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.
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.
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.