Thursday, April 16, 2015

Breaking Badly

   My head was clogged. It was like half a dozen voles had crawled up my nose and were digging for worms behind my eyeballs. My internal mucus factories were working overtime, pumping out more of the gunk necessary for flushing invading plant life spores from my system. When I leaned over, or god forbid, sneezed, a mini explosion would jostle my cerebellum, cerebral cortex and medulla oblongata into spasms of quivering  jelly.
    So my wife sent me to the pharmacy to get some Sudafed … where I learned I might be a criminal.
    First, I roamed up and down the aisles looking for the Sudafed, which my wife had helpfully printed out a Google image of so I wouldn’t come back with hair restorer instead, not that I couldn’t use some  help up there. But there was no boxes of Sudafed on the counters.
    I’m a guy, and we can find stuff, so I intensified my search, and then my eyes went to a row of plastic cutouts lining the top shelf like warriors up on a cliff edge ready to rush down and take what’s left of my scalp.  I really do need that hair restorer.
    Anyway, it was the Sudafed. But not the Sudafed, just pictures of them with small cards that said to go to the pharmacy counter.
    I shrugged, plucked one down, and headed for the counter.
    The pharmacist gave me a sympathetic look. Did I mention the gunk and mucus?
    “I deed dis,” I said, handing her the card.
    “Okay,” she chirped, and plucked the card from my fingers.
    When she came back with the box of Sudafed, she started entering stuff on her computer while I awkwardly waited, shifting from foot to foot.
    Without looking up, she pointed to the card reader on the counter. “Read that and then sign.”
    I blinked. “Huh?”
    She looked up from her screen.  “Just read and sign there. Also, I need your driver’s license.”
    “My what?”
    She straightened up.  “Your driver’s license.”
    “Why do you need that? Is it dangerous to drive on that medicine?”
    “No, it’s a controlled substance.”
   “But, but, it’s just Sudafed. Why is that a controlled substance?”
    She smiled, not yet aggravated by my obtuseness. “People can make crystal meth from it.”
    I blinked again.
    “Haven’t you seen Breaking Bad?” she asked helpfully.
    “Um, well, I’ve been meaning to …”
    “It’s a great show. Anyway, you need to sign for it.”
    “Okay,” I said slowly, handing her my license, and I checked the box on the card reader where I agreed I’d read the instructions I didn’t read and signed my name, and paid for my controlled substance.
    A week later, I took my 18 year old cat to the vet, who said he wasn’t feeling well mostly because he’s the equivalent of 88 years old in human years, but she said he had some treatable issues and prescribed some special food to help his kidneys.  I bought some cans of the special food and shuffled off back to my car.
    Later, I went to a pet store to pick up some more, and then I tried to pay.
    “Um, sorry, Sir,” the cashier said.
    “What’s wrong?”
    “Er, you need a prescription for this,”  she continued.
    I looked at the bag, and then at her.
    “A prescription?” I parroted.
    “Uh, yes.”
    “For cat food?”
    “Well, yes.”
    “Is this one of those crystal meth things?” I asked.
    “I don’t know, Sir,” she said.
    Fortunately, I had a prescription in my wallet that the vet had handed me I thought as a joke, and I paid for the food.
    But it got me thinking, how did the meth heads sucker cats into this whole drug culture thing? I really thought cats were cooler cats that that.