Art in lieu
A funny thing happened to me while reading Indy’s “Public Art May Embellish Entrance.” It put me into an induced coma. My family says I was out of it for two weeks. It was the best two weeks the family ever had.
Things are back to normal and the family walks way around me and waves. They’re happy and I’m happy because I can spend more quality time with the Indy. I was fascinated that the “Entrance” article put me into a coma. I wanted to reread the article, but did not want to jeopardize my health doing so. I went to see my doctor. “How am I doing?” My doctor handed me a bunch of papers. “Are these my reports?” The doctor smiled. “No, my bills. Obamacare won’t pay. You pay now, then I’ll tell you how you’re doing.” I wrote a big, fat check. Doctor said, “You’re poor now, but health okay. Stop crying. Health is more important than money. I swore an oath to do no harm.”
My doctor agreed to be with me while I reread the article. “If I see you are going back into an induced coma, I’ll slap you back to reality. Be sure to read it out loud so I can be on alert for medical intervention.” I began reading. “The city council will okay another $100,000 for artwork near the village entrance. City council is not sure where the village entrance will be. It could be east or west of the dissector building.” My blood pressure plummets. My eyes roll up into my head. SLAP! I’m brought back. “The city council further decrees that the artists will be by invitation only. Artists will be chosen if they don’t live in Laguna.” My body temperature rises to 105. SLAP! “The city council after spending nearly $2 million considers having a Village Entrance Festival to celebrate 30 years of trying.” I go into septic shock. The doctor SLAPS me out of it. I’m breathing heavily and I’m not sure where I am.
SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! “Quit reading. My malpractice insurance is in jeopardy.” I finally come around. “Let me give you some ice chips.” I refuse the ice chips. I take a beer not watered down. My doctor is agitated about losing his practice. “How can the city council do this?” I try to focus. “Well, the article says it is art in lieu.” My bugged eye doctor hyperventilates, “What’s an art in lieu?” I answer the best I can. Lieu means place. But if you put the preposition “in” in front of it, in lieu means “instead of.” My doctor’s breathing accelerates. Blood pressure increases. He asks, “Art in lieu of what?”
I think how best to answer. Should I say in lieu of undergrounding? In lieu of better sewers? In lieu of pension funding? My doctor slips into an induced coma. I consider slapping him. Instead, I alleviate him of my recent check. I, too, swore an oath to do no harm.
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