Commentary: Putting a flu shot on the grocery list

I finally got my flu shot on Saturday morning — at the supermarket, right near the produce department, several feet away from women who were fingering the cantaloupes. It was certainly livelier than going to the doctor’s office and sitting in that cold examination room.

Joe PIsani

Joe PIsani

Besides, there was a special on avocados.

The good news is you can get flu shots anywhere nowadays — Walmart, CVS, Hooters.

Yes, the flu season is upon us, so I’m more cautious than usual. No handshaking in church, no cheek-pecking and no blowing hot air because germs are lurking everywhere.

I knew it would be a bad day when I got on a train that had no heat. Cold air was blowing on my head like an Arctic blast, and there’s nothing worse than air blowing on your head when you have no hair because it feels like a pint of Haagen Dazs cherry vanilla.

 

A box of Kleenex

Then, a woman who was coughing and sniffling sat beside me, and she immediately pulled out a box of Kleenex and started blowing her nose. You know you’re in real trouble when someone puts a box of Kleenex on the seat beside you.

I could actually see the germs jumping off her and scrambling across the seat onto me. What’s the proper etiquette in situations like that? Should I yell, “STOP, you nitwit! I don’t want to get sick!”

Or should I be sympathetic and say, “I know you’re sick as a dog, but could you please sit next to that other guy and make him sick as a dog instead of me? Thank you so much for your consideration to this matter.”

When she started clearing her throat, I wanted to beg, “Lady, please shut up, this is the quiet car.” Urrgh. Arrgh. Arrhum.

 

Why me?

I should have moved but I hate to be rude or hurt people’s feelings, so I sat there and stewed, wondering, “Why me? Why her? What’s the meaning of life? Is there life after death? Will I have to commute in the Afterlife?”

These, of course, are metaphysical questions that men and women have been asking themselves since the beginning of time and even before.

The worst part is I knew I was going to get sick. Have you ever felt yourself getting sick? Your throat gets scratchy. You feel congested. Your eyes itch and tear.

So you check how many sick days you have left because when you feel like this, the best thing to do is take time off and rest at Foxwoods.

 

Avoiding human contact

This time of year, I avoid human contact, especially at dinner parties when someone stinking of white wine moves really close to me, breathes in my face and wants to talk about Obamacare or Honey Boo Boo Love Child.

All I can think is “Please get away from me with that bad breath that reeks of white wine, garlic and septic systems.”

Why do they let people drink white wine at social functions? They should be drinking Listerine, especially during flu season.

 

Calling the boss

Several billion trillion germs scramble into your nose, and when you get home, you have to gargle for 40 minutes to avert disaster. But the next day you feel like you’ve been invaded by the body snatchers, so you call the boss and say, “I’m soooo sick,” to which he responds. “Again????”

You immediately get well, get up and get out of the house and sprint to work, inspired by the hope that you can get the boss sick.

I wish the Kleenex woman would stop clearing her throat. Urggh. Urrrrgh. I think she’s going for the Guinness Book of World Records for the most throat-clearing in a 90-minute train ride. Urrgh, Arggh. I could be witnessing history.

The crazy thing is it’s contagious, and before I know what’s happening, I’m clearing my throat too. Urggha. Urrrrgha. Arrrgha.

“Shut up,” someone says. “This is the quiet car.”

 

Joe Pisani, who grew up in Shelton’s Pine Rock neighborhood, may be reached at [email protected]

 

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