How To Cash In On Your `Ailment Capital'
Right after the president won his re-election bid for the White
House, he made an interesting comment. He said he was going to
spend his "political capital" wisely.
At first, I did not understand what he was talking about, but
then I began to think about it. All his work in getting
re-elected won him a certain amount of influence with the people
who helped re-elect him.
I never thought of it that way. But it got me thinking about my
own situation, so I began evaluating my capital. It certainly
wasn't in my checkbook.
Although I have lots of checks remaining, the bank insisted I
didn't have any capital in my account. According to the bank,
the only capital I had was in my name.
As I dug around in my life, I discovered I did earn capital and
I needed to figure out how to spend it wisely.
The capital I'm talking about is my "ailment capital." My recent
illness, which necessitated me going to the hospital, certainly
had earned me some spendable capital. The more I thought about
it, the more excited I became, almost like putting on a pair of
trousers and finding a $20 bill in the front pocket.
I was anxious to begin spending my "ailment capital." After all,
my illness had cost me quite a bit and represented a major
investment on my part. So now, I intended to get some payback.
My first plan of action was to tell people about my illness. I
had rehearsed my story and knew it well. However, it was then I
ran up against a block wall. It rather caught me off guard, if
you know what I mean.
The first person I met set my plan into action. Carefully I
introduced the subject of my stay in the hospital. Much to my
bewilderment, they immediately began postulating on their recent
visit to the hospital. According to them, their stay in the
hospital was much more serious than my stay in the hospital.
I slipped into the conversation, when I had the chance, that I
experienced the worse headache while in the hospital.
"Headache?" They almost shouted to me. "You talk about
headaches. I had such a severe headache that the nurse gave me
enough pain killer to put 12 elephants out of their misery, and
it never even touched my headache. The doctor told me that it
was the worst headache he had ever seen in his entire life."
When they took a breath, I jumped in and mentioned how high my
"High-temperature? You talk about high-temperature; my
temperature was so high they had to put me in a tub of ice cubes
for three days before my temperature even came down. The nurse
told me that it was the worst case of high-temperature she had
ever seen in her life."
By this time, I was becoming a little discouraged and wondered
if I would ever be able to tell my story. Then I had a brilliant
idea. I mentioned that while in the hospital I suffered a severe
case of diarrhea. I could not imagine anybody trying to upstage
someone with diarrhea. Boy, was I wrong.