Honestly, this is probably one of those “had to be there” sorts of stories… Be that as it may, I’m going to go ahead and tell it. Why? Because I was there. I can’t help it if the rest of you didn’t check your schedules and missed it… So, anyway…
I’m getting up there in years. I’m not what you’d call old, although most of the O-spring’s friends think I am. I’m actually right there at middle age. Just a couple of months shy of that half-century mark, where life really begins. However, as we age, even if we are simply reaching our prime, other bullshit goes on inside us. Things like our immune systems getting tired a little more easily. So, to boost things, we do silly stuff like get flu shots. I know some folks out there who REALLY think it’s silly and refuse to get flu shots at all. More power to them. They just need to stay away from me with their germs, because the simple truth is, nobody is really as immune to common illnesses as they think they are. I guess the long and short of what I am prattling about is this: I get a flu shot every year, and 2011 is no different – especially since I am about to go out of town to a gathering of bunches of people where I will be signing books, shaking hands, and being exposed to all manner of bacterioviralmorphingpowerranger pathogens.
As it happens, the insurance that covers our family is of the sort that covers such immunizations 100%, so I recently headed out to the post office, dropped off some stuff, then continued up the block to the local Walgreen’s and got myself into the queue for a flu shot. As I waited, an older lady possessed of a white cane arrived with a friend, and they got themselves into the queue as well. While we sat waiting – it was a hell of a busy day at the Walgreen’s – I couldn’t help but overhear the older woman talking about how nervous she was, and how she was going to scream when they gave her the shot.
Eventually the pharmacist came out, packing a gihugic hypodermic that looked like a hunk of telephone pole with a sword sticking out of the end… Okay… not really. But I’m pretty sure that’s what the blind lady was imagining. As it happens, I was first up, and it had taken quite a while before the pharmacist had been able to come out to the “inoculation area,” so she was a bit harried about finding a place to give me the injection. You see, oddly enough the blind lady and her friend were sitting behind the blind where they normally do this sort of thing. I told the poor gal to just, “Grab, Stab, and Plunge,” adding. “It’s just a shot, not surgery.”
Upon hearing my comment, the blind lady called out from behind the blind, “I don’t know how you can do it. I’m going to scream like a little girl.”
I replied with a serious question, “Would it help you to feel better if I screamed, too?”
“Maybe,” she said with a nervous chuckle.
Moments later the pharmacist had, in point of fact, Grabbed, Stabbed, and Plunged. Me, not really seeing shots as that big a deal, I didn’t even realize she had done so until she was sticking a band-aid to my arm. I asked, “Oh, so you’re done?”
“Sure am,” she replied.
Not wanting to disappoint the lady on the other side of the blind I said, “Hang on a sec…”
Then I screamed.
In the middle of Walgreen’s.
Employees came running, shoppers peeked around the endcaps of nearby aisles, and everyone in the immediate vicinity who had been “in on the joke” burst out laughing – especially the blind lady behind the blind.
On my way out I wished her and her friend a good day. She chuckled and said, “You, too… And thanks for the entertainment…”
Another satisfied customer.
More to come…