When my mother was dying of cancer a few months ago in another world, she was on an oxygen concentrator. She asked for more oxygen because she couldn’t breath. I turned up the knob a bit. An alarm sounded. The machine ceased functioning. We all ran around and got a compressed oxygen canister connected. When the repairman came, we were told that the knob was wrongly calibrated. Maximum should have been four liters per minute. We turned it up to what was four point one or two. One is not legally allowed four point two. So the machine was programmed to shut down and sound an alarm. There was no warning or even labeling on the machine. Just a black ball floating in a tube with three or four horizontal thin black lines.
The twenty-something repairman who berated me and hit the reset switch hidden inside the sealed case said, ‘That’s what you get for living in a capitalist society.’
No. In a capitalist society I would have just bought more oxygen. In a socialized and over-regulated society I was as the mercy of such sanctimonious idiots who deny air to a dying woman. And oxygen! Air to breathe.
I may have shaken. I did not strike the prig. Oxygen is a controlled substance? She would have needed a different doctor’s prescription for five liters per hour. He was also angry that the knob had been set wrong. At the maximum setting, I shouldn’t have known better. What next? Can I buy all the water I want, but not distilled water? Is there a high school chemistry student who couldn’t make oxygen two ways?
I try to abide by the law. Really, I do. But such things tempt me into crime. Had I time, I would have bought a second concentrator and hooked it in parallel. Had I more time I may have made my own oxygen concentrator. I looked it up. They are easy and cheap to make. The makers can only charge $1,500 because they are trading on the bereaved. I will leave out how they work for brevity, but someone ask me in the comments. It is easy and ellegant. I begin to fantasize about making and selling things on the black marked that have been taken away by prigs. I could make $1200 per unit making oxygen concentrators. The real Freon is easy to make. And thirty years ago small refrigerators worked better and were safer. We are about two steps from using propane as a refrigerant. Can you say fire hazard? Every time I see a story about bedbugs I am tempted to make DDT, It works well, and I can make it on the stove top. When pseudo-ephedrine was made psuedo-legal I swore I would go out in the hills here and plant some ephedra nevadasiensis in my back yard, It is hard to outlaw something in it’s natural range. I swear I should get some sassafras root and sell Filé powder [ not this new stuff from the leaves] and Root Beer that tastes like root beer.
What is so innocent that some sanctimonious prig will not outlaw it?