The Kicker: New York Daily News
Ernie: Hi Bert! Say, what’s your take on state-funded sex change surgery? You know, like for guys in prison who want to become women?
Bert: Wait, what the hell did you just say to me?
Ernie: Oh right. I guess you do have to get past whether or not gender identity disorder is real first, huh? Well anyway, it’s like this: an inmate filed suit against the state of Virginia because “she” hasn’t been given proper medical care for “her” disorder. He – or she, or whatever – apparently can’t stand one more day of being a man trapped in a woman’s ––
Bert: You and your sick, liberal agendas!
Ernie: But I’m being serious! This guy – er, woman – tried to cut off her, you know…
Bert: Stop! If those innocent kids out there knew the vile soul that lies beneath your foam and fleece, I bet ––
Ernie: I swear! It was his third or fourth attempt at performing the operation on himself. I mean, herself.
Bert: Hmph! Those people aren’t even supposed to have access to knives.
Ernie: Well I think she removed the blades from disposable razors and just started sawing. It didn’t go too well. She just really wanted to get rid of the “thing” that made her male.
Bert: Sounds like a tantrum to me. A lurid tantrum from someone who isn’t getting their way.
Ernie: The thing is, though, does that matter? Does that make a person’s situation less desperate?
Bert: No, it makes it less credible. When you flip out, you provide ammunition to the other side. That ammo doesn’t even need to be fired, let alone fired accurately. Whoever maintains an impression of the most unspent ammo wins.
Ernie: Good to know, Dick Cheney. But here’s my question: Does a sex change operation fall under medical care – in this case, prison medical care funded by Virginia taxpayers?
Bert: Oh please! Let me guess, the lawsuit was filed because, like all these other “special needs” groups, this wacko’s demanding equality, right? Wants to be treated by the courts the same way someone with cancer would be treated?
Ernie: Well yes, but the issue is whether or not a gender reassignment procedure is medically necessary. This person was caught trying to mutilate herself, and it could be argued that that is a psychological flat tire. She’s said that if she doesn’t win the lawsuit she’ll keep trying the procedure herself, even though she might bleed to death as a result.
Bert: Okay you wishy-washy welfarist, it’s medical then.
Ernie: She sued previously for the right to be moved to a woman’s prison but was turned down. Then she sued for the right to take female growth hormones and won.
Bert: So then it’s not medical. This person obviously needs psychological help, but it sounds like he created this whole thing with one lawsuit after the next; now that he’s hit a wall, he can’t handle the fact that he’s being told no. The only way to get his way now is by demanding special treatment, which is vain. And vanity isn’t special.
Ernie: It is if the help you need can be successfully argued to bespecial.
Bert: Fine. Give help without giving special treatment.
Ernie: As far as this person is concerned, it isn’t special. Its just treatment.
Bert: But it’s not a life-saving procedure! It’s a quality of life procedure, and that makes it elective.
Ernie: I see what you mean there, Bert, but from the state’s point of view if she bleeds to death and that’s proven in court to be negligence, the state could be out even more taxpayer dollars.
Bert: More taxpayer –– I’m sorry, does anyone care that this person is BEHIND BARS!?
Ernie: Of course! She’s serving 70 years for armed robbery.
Bert: Oh, for the love of Jim…pay attention, Ernie! When they put you in prison you are disqualified from the game, just the same as any of those kids out there who get caught cheating. When you’re disqualified from society, you have to wait until you’re free again to actively participate in all its perks.
Ernie: So you agree that the state of Virginia needs to resolve the immediate problem of this inmate’s self-mutilation in order to save taxpayer money, but you’d continue to deny her the procedure ––
Bert: It’s not a procedure; it’s a floodgate.
Ernie: There have only been five or six similar suits. All defeated.
Bert: Hell-oh! Earth to watery-eyed saps! Watch what happens when just one of these martyrs wins! One crybaby scumbag criminal sues because he was born with a little friend he doesn’t want – or decided he doesn’t want – and now I have to pay for it? I don’t think so!
Ernie: That’s exactly what I thought you’d say.
Bert: Well WHY THE HELL DID YOU ASK ME THEN!?
Ernie: Because like me, you don’t have a little friend down there. I mean, what do you care, right? This inmate’s feelings are as far away from your experience as anyone out there who isn’t serving a prison sentence. I just wanted to hear your perspective. Thanks for the conversation, Bert!