Thursday, July 28, 2011

Laughter Is the Best Medicine

I filled a prescription from one of the places I have my medications handled. I take enough of them that I'm required by law to not encourage monopolies by having more than one pharmacy handle the paper. At least that's what I'd like to think. I went for decades paying heath insurance premiums but never needing to do anything medical but that hasn't been my complaint for the last score of years or so.

How pompous was that? Seriously. What am I, the third runner-up in the "How Did You Like the Play, Mr. Lincoln?" contest. What were our mothers doing, I wonder, while our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation? And yeah, I am the kind of dork who uses score in an actual sentence just as I say enhance where you might choose to say improve (and be wrong). I've gotten enough Indian burns as a kid for being a bookworm and now I don't care what you think of me.

Anyway, I was picking up a medicine I only take once a month. I do question the sincerity of a physician who comes up with a medication a patient need only take once a month. What's the thinking there? "I want him to get better, but NOT too much better...once a month should be about right. Once a week and he'd probably be cured. Once a day and he'll be leaping tall buildings in a single bound. I don't want that! I've seen him in tights."

Just as well I'm keeping my day job; that's how I pay my insurance premiums. I went to pickup the prescription and the pharmacy technician explained my insurance would only authorize a ninety day refill-three pills. Somehow, my heart will carry on, I guess. She then asked if I had any questions. Unfortunately, for her, I did.

"What," I asked, "happened to Sandy?" She looked at me blankly. I explained to her Sandy was a dog I had as a pet when we lived in Wanamassa, New Jersey. I didn't add "when I was five years old." I didn't think it was germane to getting an answer to my question. The woman backed away slowly from the counter, which bothered me slightly as we were already on opposite sides of it and she was the one much closer to the drugs.

Fearing, perhaps, she hadn't heard me, I repeated my question only louder adding "Sandy was a Cocker Spaniel who tried to bite me." That is my whole memory of that animal. I hated that dog. So much for trying to get in good with the tech-not even sharing that extra little bit helped. She stared at me evenly while demanding to know why I was asking her about my dog. Because, I explained, you gave me permission when you asked if I had any questions.

"I meant about the medicine!" she sort of shouted. I offered easily and breezily it couldn't be my fault if I didn't understand what she meant since I could only hear what she said. The purchase was for less than five dollars-adding a whole new meaning to the phrase cheap thrill and I pocketed the change from a ten. I like to pay in cash sometimes when I'm feeling nostalgic; cash reminds me of when we were a powerful and feared nation and not a bunch of whiners afraid of a few questions about a dog that's been dead for decades.

The technician seemed happy, almost too happy, as I walked away from the counter. I wonder when she'll realize that it's only a ninety-day reprieve. And that it's not Ol' Roy who's coming back for the rest of his party favors?
-bill kenny

No comments: