Monday, November 06, 2006

Flu Shots

Now available for the old, the sick, the halt, the lame. And the grouchy. We went to our HMO last week on the first day flu shots were available. No appointment necessary, but a bit of a line. At 59 I was the youngest person in line by about 100 years. Hump-backed women pushing men in wheelchairs. Limping ladies pushing their oxygen bottles. People jockeying their walkers from the sign-in line to the waiting-for-nurse line like a contest for pole position in a NASCAR qualifier.

The best part was the unintentional humor. Two scrawny ladies who would have fit right in at a lesbian golf tournament doing a poor re-creation of a long lost comedy routine: You first. No, you first. No, I insist. Thank you, but please. An elderly man arguing with his ossified wife that he didn’t want to get another shot and what was she doing, trying to kill him. Her reply was to grimly grip the handles of his wheelchair and silently, stoically, roll him from one line into the next. Perhaps she was trying to kill him. Something clearly was.

The male nurse asked the arguing ladies if they were a couple. His intent clearly, was to take them both together. They suspected foul play and each glared at the other in a silent, and clearly often repeated conversation about how people can be so darn judgmental. They went in as a couple.

When our turn came, and we got the same nurse, K repeated his 20-year-old joke that we were together, but he hoped his wife wouldn’t find out. I referred to K as my boy toy. Once in the exam room for the actual flu shot, the nurse confessed he didn’t have any suckers to distribute if we didn’t cry when he injected the shot. Following our predictable grumbling at this news, he said he’d draw a smiley face on our bandaid instead. I asked for a grumpy face, and I think mine is better. The man was an artist.

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