Thursday, 08 May 1997
(Thanks to Devon Hubbard and Mate Gross)
by Richard Liebmann-Smith
(an editor of American Health Magazine)
Welcome to Managed Caring®, a whole new way of thinking about
friendship. The Managed Caring Plan® combines all the
advantages of a "traditional" friendship network with important
How Does It Work?
Under the Plan, you choose your friends from a
network of pre- screened accredited Friendship Providers. All your
friendship needs are met by members of your Managed Caring®
What's Wrong With My Friends?
If you're like most people, you're probably receiving Friendship
Services from a network of Providers haphazardly patched together
based on where you've lived, worked, or gone to school. The result is
costly duplication, inefficiency and conflict. Some Providers may not
meet national standards, responding to your needs with inappropriate,
outmoded or experimental behavior. Under Managed Caring®, your
friendship needs are coordinated by a designated Best Friend, who
Cares® about the quality of all your Friendships.
How Do I Know These Aren't Just A Bunch Of Losers Who Can't Make
Friends On Their Own?
Many of today's most dedicated and highly trained Friendship Providers
are as concerned as we are about delivering quality Caring® in a
cost-effective way. They have joined our network because they want to
focus on Caring® for you rather than devoting their resources to
the paperwork and high Bad Friendship premiums that have sent the cost
of traditional Friendship Delivery systems skyrocketing. Our
Friendship providers have met our rigorous standards of loyalty.
What If I Need A Special Friend, Say For Poker Or Fishing?
Special Friends are responsible for most of the unnecessary Friendship
Procedures that have sent the cost of the traditional Friendship
Delivery system skyrocketing. By training, experience, and by virtue
of knowing you for what you really are, your Best Friend is qualified
to refer you to a Special Friend within the Managed Caring®
network should your needs fall outside the scope of his or her
Suppose I Want To See Friends Outside The Managed Caring®
Can My Best Friend Ever Refer Me To Them?
No. The only time you can see a Friendship Provider without first
consulting your Best Friend is in the event of a Friendship
The Managed Caring® Plan covers your friendship needs 24 hours a
day, 365 days a year anywhere in the world, even if you need a friend
out of town, after business hours, or when your Best Friend is
Caring® for someone else. You may be on a business trip and
find yourself lonely.
In such a case, you may make a New Friend, and all appropriate
Friendship Procedures delivered in this Emergency Friendship will be
covered under the plan, provided you notify us within two business
What Friendship Procedures Are Covered Under The Plan?
Typical Friendship Procedures covered include (but are not limited
to): Chewing the fat, slinging the bull, shooting the breeze, hanging
out, checking in, cheering up, kidding around, dropping over,
partying, moaning, gossiping, joshing, ribbing, holding your hand,
patting your back.
Are Any Friendship Procedures Not Covered Under The Plan?
Yes. Ineligible services include (but are not limited to): drinking
in excess of six ounces of alcoholic beverages, lending sums in excess
of $5, going the extra mile, exchanging ethnic or dirty jokes, and
How Can I Find Out If The Friendship Procedure I Need Is
If you need a Friendship Procedure, call the toll-free number on your
Managed Caring® I.D. card to arrange for precertification of the
proposed Procedure. All appropriate Procedures will be approved for
coverage within 24 business hours.
But Who Decides What's Appropriate For Me?
We do. Isn't that what friends are for?
Note to losers: This is a
joke . Don't
e-mail me asking how I can find you some certified friends. If you
didn't realize that this was a joke, then you need to get outdoors
more and meet some people!
The name for Oz in the "Wizard of Oz" was thought up when the creator, Frank Baum, looked at his filing cabinet and saw A-N, and O-Z; hence the name "OZ".