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Published: Tuesday, 5/8/2007

Oops...

TUESDAY

9:30AM

So, what s worse: Dying young, or living broke?

Ever since I read the story about that British fellow yesterday who wants compensation for his doctors Big Oops, I ve been kicking this around, and am inclined to think it's some kind of Hobson's Choice.

The 62-year-old man in question, John Brandrick, was told some two years ago that he had pancreatic cancer and would likely not live out the rest of the year.

Hmmm.

That s kind of news makes a person go home, pour a stiff drink, and sit down to stew about what s important in this life. And in Mr. Brandrick s case, according to the Reuters news agency, that meant livin large.

He quit his job.

He sold or gave away practically everything he owned.

He even stopped paying the mortgage on his house.

Then he took his life savings and spent it all on nice restaurants and vacations.

In the end well, OK, not that end -- Reuters reported that Mr. Brandrick was left with little more than the black suit, white shirt and red tie that he had planned to be buried in.

The problem, of course, was that the allegedly dying man just kept on living (if you can call such a turn of events a problem ). A year after Mr. Brandrick unburdened himself of virtually all his money, his doctors figured out that his tumor was in fact a more simple and nonfatal case of pancreatic inflammation.

Oh

My first inclination isn t to feel especially sorry for the now-penniless (penceless?) but otherwise healthy Mr. Brandrick, but it takes a mere second or two to readjust that thought.

Hey, can he really help it that the whole Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous thing seemed like the very best way to leave this world?

Everywhere you look newspaper, magazines, online offerings, television the message is the same: The luxuries that money can but are supposed to be what everyone strives for, right?

What everyone lives for, even.

So now he wants something of a refund thanks for La Vida Loca and all that, but he figures there s still the matter of reimbursement for his Vida .

I'm really pleased that I've got a second chance in life, Reuters quoted him as saying, but if you haven't got no money after all this, which is my fault -- I spent it all -- they should pay something back.

For a Brit, he sure sounds American (someone owes me!). Well, all except for that "my fault" stuff



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