Now I are one

Tuesday November 22, 2005

“I’m actually feeling rather nervous about this,” I said as I sat waiting to go off for my annual ‘flu jab.

“You’re not usually bothered by needles and such.”

“Oh, no, not the jab. Hardly feel that at all.”

“What, then?”

“I’m a little fearful that, what with this vaccine shortage and all, I’ll get there only to find they’ve run out.”

“Only one way to find out.”

“Yeah. You’re right. Off I go, then.”

“Break a leg.”

“I shall do my best.”

The Franklin Hall was buzzing when I got there. Well, as close as a crowd of old farties can get to buzzing, that is.

I joined the queue to sign in, spoke nicely to the cheerful young woman on the desk, and collected my little white slip and the ticket with my number on it. That was a relief.

I found an empty seat close to the front where the nurses came along every few minutes to call the next in line and waiting until my number came up. Too far back and I can’t hear them above the chatter. Slowly, the numbers moved along. 125, 126, 127… 139.

“That’s me,” I smiled as I got to my feet.

“Come along, dear. This won’t take a minute.”

It didn’t, either. Completely painless, of course.

“There,” the young lady who’d made me smile by calling me ‘dear’ said. “I told you it’d be quick.”

“Pain free, too. You’re very good.”

“Ta. Hope it lasts me through the day.”

“Put your feet up when you’re done and be sure we’ll be thinking of you with gratitude.”

“Oh, off with you and get your coffee and biscuits.”

“Ok. Thanks. See you next year.”

And that was it. All done, my fears of being missed completely unfounded, and I’m set for another twelve months or so.

I paid the Red Cross lady my 35p, grabbed my cup of black coffee (not too awful) along with two biscuits from the plate, and took myself off to a corner table where I could observe all the peri-geriatric old dears sitting to rest up after their jabs. Just like me.

I dunno. It doesn’t seem any time since I couldn’t spell ‘peri-geriatric old dears’ and now I are one.


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