-in with Russia’s health care bureaucracy almost killed her.

According to a press report released eight months after the fact by Russian-language outlet Komsomolskaya Pravdaby, Ms. Dmitriyeva fell ill at work and was sent to a hospital in Lipetsk.

After deciding Ms. Dmitriyeva had not suffered a stroke, doctors put her on a gurney, packed her in an ambulance and shipped her to Zadonsk District Hospital.

Instead of watching over her precious cargo, the paramedic in charge of Dmitriyeva’s gurney—sat in front with the ambulance driver, making it easier to chat about vodka and hockey.

During the ride, Ms. Dmitriyeva started feeling worse and complained to the paramedic. Instead of offering soothing words of comfort, the female paramedic told her patient to shut up.

Still in pain, Dmitriyeva tried to push her gurney closer to the driver and paramedic to plead her case. She accidentally rolled backward, banged into the ambulance’s unlocked rear door and sailed out onto a Russian road.

The good news is, Ms. Dmitriyeva survived. The bad news? The distracted ambulance crew drove another 25 kilometers—or 16 American miles—before they realized their patient had gone AWOL.

Ms. Dmitriyeva was eventually discovered lying in the road and rushed to still another hospital.

Her injuries included a broken jaw, leg, and hip. She still walks with crutches and struggles to speak.

The hospital initially blamed Ms. Dmitriyeva — claiming she left the ambulance voluntarily. Even in Russia, that lie didn’t fly.

Ms. Dmitriyeva has yet to receive an apology for what happened. That’s not a shock. What amazes me is that she hasn’t been contacted by an American personal injury lawyer. She must not have cable TV.

Before Medicare For All is imposed on U.S. citizens, maybe we should test it for a year on the people who pass our laws. This experiment might even provide an unexpected bonus.

Members of Congress refuse to discuss term limits. Exposing them to a dose of Commie Care might just solve that problem.

Alex McRae is a writer and ghostwriter and author of There Ain’t No Gentle Cycle on the Washing Machine of Love. He can be reached at: