Wednesday, November 11, 2009

At least now, I get shots in the arm instead of the other place

I'm not sure if anything showcases human nature quite like a long queue of homo sapiens on a cold, November morning. When mixed with a healthy serving of paranoia and perceived shortages, things can get interesting.
Such was the case this morning, as I fired up the Ford Ranger for the sixteen-mile trip to Katterman's Pharmacy in Seattle's Sand Point neighborhood. I've been in hot pursuit of the H1N1 vaccine for the past month, as I'm sure a lot of us have, after doing some research about this nasty invader. Apparently, having had fairly bad asthma since I was a chubby, little kid, I'm at risk of developing pneumonia if this thing seeps into me.
The county health department website displayed this particular pharmacy as having a limited number of dosages today and tomorrow, so I departed the house this morning at 6:00 to give myself plenty of time to stand in line for the store's 9:00 opening.
I arrived to discover about 100 people snaking down the sidewalk from the drugstore's entrance. It looked like people were waiting to purchase playoff tickets; there were lawn chairs, sleeping bags, tons of coffee. I joined the line behind a tall, graying man, who appeared deep in conversation with his neighbor. Only later would I find out that he talked to anyone within a four-person radius, and upon further examination, he had something which had traveled from the confines of his sinuses and lodged itself directly under his left nostril. It was like an escaped prisoner who made it to the peripheral razor wire and inexplicably stopped. From that point on, in spite of myself, I was strangely drawn to this man's nose area.
After about an hour, I wasn't able to see the end of the line, as it extended down the street and around the block. Occasionally, a newcomer would walk down our gauntlet and I could decipher a faint, "Oh, my Gawwd!" as they disappeared into the masses.
"Is this the line?" I heard one guy ask. I probably should have checked to see if he was blind before muttering, "No, actually, it's a celebration called 'Hands Across Seattle.' Want to play?"
After two hours, the line started chugging along. Another hour later, I held in my sweaty palm a time slot and receipt for the magical elixir that would battle this virulent, pork-based plague. The shot itself was rather anticlimactic, and I got out of there in about three minutes with a Band-Aid and butterscotch lolly pop. 
No riots, no arguments...just a guy who desperately needed his wife there to tell him to wipe his nose.

By the way, this is blog post number 50. Thanks for listening to my curmudgeonly ramblings.


  1. Your fiftieth posting--that means you have enough material and you know how to make it work on paper. You make me laugh, you make me cry (in a good way). You rival my two favorite Davids (Barry and Sedaris). You need to write a book.

  2. I second that emotion. Your pen name shall be David "Tim" Haywood.