So, my faithful minions, we have had a fairly eventful couple of weeks, no? I got engaged, I received my horrible foot brace, and I officially launched my new author website over at http://www.danielpmalito.com. Feel free to visit.
So much going on, right? Since we have been dealing with so many important happenings lately I figured we should take a break and have a few laughs. So, without further adieu, it’s time to visit that most entertaining and ridiculous of places – the Vault of Crazy People I Met Because of My Disease!
Located right next to the therapy crypt, the Vault of Crazy People, or just “the Vault” for short, is filled with macabre tales of conduct so inept that general public is not allowed entrance for fear of death by hilarity. Today, though, you will be allowed a rare glimpse into the annals of this catacomb of woe.
Our tale takes place in the most unassuming of places, a local drug store. One day, I had decided to pick up some shampoo and refill two of my prescriptions at the same time. Currently, I take nine different medications, which obviously requires nine separate scripts. Of course, it would be great if these scripts all came due at the same time, but that would be way too easy to fit into the chaos that is my life. So, I basically live at the local CVS, and I know just about all the pharmacy staff members.
Since most of the employees who work behind the counter at the drug store are familiar to me, I always notice when a new person has joined the crew. This is especially true for the pharmacy counter, as I spend more time there than I do in my own bathroom. Recently, a new register ringer appeared, and as I always do, I introduced myself as I purchased my blood pressure pills.
“Hi,” I said, “I’m Dan. You’ll see me here a lot. My address is [address removed], I think I have three scripts to pick up.” Friendly enough, or at least I thought so. The rest of the transaction was uneventful as my implicit invitation for conversation was ignored. Not allowing myself to accept defeat with just one try, I decided to use this person’s name to say goodbye after the transaction was complete. The nameplate said “Sam,” so, being the friendly sort that I am, I said, “thanks Sam, nice to meet you.”
Sam replied “You too, Bart.” I walked away before my brain had a chance to process what I heard.
When I had gotten halfway through the parking lot, I suddenly stopped and said to myself “did he call me Bart?” Since the only Bartholomew I ever met has yellow skin and is a cartoon, I ascribed the misidentification to the fact that I probably heard wrong, and Sam must have said “You too, Bye.” I mean, there’s no way anyone, anywhere, on planet Earth, could mistake the name “Dan” for “Bart,” right?
So, I forgot about the entire ridiculous event and went about my business. For reasons I previously explained, I was back at the CVS pharmacy counter only days later, refilling yet another one of my numerous medications. As I walked up to the register, there, behind the counter, was our man Sam. Again, since I always try to form at least a passing relationship with the people who are responsible for providing the pills I need to live, when I reached the front of the line, I said, “Hi Sam. Remember me?”
Sam replied, “Uhh yeah. Bart, right?”
Now, a lesser man than I would have taken this opportunity to embarrass poor Sam in front of the multitude of customers waiting on the extremely long line at the pharmacy counter. I decided to take the high road and politely correct him. I said, “No, it’s Dan. Kind of rhymes with Sam. Remember?” Sam smiled and said, “Oh yeah.” It was then that this prince among men decided to ask another question, one that seemed just a bit too personal in retrospect. Sam said, “What’s wrong with you again?”
Caught off guard at the bluntness of the inquiry, I replied “oh, a lot of things, but if you are asking what I need the medicine for it’s because I had a heart attack.” Sam smiled and nodded, and then he rung me up without another word. When our exchange was through, I picked up the bag and as I was walking away I said, “Ok Sam, see you later. It’s Dan, remember. Ha ha.”
Without another thought I left the CVS and returned home. Thinking about the incident later, I realized that his question had probably been a bit out of line. At first, I thought maybe I should report him. Then again, seeing as how he worked the counter at the pharmacy, I figured he had enough to deal with and I didn’t want to get him written up. So, I left it alone.
A week later I ended up back at the CVS pharmacy, and as I approached the shrine of medication I saw that our favorite register jockey was behind the counter again.
“Does anyone else work here?” I thought to myself. “This is ridiculous.” Without any other choice, I walked up and said “Hi Sam. Remember me?”
Sam replied “Yeah. Bart.”
It was at this point when I began to suspect that Sam might not be the Rhodes Scholar that I had previously assumed him to be. Who could blame me, though? After all, he was always wearing a white lab coat. Thinking he was just “joshing” me, I said “Yeah yeah, I’m Bart. Cowabunga dude.” Sam stared at me with disdain. I smiled at him until I realized there wasn’t a shred of understanding behind those big blue marbles he called eyes. I said “You know, the Simpsons, Bart Simpson says.. never mind. It’s Dan Malito. My address is [address removed]. Picking up two.”
Sam replied “and what’s your address?”
Aye Caramba. At this point I was seriously contemplating vaulting over the counter and strangling poor Sam until he called me by my real name. If it weren’t for my love of all of God’s creatures, great and small, I would have done just that. Fortunately for Sammy boy, I am a gentle being, and loathe violence. So, deciding to give him a mental beating instead, I replied “742 Evergeen Terrace. Springfield.”
With a straight face, I stood there, silent. Sam stared at his computer screen. Sam continued to stare at that liquid crystal register display for close to five whole mi
nutes. Now, that may not sound like a long time, but when there are irate customers on line behind you, it is an eternity where each minute is one tick closer to your violent death. Finally, I asked Sam if I could go. “Ok? All set?” I said. He stuttered, looked at me, looked at the screen some more, then looked at me and said “yeah.” So I grabbed my bag, happy to finally be released from that hell of noncomprehension, and as I walked away,