Dream: Supermarket Mortification Contest with Richard Armitage





I recently had a really rather humiliating outing to the pharmacy. This is so embarrassing that I hesitate to share it here, but it does provide some context for the weird, weird dream I had last night. Anyway, with one kid in preschool and another in kindergarten, it’s somewhat inevitable that the kids become exposed to various nasty things once in a while. No matter how much parents and teachers try to prevent it, it’s just an undeniable fact that kids cough, sneeze, rub their eyes, pick their noses, scratch their bottoms etc., and they don’t always wash their hands or use the antiseptic gels before they resume playing with toys, handling crayons, and so forth. Hence, it’s a fact of life that the kids now and again come home with a stomach bug, a respiratory virus, pink-eye, or the embarrassing problem of: pinworms.

When you start to see a little kid scratching his or her rear end continually, think pinworms. And be worried. Because those little nematodes are very easily transmitted, and can spread to the whole family in no time, due to the worms’ tactics of emerging and laying eggs in the underwear and bed sheets in the night (do you wash your hands every time you handle the kids’ dirty laundry or change the sheets? You should!) They also cause an unbearable itch, so the kid scratches it, and if they don’t wash their hands, the microscopic eggs are deposited on any object that they then handle. As a veterinary aside… don’t blame the pets for pinworms. They come from humans.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, I had cause to suspect one of the kids might have pinworms after I observed my child frantically scratching his or her rear end, and being the veterinary diagnostician that I am, I knew it could be easily confirmed microscopically. A pair of gloves, a piece of scotch tape applied to the itchy area first thing the following morning, and an examination of the tape applied to the microscope slide later at work confirmed the problem, and I thought about using the pyrantel pamoate we have at the clinic, but just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Even though it’s the same active ingredient and I can calculate a human dose as easily as I can calculate a veterinary dose, I just didn’t really want to give my kids the dose out of the large bottle of pyrantel we have on hand for the puppies. So I made a run to the pharmacy, looking for Pin X.

Very, very embarrassing. First I could not find it, and had to ask for help from the pharmacist with several people in line. Then I was directed, red-faced, to the anti-fungal section, which is in itself a bit embarrassing. (Apparently the pharmacy concluded that “Ringworm” and “Pinworm” were similar enough to be shelved together. *Smacks head* Why didn’t I think of that? LOL) Anyway, I bought a couple of bottles, and made the whole family take the Pin X, even though 3 of us weren’t suffering any symptoms… yet. Better to be safe than sorry, right? So there I was at the counter with 2 bottles of Pin X, feeling very self-conscious, and publicly parasitized. It was not an experience I’d care to repeat. In fact, when I got home, I ordered another couple of bottles from an online source, so I’d just have it on hand if this frightful problem ever revisits our household, and not have to make another such awkward run to Walgreens…..

On to the dream…

* * *

I am in the pharmacy section of the largest supermarket in town, furtively looking for Pin X. I search the aisles, high and low, but am so far unsuccessful. Remembering the layout over at Walgreens, I decide to check the anti-fungal section before throwing in the towel. I round the corner into a new aisle, and that’s when I see a tall man wearing sunglasses and a ball cap pulled low over his forehead.

He’s standing in front of the anti-fungal ointments and topical sprays, and I decide to casually peruse other products, not wanting to have him see me pick up a bottle of Pin X and put it in my cart. The man looks familiar, having a tall, lean build… and he looks really nice from behind, but I can’t see more than his profile. Sympathetic to the potential embarrassment of being caught browsing the antifungal products, I try to avoid staring at the man. He’s reading the fine print on a can of Tinactin, and out of the corner of my eye, I suddenly realize that this man’s hand is familiar, and elegant. There’s something about that thumb… with a little gasp, I realize it’s Richard Armitage! I back my cart out of the aisle, practically hyperventilating, hoping he didn’t hear me gasp. I start to head as far away from the pharmacy section as I can get, because the last thing I want or need is an encounter with Richard Armitage involving Pin X or Tinactin.

I make my way to the grocery section, and do some shopping, trying to calm down. I can’t believe Richard Armitage is at the supermarket… and I can’t help myself. I wonder if he might have Athlete’s foot. And I really hope he doesn’t have Ringworm. Poor Richard! The third possibility… I won’t even go there. No! I. Said. I. Won’t. Go. There. I enter the canned food aisle, and I see the man again. This time, I decide to play it casual, and not put it in reverse and back out of the aisle, because to have that happen twice might rouse Richard’s suspicions. I pass his cart, glance in, see the Tinactin. I also see a box of Gas X. OMG. I didn’t just see that. I glance at Richard and see he’s not paying attention to me. He has a crafty smile on his face, and a humongous 32oz can of pinto beans in his hand. He tosses it into the cart with a chuckle and continues past me, heading in the opposite direction.

WTF is he doing with an enormous can of beans and box of Gas X??!?

That’s his business, I tell myself. That’s Richard’s business and I won’t speculate. I continue shopping. I move on to the kid’s clothing section, now starting to giggle a bit myself. That’s just such an embarrassing assortment of things to be buying. Poor Richard! As I grab a couple of packages of kid’s socks, I spot Armitage again. He’s in the panty-hose section and has a package of tan panty-hose. I shake my head and hope he gets the tallest ones available, and speed in the opposite direction. My head is spinning. How can I be attracted to a man who buys panty hose? Or any of the other things that insane man has in his cart?

With Richard safely occupied in the women’s hosiery section, I head back to the pharmacy and rush into the aisle for the Pin X. I grab a couple of boxes and try to hide them under my other groceries, then head back out. I hear that low, sardonic chuckle again and can’t help myself… I know that’s Richard behind me. I really don’t want to see what he has now, and I sure as hell hope he didn’t see me with the Pin X! Still, it’s as if someone else is controlling my cart, because I find myself making a U-turn, and sure enough, there he is again, this time with some kind of wart-remedy product in one hand, and anti-foot-stink powder in the other hand. My jaw drops, and damned if I don’t glance up and see he’s removed his sunglasses, and he’s onto me.

He winks.

I gape.

“Hey, Doc.”

I gulp. I try to say something, but there are no words. I shake my head and sort of wave and gesture at his cart.

He grins and raises an eyebrow.

“It’s all in the way of a Twitter joke,” he offers.

“Hashtag #PeopleOfWalmart?” I respond.

He smiles.

I rifle through my groceries and locate the most embarrassing product of all.

“Don’t forget this, then.”

I hand Richard Armitage a bottle of Pin X. He accepts it, his eyes goggle, and I hear a guffaw as I put it in reverse, wheel my cart around, and make haste for the cashier.

I don’t look back.

* * *

I think this dream might be even more mortifying than the time Hubby brought out the Naked… well, you know what.

Seriously, I never need to see Richard Armitage again.




Dream: Thorin Scares His Own Dog

I’ve had another Armitage dream and I’m happy to say that it did follow-up somewhat on last month’s prize-winning dream in which Lucas North made an office call. If nothing else, it answered the burning question in all our minds… what was the fate of the fluffy white dog?

* * *

Much to my surprise, I find myself tagging along as the proverbial third-wheel on a date that my veterinary technician has had planned for months. She and her spouse have treated themselves to one day at the Tulsa Comic Con, and she, at least, is there for one reason: Daryl Dixon of The Walking Dead.

(If I may be said to be PreoccupiedWithArmitage, then it may also be said that my vet tech is PreoccupiedWithDaryl. Norman Reedus is supposed to represent TWD at the upcoming Tulsa Comic Con, and I have heard pretty much nothing but #DarylDiscussion out of her for the past week. Perhaps this explains why I find myself dreaming I’m at this Comic Con, when I’ve never been the Comic Con-type, and neither Richard Armitage, nor Graham McTavish are on the Tulsa schedule.)


Daryl Dixon. Not too shabby.

While I’m not sure why I’m here, I do enjoy The Walking Dead and I am looking forward to seeing Daryl a bit myself. He’s pretty much all that one could hope for in a post-Apocalyptic redneck hero, and I’m not exactly immune to his charms. As we are meandering through the crowded building, I notice that some of the cast from Outlander and Game of Thrones are advertised, and I start to feel pretty glad that I have materialized at the Comic Con despite its thin Hobbit presence. I study my schedule and lay out my plans for the day, notify my companions of where I’ll be, and head out on my own.

No sooner have I separated from them, when I hear a pretty big commotion coming from The Hobbit area. Since as far as I know, only a couple of orcs will be there, I don’t have a lot of interest in that booth. Nevertheless, I hear the commotion and scan the area, and I spot a familiar fluffy white dog evading the crowd. People are trying to catch her, but her tail is tucked and she’s skittering out of reach and clearly very frightened. It looks a lot like my former tornado/hoarding refugee dog #1 that was adopted by Richard Armitage… or was it Lucas North?… last month. I become concerned that the animal might bite someone out of fear, or get tangled in a camera cord, or urinate on the floor, which is her specialty.

Crouching down, I call to her, and she not only hears me, but she recognizes a familiar face and makes a bee-line in my direction. When she reaches me, she falls all over herself in happy dog-reunion style, and obligingly urinates on the floor. I reach into my purse and grab my microchip scanner (oh yes, I take that to all the Comic Cons!) and sure enough, the scanner confirms what I already suspect: here we have the very dog that Richard… or Lucas… adopted last month. (I evidently keep every microchip serial number I’ve ever implanted stored in my brain. I’m that good.) I gather her into my arms, already on high alert. It’s possible that Richard Armitage… or Lucas North… is in the building.

I start to scan the area, my heart pumping, my face flushing, knowing that I might have another encounter with RA-LN-whoever he is. But before I can make any progress, a Comic Con official hurries toward me with a very stern face. I’m told that not only are dogs not allowed in the building, but I’m breaking Tulsa leash law ordinances, and I must pay a fine for the urine mess. I have his back, though. Rather than saying it’s not my dog, thereby casting RA-LN as the villain in this piece, I write a check to pay for the damages, and apologize very sincerely as I am escorted out the door. Privately, I’m pretty disappointed in my favorite actor. I had expected better from him. Imagine letting a scared little dog loose at a Comic Con!

In fact, the more I think about it, the more irritated I become. Not only has RA-LN lost the dog, but now I am stuck babysitting outside, instead of attending the activities and events of some of my favorite programs. (If I miss Jamie Fraser, Jon Snow or Daryl Dixon, Armitage will have a lot to answer for!) Then something even worse catches my attention. The neighboring building has a big sign that says “Responsible Dog Ownership Convention” and I realize that I have slipped up and forgotten my purpose for coming to Tulsa. I was not ever supposed to be in Tulsa for Comic Con… I was signed up to do OFA patellar certifications for the responsible dog owners of Tulsa, and I’m late!!! (Don’t you hate when that happens!? lol)


Thorin Oakenshield. Bane of small canine companions everywhere.

I hustle into the other convention center and find my booth is incredibly over-run with people. At first, I am concerned that my brain lapse has made me so late that I have kept everyone waiting for hours, but then I see that is not the case. There are a few people waiting, but mostly everyone there is crowding my booth because one of the people in line is none other than Thorin Oakenshield! The responsible dog owners are clearly thrilled to see the cross-over between conventions, but many of their dogs are not. Several toy breed dogs- Pomeranians, toy poodles, and Chihuahuas- are barking and growling at the Hairy Dwarf King. And it is Thorin. Long hair, prosthetic nose and brow, Middle Earth costume and all. People and yipping little dogs are closing in around him. He looks strained.

As I get closer, it occurs to me that while everything else is the same as the Thorin on film, there is one major difference… this Thorin is no shorty, and I realize it’s probably Richard Armitage, looking for his dog. I begin to feel better, because at least he knew where to find me, even if I myself didn’t know where I was supposed to be. I hurry up to Thorin, and find him watching me with a very interesting expression on his face. Sheepish, relieved, and astonished all at once. I immediately capitalize on this happenstance. Nobody needs to know I forgot about the OFA patellar certifications. I was just late because I was rounding up celebrity dogs. All in a day’s work. (Love it when you come out smelling like roses!)

I start to hand the dog over to Thorin, but he backs away with an even more sheepish and apologetic expression. He warns me she’s about to “piss on both of us” and admits that he’s just started his Hobbit promotions and damned if the dog isn’t scared-to-death of him when he dons his Thorin paraphernalia. He explains how the dog got away from him in the first place- he made the mistake of leaving her off the leash when he was going to take her for a walk before his Comic Con appearance, and discovered her fear of Thorin when she wouldn’t come to him. He’s been chasing and cajoling her for hours in costume, and she finally slipped inside the Comic Con building. Rather than going after her, he threw in the towel and came to the Responsible Dog Ownership Convention in hopes of obtaining my assistance in catching the dog, since he didn’t have time to get out of Thorin-gear and back into costume and make-up before his scheduled appearance.

(How odd that of all the actors involved in the Comic Con, only Richard Armitage had to appear in full costume. Very unfortunate for him! lol)

True to my usual form, I start to become concerned about the line of people waiting for their patellar certifications, so I tell Thorin Armitage that he is welcome to return to his Comic Con duties. I will watch the dog until he is finished, but not a moment longer, because I have a couple of items on my Comic Con schedule that I would hate to miss. I politely wish him well and take my place at the exam table in my booth.

(Why do I hustle him away at every opportunity I get? It’s baffling!)

I watch Thorin sign a few autographs and snap a few pictures with exhilarated ladies (and their intimidated and/or snarling little dogs) as he makes his way out of the building. I’m pretty pleased that he was at least a responsible-ENOUGH-dog-owner to have sought my assistance in retrieving his dwarf-phobic pet, and I’m really enjoying the free positive buzz he’s provided for my veterinary practice and for OFA patellar certifications in general.

My booth is the cool booth, today!

* * *

Hate to say the alarm clock went off before Richard came back to my booth to retrieve his erstwhile little dog! At least the alarm saved me from having to do too many more dreary patellar certifications. All in all, pretty pleasant dream! =)

Dream: Spooks, the Vet Office Episode


I had another g-rated Richard Armitage dream last night. These g-rated Armitage dreams are just delightful, though why so g-rated all the time, I’m not sure. I’ve made notations about it, but since it connects with a dream I had several months ago, I thought I’d share the prequel today.

* * *

(To really enter this dream experience, you must first pause, and play the intro music to Spooks in your mind. Dun Dun…. duhduhduh…. Dun Dun….. wuaarrr…. You all know it. It’s in the background of this dream.)

I’m at the office, and much to my dismay, I have one of my favorite patients on the table. The pet is presenting in a weakened and lethargic condition, and has an infected, open wound tract near the base of his skull. He has been transferred from the emergency center, where he’d presented for status epilepticus, a neurological emergency, the night before. The seizures are now under control, but everyone is still very worried. This patient is named Milton, and he’s a real patient of mine, or he was before I bought my own practice in a different town.

(No, I’m not sure whether Milton is named after “the” Milton of North and South fame. Maybe I’ll ask him. He’s a minor YouTube and Facebook celebrity.)

We anesthetize Milton, clean the wound, and take him to radiology.

(Why I thought we needed to radiograph his skull is a mystery, but it’s a good thing I did.)

To everyone’s astonishment, there is a microchip implant inside his skull cavity! I assume that this is a Home Again Microchip implant, gone horribly, horribly wrong. It needs to come out ASAP, I tell Milton’s mom, or he’s likely to continue having seizures and recurring brain infections.

(Recurring brain infections, very bad juju. WTF, self? Please excuse the implausibility of all this, and trust me that my veterinary dreams are never very medically sound. In other words, please don’t fear having your pet microchipped. Recurring brain infections are NOT a risk factor.)

Milton’s mom is one of those clients who will spare no expense on her pets, and she immediately agrees to brain surgery.

(In the dream, I apparently have no qualms about brain surgery. In real life, Milton would be on his way to the veterinary neurosurgeon.)

Now the brain surgery is over, and Milton is in recovery. My surgery tech and I are examining the microchip, but something is not right. It doesn’t look like a Home Again Microchip. It’s a little bigger, and it has Russian symbols on it.

(Apparently I can always recognize a top-secret Russian symbol when I see one.)

I start to get a tingling all over my skin, as I realize I’ve stumbled onto something dangerous. I think I may need to call the FBI or the CIA, but there are ramifications to that. Someone has implanted a foreign microchip, with classified data, in Milton. If Milton’s mom is involved in a covert operation, she could be in danger, or might be a danger to myself and my employees… I’m not sure. If another veterinarian, who presumably implanted the data chip, is involved, implicating a colleague could likewise have profound consequences, both to me and to the colleague, especially if innocent. But before I can contact either the FBI or the CIA, the front door chimes. My surgery tech and I both startle, and are instantly on guard. She reaches for her weapon.

(No, firearms are not standard equipment for veterinary technicians. Fear not, the next time you are at the vet’s office.)


Adam Carter, Section Chief, Veterinary Operations

Before she can draw the weapon, Adam Carter slips through the door to the treatment area, his weapon already drawn. He is on high alert. He scans the room, and his eyes land on our damned fridge, which is decorated with hot men and fluffy animals. He only glances at it, but I know he’s seen Richard Armitage, and made the connection to Lucas North. His eyes meet mine, and I can see he’s measuring me, gauging my involvement with Lucas North, Russian spies, and the world of covert operations. My glance shifts to my surgery tech, and I give her the slightest negative signal, indicating to her that she should not try anything. I know she doesn’t watch Spooks, and has no way of knowing Adam Carter is one of the good guys, or that he could drop her in an instant if she moves for her weapon again.

(At this point, I have the distinct thought, outside the dream but still in it, that I must be dreaming in Season 6. I chastise myself for not dreaming in Season 7, when Lucas North might have come to the clinic instead.)

Our office manager arrives, breathless, looking both terrified and exhilarated. She was at reception when Adam Carter entered the premises. She doesn’t watch Spooks either, but she recognizes Rupert Penry-Jones from Persuasion. I give her the same slight signal, not to try anything. I am confident Adam Carter will not kill us, unless he has no choice.

Moving very slowly, I put the Russian data chip into a biohazard ziplock bag, and hand it to Adam. I know that as an American citizen, I should probably not be handing whatever secrets it contains to the British, but Adam does have a gun, and I have witnesses to corroborate that I was under duress as I passed classified data to MI-5. Adam slips the bag into his trench coat pocket, never lowering the weapon, glances at the fridge again, and I regret that Rupert Penry-Jones is not among the puppies and kittens there. Nobody says anything. Adam nods at me, and withdraws from the room in a fluid motion. A moment later, the front door chimes, indicating he has left the building.

Instead of freaking out, the three of us whistle, fan our faces and murmur things like “Dayum!” and “Smokin’!” as we smile at the gorgeous luck of it all.

* * *

It was a very thrilling dream. I mean, if I had to choose any character other than Lucas North, to draw a weapon on myself and my employees, it would definitely be Adam Carter. I knew he wouldn’t kill us, and he sure looked sexy in that trench coat.

And stay tuned… a vet office sequel happened last night. (Warning, though: It was more of a hallmark movie than an action/suspense. =)