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Friday, November 20, 2015



     Last year I went to the doctor and I asked him what's new, and he says with a frown, "The bird flu." I ask him, "Where did it go?" And he says, "where did what go?" He looked at me like I was crazy and I looked at him like he was nuts, then he said, "Did you already have a shot or would you like a shot?" And I said, "It's a little early in the day but the idea is growing on me." He took out a little rubber mallet and started hitting me with it.

     He told me that influenza deaths are on the rise this year. I said, "Oh my god, they should be concentrating on that instead of the flu!" Then he frowned again, and looked in both of my ears with that microscope-looking device. He said he didn't see anything, I assume he was looking for my brain.

     I got my flu shot last year, but I'm a year older now, and I heard that the symptoms of the flu are exacerbated by aging. Now I'm not one to sit around exacerbating all day, so I went to get my flu shot.

     They were offering them where I work, so I stood on line, and they gave me a form to fill out as I waited, which had a bunch of questions on it. The first question should have been: Did you bring your glasses with you? Answer: NO. The form asked if I had a condition known as Guillain-Barre Syndrome, but if I had something known as that I certainly didn't know it.

     There are people at work who think I'm crazy for getting the flu shot, because they think that the flu shot gives you the flu. These are the same people who think you can catch a cold from being cold. They probably also think you can catch whooping cough from a whooping crane, or chicken pox from a chicken. Actually, I'm not sure you can't.

     So I sat down next to my nurse. There was this whole flap about a Miss America contestant using the fact that she was a nurse as her talent. She walked out with a stethoscope around her neck, and I thought she was going to do something cool with it, like use it as a yo-yo or slingshoot something with it or something, but instead she just started yakking about being a nurse. And people on the internet who don't have any hobbies started asking why she had a stethoscope if she's not a doctor. Well of course she has a stethoscope, so she can count the number of steths coming out of my chest, although I could swear I can hear Kings of Leon coming out of the earpieces.

     I asked her if it was going to hurt, and she said not too much.
"Not too much? What do you consider too much? On a scale of one to ten, what is the pain between?"
"It's between your shoulder and your elbow," she deadpanned.
"Would you say it's like somebody stomping on your foot if they did it on your arm?"
She said, "I would say it's more than a tiny prick but less than getting run over by a car, although I wouldn't know anything about getting run over by a car."
She told me to roll up my sleeve, the shot goes right in the upper arm.
"Don't you think it might be too muscular up there? You might not be able to insert the needle because of my biceps?"
"No, not at all,"she said.
"You didn't have to say  the 'not at all' part." I offered. "Isn't there somewhere else you can give me the shot, like Aruba?"
But before she could answer she was assaulting my arm, and I yelled out in surprise.
"That was just the cotton swab with the alcohol on it."
"Could you put some into my coffee cup?" I was going to stall for a little while, maybe ask to see her credentials, where she went to school, ask if she knew any yo-yo tricks with the stethoscope, etc., but she said she was already done.
"Wow, I didn't feel any pain at all!" I exclaimed.
"I can keep trying." She said.


  1. Good piece, Rick! I'm way behind on reading your work--though you never make them seem like work!

  2. Thank you Ed! I hope you had your shot- if not I know a bar where they are 2 for 1! Happy Thanksgiving!