Sneeze, crumple, aimless toss, miss. There is an ever-growing parade of crumpled tissues surrounding the oval trash can next to my bed. From overhead, the tissues on the floor easily number enough to cover a high school homecoming float. Too tired for Netflix, too feverish to read, the harsh reality of a mid-winter cold is it's as unwelcome as a sub-par tissue against a crimson nose. Medical offices tend to stock under-sized, scratchy tissues from flimsy boxes. On a recent Friday morning, I’m ¾ of the way through a box of thin-ply tissues way before a pair of cordovan leather loafers pause at the doorway. The doctor reads my chart, glances at me and immediately dons a mask. The nurse practitioner has noticed my steady tissue dispensing and reaches into a glass-doored supply cabinet for a fresh box. She suggests I keep the one I have adding, “you look like you really need it.” I want to thank her but the words unleash a ferocious tickle followed by what I refer to as the Marlboro Man cough. I drain the flimsy tissue box of the last one.
Both the doctor and my local pharmacy, (the one known for its register-receipt- coupon-generosity) commend me for having gotten a flu shot earlier in the season.
Still, whatever malaise has taken up residency in my ear is the gift that keeps on giving. Both doctor and patient are more than anxious to derail the culprit who has stayed far too long and is reluctant to leave without a little intervention. I wait on a slim chair behind the screen reserved for flu shot participants. At the moment, no one is participating and the pharmacist seems pleased to have me tucked away, out of plain sight. When my prescriptions are ready, the enthusiastic cashier reminds me of all of the savings I’ve accumulated and hands me enough register tape to wallpaper my kitchen.
Before making the Sherpa-less trek up the stairs and back to bed, I cobble together a cold beverage, a hot beverage and a bowl of mandarins. Had I taken the time to peruse my pharmacy coupons, I could have taken advantage of the very generous two dollars off store-brand Vitamin C tablets. My preferred kind of Vitamin C allows you to peel back the skin, unleashing each sweet/tart segment. Before climbing into bed, I gather up the tissue parade float from the floor, tossing it into the trash. I will not venture down the stairs again until my hankering for chicken soup overrides my desire to sleep.
Professional Pie-isms & Seasonal Sarcasm