Next up, on Iron Skillet Chef America our celebrity judge feels he’s entitled to share his opinions. Alloy cuisine!!! –Ed.
As a proud “native Oregonian” I’ve lived in Portland, on and off, since 1981. I’ve been to a few places to eat along the way. From food carts to neighborhood pub n’ grubs to world class cuisine, Portland has a veritable plethora of long waiting lines guaranteed to satisfy most any connoisseur of the latest trendy thing.
Voodoo Doughnut? I’ve never been. The line has always been too damn long. Who has that kind of time for a doughnut with bacon on it? My trick? Go to two different places, grab a doughnut from a regular place and a side of bacon from a diner. Voila! I call that Voodoo without the wait. When you’re downtown you’ll people toting around with their little pink boxes of Voodoo doughnuts as if to say, “Look at me! I did the wait!” Pro Tip: That pink box goes really well with plaid.
This was not my original post idea for tonight, but when life gives you lemons, you need to pucker the hell up and be sour. It’s time for a little blog improv.
My wife, who apparently is on a quest to find another way to die, had a prescription that needed to be picked up. Otherwise I wouldn’t have been caught dead at such a place on an evening like this.
It all started around New Year’s 2011. My wife already had a hurt shoulder than pains her greatly from time to time. One night we went to bed and everything was fine. When we woke up, somehow she had injured her knee. We’re still stumped about that one. She’s just that talented, I guess. But yeah, that knee injury was bad. Out of the blue she was on crutches and going in for MRIs (which were a friggin’ joke), trying to see an orthopedic surgeon who wouldn’t call her back and interpret her scans, and generally just trying to figure out what the hell was going on.
Then, about three weeks ago, the wife decided she needed to go foraging for organic materials for basket weaving. She likes to weave baskets. Personally I’d rather debug Perl scripts or write compliant HTML, but we all enjoy different things. Naturally, a few days later, she started seeing red splotches on her body. At first we thought they might be a reaction to something we ate. The next morning, however, it was all made clear. She had been visited by the poison oak fairy.
On my wife’s side of the family, poison oak is a deadly force to be reckoned with. Just looking at a picture of it can make them explode in an itchy red mess. Me? I don’t think I’ve ever had it. I guess some people are more susceptible.
My wife’s case was bad. Very bad. It was in and around her eyes, mouth, face, tummy, legs, hands, and, well, suffice it to say a few other choice spots that shall remain unmentionable.
So now my wife was being subjected 24/7 to intense pain and scratchiness on top of her shoulder and knee that were still painful, too.
That led to several more doctor’s visits, missed days from work, and eventually a prescription for a pill known as prednisone (a pill) for poison oak. My wife was told right up front that one of the side effects of the pill is that it can make you “grumpy.” Oh Lord, help me!
I went to WedMD to check out the possible side effects. There it was in black and white. Mood swings. Chronic trouble sleeping. Depression. Delirium. Hallucination. Paranoia. Mental disturbance. Wow. That’s quite the list.
Bonus side effect: “Complete Stoppage of the Heart.” Yeah, that would qualify as a side effect. Personally, I don’t care what medical problem you have. A side effect like that one just might be worse than the problem it’s supposed to allegedly be fixing, eh?
She’s definitely had trouble sleeping since the first of the year. That sure doesn’t help.
So Friday morning we wake up and something new is going on. She’s having trouble breathing and doesn’t feel well. By the time I go to work she’s still in bed so I figure she’s taking the day off. I tiptoe out of the house.
I called at lunchtime to see how see was doing. No answer. Finally later in the afternoon she called me. She had gone in to work at noon and will be going to urgent care when she gets off. Because she’s sick of her doctor who never does jack shit.
Related post: Salubrious Basterds/The doctor will fee you now.
Urgent care told my wife that she had picked up bronchitis and/or pneumonia and likely an infection, probably because the prednisone weakened her system to the point of allowing such things to be able to gain a foothold. That’s just friggin’ pluperfect! Their brilliant plan to deal with this troubling development? Yep. You guessed it! A cocktail of even more prednisone and some antibiotics to knock down the infection. Doctors are so smart!
And that’s the short preface to this post. A post which is actually about how I ended up at a friggin’ Walgreens of all places on a friggin’ Friday night. Gads!
I had to go pick up my wife’s prescription. It takes a damned good reason to get me in that shit hole.
As soon as the glowing building loomed in my field of view I knew I was in for the time of my life. You see, I live in a very small town where they roll up the sidewalks early every evening and all day every Sunday. Places like Walgreens stay upon 24 hours a day, thus become destinations in and of themselves to the indigenous locals who don’t know how to entertain themselves any other way.
I pulled into the parking lot and couldn’t believe my eyes. 8pm on a Friday night and the Walgreens was packed. Who knew?
I parked and tried to make my way to the front door. The sidewalk was teeming with all sorts of miscreants. Yes, once again, I had entered The Cloud. That’s just my way of saying “outdoors where people accumulate and smoke their asses off.” I was swimming through a sea of smoke, holding my breath while walking, trying to make it to the front door.
Most of the people were conglomerated around the evening’s star attractions: The two shiny and gleaming RedBox video rental machines on the sidewalk near the front door. Jesus Christ, what a clusterfuck! I couldn’t help but wonder to myself, “Who the fuck rents their DVDs from a fucking vending machine?” No doubt if they put a vending machine there that served french fries then these same helpless/hopeless people could also enjoy a hot meal!
I steeled my resolve. My mission was to ingress and egress the scene as fast as humanly possible and then get the hell back home. I was already “feet wet” so there was no turning back.
Inside, I made a beeline to the area for prescriptions. Imagine the layout of the store as a rectangle with the same aspect ratio as a widescreen movie. Label the bottom left corner of that rectangle as “entrance.” Label the top right corner of that rectangle as “prescriptions.” If you drew a line between those two points you’d have a hypotenuse, your optimum shortest distance of travel. If only there weren’t aisles and aisles of shit in between.
The place where you pick up your prescriptions is located in the most remote location in the whole friggin’ store. There can’t be any logical reason for that, right? It has absolutely nothing to do with making you walk by soda and candy bars and cheap plastic toys made in China and all kinds of other friggin’ horseshit, right? I must have hiked 2.3 miles to get to my wife’s prescription all the while exposed to purchasable goods.
I’ll spare y’all the rest of the details of my visit to Walgreens. I was able to make my escape and somehow return to home base, but it’s all a blur. My debriefing is scheduled at 0800.
I’ve been plotting my wife’s ailments since the first of the year. The trendline has decidedly upwards movement. In fact, if I project that trendline into the future, today should be the first time she’ll add two new problems on the same day. The rate of growth is exponential, so I have that to look forward to.
See you again soon, Walgreens. My old friend.
How’d I do with those lemons? Was I sour?