Highlights From Friday's Pill Counting Action.

The day began with a phone call. I heard the ringing as I approached the drugstore gate, fumbled with my keys, logged into the various types of electronic equipment throughout the happy pill garden and put on the cheesecloth lab coat provided by my employer, through it all the ringing continued. It must be very important.

"Thank you for calling corpro-pharmacy, this is Drugmonkey, may I help you?"

"IS THIS ROBERT?"

I had told the nice lady my name as part of my phone answering and it was not Robert.

"No ma'am. This is Drugmonkey"

"ROBERT????"

I've worked at my current gig for almost 5 years now, and no one named Robert has been employed here during any of that time. The man I replaced had been here two decades, and his name was not Robert either. I knew what I had to do.

"Robert's not here today ma'am"

"PAUL????????"

I have no idea who Robert or Paul might be, but told the nice lady we did stock eyeglass repair kits. As I hung up the phone the Assistant Manager walked by.  "I just want to set someone on fire" he muttered as he went off to the storeroom. I've learned not to ask.

You know how infants have that specific type of new baby smell? You know you do. There is nothing that quite smells like a baby, except for this old man who came to the counter about an hour into my shift. What the hell could an 80 year old man be doing that would make him smell like some sort of combination of diapers, baby powder, spit up and formula? I know the obvious answer is that he was incontinent and wearing his own giant baby diaper or something, but other old men who pee their pants don't smell like this. I went out and bought a soda after he left just so I could tail him and smell baby man again to make sure my nose wasn't messing with me. The baby smell mystery may occupy me for the rest of my life, or at least the next week or two.

The morning also brought a prescription for Zocor to be taken as needed and hard evidence that not every doctor has received the Darvocet memo yet. Also a message from an insurance company that read as follows in its entirety: "INTERACTING MEDICATION: 50111043401" Some computer programmer out there probably really thinks he's saving lives.

A customer came to the counter to tell me he had trouble sleeping, and I suggested he might try the original formula of Unisom, which works a little better than the various diphenhydramine preparations in the sleepy section. "I don't want a sleep aid!!" he snapped, so I softly sang him a lullaby as I waited for the next man to come to the counter.

He had his cellphone with him, and on it was a picture of a prescription. It was for Vicodin and the guy seriously thought I would just give him some based on the picture on his phone. I know it's traditional to say you should give them an A for effort, but this one merited a C-plus, max.

During lunch I noticed the ladies at the nail salon wore lab coats of higher quality than I did and was halfway through my sub when I noticed that the man repeatedly saying "How you doing Bob?" was talking to me. He told me the Benadryl I had no recollection of recommending to him had really done the job. I wondered if maybe Bob was the name of some sort of non-evil pharmacy twin. I kinda hope so. I always wanted the role of evil twin.

A lady was waiting for me when I came back so she could ask me the following question, again verbatim: "This is a nose spray? So I should just spray it in my nose?" I wondered what she would have done without me as I fielded the next question from another man, "She's got plenty of Aleve, right?" He was looking right at me. I was expected to provide an answer as to the quantity of Aleve necessary for a woman I had never to my knowledge met. "Can you ever really have too much?" I said, and the man bought a bottle. Just a damn shame I don't work on commission.

I had pretended for a few seconds that the hot chick who was making a beeline for the pharmacy a few minutes ago was coming for me. I now heard her scream into her cellphone "Fine, no condoms!!!" and storm off. It really is best not to always get what you wish for.

After sundown two drunks got into an argument. "Get away from me!! the lady said "I just want to be left alone!!" Whereupon her....partner?....boyfriend?.....brother?.....sheltermate? staggered to the counter to let me know "She's disabled"

"I HAVE FIBROMYALGIA!!! She yelled, and I believed her. No one is as eager to let you know about their condition as the fibromyalgics.

I looked to the other side of me and saw someone asleep in the blood pressure machine. The phone rang and someone wanted to know if they could lower their cholesterol by eating shrimp. I was doing my best to explain that the opposite would be more likely to happen when I heard the happy couple going at it again in the waiting area.

"DON'T POINT THAT AT ME!!!" The fibromyalgic drunk lady yelled. Her partner was holding a walking stick from a nearby display and saying "bam! bam! bam!" Blood pressure man slept through it all.

And somehow I got through it all. Every prescription got out the door and every person was told that nose spray does indeed go up the nose. I closed the gate and wondered about baby man and Robert to the point where it threatened to keep me up that night. I sang myself a soft lullaby and started to let go of the day. To take solace once again in slumber, a place where no one will ask me where the bathroom is.

The lullaby. It works better than Unisom.
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Highlights From Friday's Pill Counting Action.
Highlights From Friday's Pill Counting Action.
Reviewed by malaria
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Rating : 4.5