Out of Warranty: Haywood Smith
Did you ever feel like the inside of an Oreo cookie stuck within the confines of the two outer parts with nowhere to go? Did you ever wonder why when you get older you body parts seem to fall apart and you cannot go to a mechanic to repair them? Life should be better and more fun when you get older. Retirement, going on vacations, forgetting about all the things you learned about bomb shelters, doomsday rooms and hardships while growing up should be in the past as you begin to enjoy life. But, Cassie recounts her troubles, her fears and even her feelings about the 60’s; JFK’s assassination followed by Robert and Dr. Kings added more to the stress level of her parents and the worries of those aptly named Baby boomers. But, Cassie has her own fall. Her own crisis when her husband Tom dies in his sleep leaving her alone. Hip replacements, joints replaced, the sicker one of the two, Cassie never thought that Tom would go first. But, he did and her children rallies around her just long enough for the funeral and then as Cassie relates to the reader she is totally alone. But, enough serious and let’s get down to the fact that this book is really hilarious and the situations that the author relates are could be right out of Lucy, Ethel Ricky and Fred. Out of Warranty is Haywood Smith at her best. So many people are plagued with this illness it take fortitude, guts, humor and perseverance to override the impossible, keep your head about you and definitely to stand up for what you believe. But, both Cassie and Jack have their own special styles for dealing with the doctors, pharmacies and of course their families.
When Cassie meets Jack it is anything but even like at first sight. Their conversation deals with their respective illnesses, she can’t stop talking, he just wants to get away from her and they both want to survive the medical mayhem they are about the encounter. Doctor’s visits tend to be different with each medical provider. The first thing they ask is for your insurance card and the next you hope you can pay for it. When poor Cassie finally learns her fate and so does Jack they begin to wonder if they should hope to win the lottery or just clean out their bank accounts and sign them over to the Dr. Patel. The fun begins as we hear Dr. Patel’s verdict you might say. That’s the easy part because then the author shares Cassie’s innermost thoughts that she would love to verbalize to the doctor but holds back. Now, that is not all because poor Cassie needs to find out the cost of redoing the inside, outside and every part of her house to make sure that it is fungus free. Add up all the costs and you begin to wonder just why we pay so much for health care and why it will cost her not only for the visits but for the extras too.
So, Cassie gets an estimate on her home from the remediation people. Sounds like arbitration but not really but she had no choice but to hire someone. Next, she bought a respirator, special clothing detergent, soap, shampoo and much more but let’s not forget poor Juliette her pig, who had to have a sense of humor of his own to deal with the fact he was going to have to defungued too poor thing. But, he was a good sport as he wound up going to a special spa you might say for Pigs while this whole processes was unfolding.
Welcome to the world of I will only care for you as you as your coverage allows? Jack is annoyed just sitting near Cassie and her nonstop conversation drives him crazy. Short tempered, a real grouch and definitely not someone like her Tom, these two team up to beat the health care system and possibly allow poor Cassie to get better medical coverage. The research that author Haywood Smith shares about these allergies is real and unfortunately baby boomers still feeling spry, not so old that they have want to kick it in should be able to afford to live life in financial ease when reaching what some call the golden years. But, Jack and Cassie face other issues besides her family not really their for her, her finances dwindling and after hearing the doctor’s diagnosis and plan I would begin to wonder whether he really cared for her welfare or just helping other doctors by referring her for more tests. But, the fun has yet to begin as poor Cassie get the shock of her life when the nurse tells her the cost of the visit, the ridiculous amount of meds that filled more shopping bags than some people carry out of a supermarket, the humidifier, the mold cleaners, fumigation materials and much more to make her house safe and fungus free. So, how does she cope and what about the vaccines? But, Cassie is not the only one that is enduring the advice of Dr. Patel. Jack is too but not quite the same way. Both decided to give themselves on last diet hurrah as no more bread, carbs, sugar, wheat and so many more things that I guess they both need to invest in Spring water, fresh fruits and vegetables and tons of chicken. Sounds like my regular diet but I know I need my oatmeal.
Imagine answering the door with all of this gear? Imagine trying to find a happy medium for yourself without losing your mind. Both Jack and Cassie calling two men that are supposed to be able to fix there houses in order to make them safe find themselves the brunt of one’s nasty ways and the other complacent about the costs. So, why not start by doing some cleaning out yourself. One over fifty year old senior calls her 88 year old young mother to organize, throw out, shred and get the ball you might say rolling. Meeting Cassie’s mother is great. She is a total inspiration to anyone who thinks 80 is old and someone her age can’t enjoy a good Zumba class. Now, Cassie’s mother is a true inspiration and her take on everything is priceless. Jack and Cassie are like oil and water at times but somehow you think they just might connect.
So, what’s the answer to her woes? You just won’t believe the solution. Find a husband and get better insurance. With the help or her friend and her mother she meets two guys that outwardly appear normal but one loves to drink and the other well his confession would make anyone in a confessional make him do more hail Mary’s and then some for his in behavior. That’s all I will say the rest you have to read for yourself because this too is a riot when you think about it.
Cleaning her house from top to bottom and using the method on the show Clean Sweep just might work when I start cleaning my closets next week. Getting her house mold free, finding someone to provide medical coverage so when Jack comes up with a solution to join forces in a unique way she thinks about it for a while and realizes that even though he is difficult, hard to handle at times he needs someone to care for him and she needs coverage.
One man fighting COPD, mold and other allergies and one woman with allergies and arthritis, team up to override the words Out of Network, won’t pay and those two annoying and horrific words: Claim Denied by you guessed it GETTING MARRIED! That’ll show the doctors and others that Cassie and Jack will not falter and fold. What happens when the costs to seniors are too high and your funds are running out? You sit down and write out your marriage requirement rules to live by in order to see if this union will work. Cassie and Jack decide to get married for two reasons: Health insurance and mold free house. Just how that comes about, what her requirements were in her twenty-page email she sent him and what his limited list was you have to read for yourself. This book is hysterical yet two people from entirely different worlds you might say wind up together but will it last? Wait until Cassie’s daughter hits her with another bombshell and you find out Cassie’s rule for learning about past wives. This is priceless. Can two people that have books and not much else in common join forces in marriage? Can Jack and Cassie live together without killing each other? An ending that will definitely require a box of tissues and two people that will let seniors know that life just begins at any age and you never know when Mr. Right or in this case the right friend or partner will come into your life. So, let’s give thanks to the mold allergies for uniting these two such different people. Cassie: straightforward and neat: Jack a sloppy, cranky yet down deep kind. So can Felix Unger and Oscar Madison make it? Read Out of Warranty and find out for yourself. Only author Haywood Smith can deliver a novel filled with humor, bring to light important issues many face today dealing with drug companies and health insurance and deliver that right mix of hilarity, sarcasm, family love and much more. So, let’s hope we hear some more about these two and find out what life has in store for them.
Fran Lewis: reviewer