A Field Guide to Long-Term Fundsuckers

from Mouth magazine,
July 1998



Two fundsuckers seem to have sucked themselves
together. Now they are stuck. Neither can let go.




One big cigar-smoking martini-guzzling fundsucker
impresses two tiny sparrows


Probably the first birds you spot at these meetings will be the well-feathered government operatives -- from welfare dodos to human services parrots to voc rehab penguins to boobies who specialize in (other peoples') aging.

Their job is to make sure their funding eggs stay safely in their nests -- that their department does not see its funds sucked away by others in the flock.

You'll see predator birds like insurance company falcons and one or more managed care hawks.


Some so-called consumer representatives will show up: the spring chicken who represents the "infirm elderly," the mourning dove who coos about how "some people need to be in there." One consumer rep might be a proud rooster who pays for a loved one's gilded cage at a nursing home or in a private special school.

These meetings may even draw a nursing home's resident canary who twitters on endlessly about her lovely cage. She would never want to fly into something as wild and windy as freedom. Note: this is the same bird who tortures her fellow cagebirds back at the "home."


Provider birds -- carrion-pickers, most of them -- have the prominent perches at the table and their claws in your neck. The for-profit vulture CEO, the buzzard president of a life care community, the wily crows who own assisted living facilities, the seagull proprietor of a boarding home.

The lobbying hawk for the nursing home industry preens himself, perching alongside the state's executive peacock. The peacock eyeballs every bird in the room from his wicked blue and purple feathers while his carrier pigeon flunkies dash back and forth from their briefcases to the proud peacock cooing, "So true, so true."


And then there's you. You could get pecked to pieces in this company. Or, if you bring our community's ideas to the table, you could soar away like an eagle with the real prize, freedom for our people in your state.

True, freedom with home and community supports isn't free. Still, it's a flock of a lot cheaper than living at the mercy of the fund-suckers.


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*Scott Chambers, cartoonist and visionary, may be reached via email at cal@mouthmag.com. Mouth bought the rights to use these cartoons first, but Scott holds the copyright to them. For reprint permissions on the cartoons, address him directly. Mouth holds the copyright, ©1998, on the article. Although Mouth invented the term fundsucker, we are delighted to see the term in wide use. To see the original fundsuckers, click here.