An elderly woman walked by my office today. She looked sweet and smushy, in that pilled sweater, grandma kind of way.
"Are you lost?" I asked her.
“Eating lunch at your desk?” she asked, looking at my salad.
I nodded yes.
“That’s nutritious,” she said. “But where’s your protein?”
“I have walnuts.”
“You shouldn’t eat at your desk.”
“Do I know you?” I asked.
“I’m Gary’s great aunt,” she said. She shook her head and walked away.
I was about to call co-worker Gary and ask him why I hadn't gotten the memo on "Bring your nosy, cranky ass relatives to work day" when Chuck called with some bad news. Junior’s ear infection isn’t responding to the antibiotics. The underwear-loving pediatrician wants to try a new one. If that doesn’t work, it’s ear tube time. I inhaled the rest of my salad and drove to the Mulletville CVS to pick up the prescription...
...only to be told CVS doesn’t carry that brand. But if I wanted to drive across town to Walgreens, I could get it there.
“Noooooooo!” I cried. “Anywhere but there!”
The CVS pharmacist shook her head sympathetically. The Mulletville Walgreens is a frightening place—perhaps the most dilapidated, blackest hole in town (besides the bar on Main Street that boasts live Jell-O wrestling contests). It kind of looks like this:
It’s the saddest collection of Mulletville residents you’ve ever seen. There are obese women with hairy chins, men with black eyes and brass knuckles, teenagers whose hair is so greasy and stringy that it hangs in clumpy strands. Sometimes children with rat tails spit at you. The last time I went there, I vowed never to return.
But Junior. I could not let overgrown or unwashed hair stand in the way of my child’s health. In I went. I patiently waited. And waited. And waited. Then I heard someone shouting “Hey, lady! Lady in the coat!”
I turned around to find a man holding two boxes of diapers. “Yes, you!" he cried. "Which one would be better for my kid?”
What the hell, right? First my nuts aren't good enough. Now I'm the Mulletville diaper expert?
I pointed to the Huggies. “Those?”
“Yes!" he shouted. “God bless mothers! God bless mothers!”
The Walgreens cashier beamed at me, like I'd saved the day. I looked around to see who else was basking in my diaper wisdom.
"You're next," someone said, nudging me forward.
"Don't have all day," came another voice.
I turned around again. Gary's great aunt. Thisclose.
"I got out for lunch after all," I said sweetly.
"Aren't we lucky," she said. "You're NEXT!"
Brrrrng brrrng. "Hi, Gary? It's Mrs. Mullet...something terrible happened to your great aunt. I was backing up in the Walgreens parking lot and felt a horrible thunk..."