New Haircut Place

I have recently bought a house (ok, so it’s a townhouse/condo, but it’s annoying to have to refer to it this way, so I say house. Deal.) recently in a different part of Phoenix than I lived before. Some of the most glaring challenges include figuring out mortgages, insurances, taxes, more insurances, and other taxes, and then another form of insurance. Sometimes I wish I was a dad so I would automatically understand all of this stuff, as it seems all fathers do, but alas, no mini-bloggers yet.

The other issue that comes with relocation is finding that perfect barber shop. I tried a new one today, keeping in mind proper barber shop etiquette. I walked in and was immediately seated by a Mexican-American guy in a chair with a couple indiscernible stains.

No problem. The guy at least appeared fairly coordinated unlike his female counterpart who appeared quite a bit fobbier.

I told him how I wanted my hair done. It is what I’ve told a countless number of barbers who all seemed to understand it perfectly. “Can I get a two-guard up to here, blend with a 3, and just cut normal on top.”

His response: “Ok, so you want a mohawk?”

WTF? “Wait. What? No. Just cut it proportional.” Realizing he probably didn’t know the definition of proportional, I clarified, “Cut the same amount off the top as you did on the sides.”

As confident as ever, he replied, “Ok, so you want the same length all over.”

WTF? “Wait, What? No.” I really didn’t know how to describe it any clearer. “Just make everything shorter.” I guess that worked, I don’t know. He started cutting.

A couple minutes into the cutting, he says, “So where you from?” Phoenix must be one of the few cities in the country where people start off every conversation with “Where are you from?” But it never fails, I would say only about 5% of people say Phoenix.

“Kentucky. I moved out here about a year go.”

He continued, “So you have a wife? Any family out here?”

“Nope, just me.”

He kind of looked at me funny. “Well that must be boring. No family or relatives out here.”

WTF? “Wait. What? No. I’ve got friends and stuff.” Hell, even if my family lived out here, I probably wouldn’t hang out with them on a daily basis.

It was about this time he had laid down the trimmers and reached the scissor part of the haircut. With the comb positioned where he wanted it, he then proceeded to cut my hair in a way I have never seen. The best way I can describe it is that the scissors looked like a shark in the middle of a school of tiny fish chomping away and whatever he could sink his teeth into. It was fast, furious, and seemingly without regard to surroundings. You also liken it to a solo game of Hungry Hungry Hippos.

This game was fun as hell

Surprisingly, in the end, he didn’t do too bad of a job. However, the whole experience is going to make me reconsider going back in there. I’m just glad I’m not butchered for Wedding-O-Century. Chicago tomorrow.

“No guarantee the bird poop will come off.”

There are no trees in Arizona. I take that back. There are very few trees in Arizona. So the few trees that do exist must make home to all the birds in the Valley, which are in no less number than anywhere else in the country. This leads to an overpopulation of birds in trees, and thus, an overwhelming amount of bird shit under them. Ultimately, this leads to shit-covered cars for any dumb ass who parks under these bird sanctuaries…like me.

I came back from an 11+ hour shift one morning to find my car drenched in every type of shit imaginable. White shit. Black shit. Green shit. Clumpy shit. Diarrhea shit. Post-Taco Bell shit. The works. I’m surprised I recognized the thing. So after the obligatory few days of procrastination, I made my way to the car wash today to remedy my shitty situation. (ba dah, ching)

A brief Google Maps search led me to the nearest car wash and after finally figuring out where I was supposed to go, (which by the way, car washes rival new shopping plazas as the most confusing small areas to navigate) I was greeted by a man who I presumed would ask what type of wash I would like. Instead, his first words to me were the title of this post, “No guarantee the bird poop will come off.”

At this point two things went through my head. The first was, “What? No, ‘hello, how are you?’?” And the second was the famous Adam Sandler line, “He called the shit, poop!” I was only able to get out an obviously confused, “Really?”

He continued, “Yep, I can’t guarantee all the bird poop will come off. See, that’s a lot of bird poop, and we don’t actually ‘wash your car.’” Yes, he used air quotes. At this point I did two things. I quickly scanned the immediate perimeter for a candid camera, and made sure I pulled into a car wash, and not a bowling alley or Asian massage parlor. Sure enough, no camera or microphones, and the car wash sign was fairly large and glooming. He continued to explain, “See, we just run your car though the machine and hand dry it. We don’t hand wash it. We don’t touch bird poop because it messes up too many towels…so I can’t guarantee the machine will get all the bird poop off. That going to be okay?”

I really wanted him to stop calling the shit, poop. However, being the gambler than I am, I agreed to the man’s terms and paid the $8.99 for outside wash, windows cleaning, and inside vacuum. Once they completed the job, I inspected the hood of my car, which was the birds’ primary toilet. To put an end to your suspense, the machine got about 97% of the shit off. That’s pretty impressive for the the large disclaimer I received pre-wash. I considered cleaning the remaining residue with a towel, but, like the car wash man, I really didn’t want to ruin any of my towels.

I’ll just wait until the next time it rains really hard. We’ll see how the desert and my car port corporate with that plan.

RIP Snickers Bars

The hospital I work for puts out a monthly newsletter that includes a little brain quiz. The first person to answer this question correctly wins a Snickers bar. Normally I wouldn’t be extremely excited to take place in such a childish endeavor, but it’s a “King Size Snickers” so I can’t resist.

In fact, you are actually reading the work of the back to back champion. That’s right…two king sizers in two months for yours truly. Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to bask in my reward. The first time I won, I wanted to save my Snickers for later, so I took it home with me. What didn’t occur to me was that I got off at 3:30, it’s 120 degrees outside, and I live 15 minutes away. It needed more like 15 seconds and my trophy had turned into a puddle of liquid chocolate. My attempt of candy bar CPR in the fridge failed, and it was put to rest in the trash can later that evening.

This got me thinking. As fast as my candy bar melted in the Arizonian blistering sun, how does anyone buy a candy bar in the summer? No really. It will melt into a mess within 1 minute of being exposed to the heat. Unless you eat the bar in the actual store of purchase, it stands no chance. I would imagine that Snickers sales plummet dramatically in the Phoenix summertime. The only people who buy them are stupid people who just moved here (like me) and didn’t know chocolate had such a melting point of around 100 degrees.

The second time I won, I put it in the fridge at the hospital to keep nice and cold for the car ride home. When I went to retrieve it, it was gone! Someone stole it! They probably noticed the rarity of a nonmelted candy bar in the summer and couldn’t hold their inner-klepto back. I was pissed, but in a way…couldn’t blame them.

I’ll probably have to bring my own personal cooler next time I win a Snickers bar…either that or start working at night. Hmm…

Dude…the movie is over

Get up. It’s over. You’re in my way. It’s really just credits from here…no more action…just words…pointless words. They’re going by way too fast for you to read them anyway. Are you really going to make me step over you? Really? Really? Dammit, you’re such bitches. “Um, excuse me, please…thanks.” Twats.

I saw the ever hyped Dark Knight in IMAX last weekend. Ooooooo…IMAX. (I imagine the creaters of the term IMAX would rather shove icicles under their toenails than spell it iMax.) You think that would be just wonderful, right? Well, it’s not like “A Day on the Space Station” (my only other IMAX production) which was actually filmed for IMAX. The Dark Knight was filmed for a normal theater…so how do you make it for IMAX? Just make it a little bigger. I picture it going down like this in the theater management room:

“SIR! I have an idea! Lets make a couple screens in our a couple rooms a little bigger, scoot back the projector a bit, readjust the focus, might even turn up the volume…and presto! IMAX! We could even charge a few extra bucks.”

“BOOM! You’re an idea man…that’s what I like about you. Now go fetch me another cigar.”

Because that’s basically what it was…a slightly bigger and louder version of a regular movie. But this was The Dark Knight. Did you hear Heath Ledger died? He was the guy who played The Joker. He did SUCH an incredible job…but did you know he died? So his performance was so great…but he’s not here anymore, so it like 100000 times more better and gooder.

Ok, you get it. It was a little over hyped, but regardless it was good. I’m not here to turn Roger Ebert on you, but what I did find interesting about it, was the captivity it took on everyone. I swear, you’d think people had been staring at a pocket watch swinging like a pendulum for the past 2 1/2 hours. If a movie has a funny twist for an ending, you get a maximum of 10 seconds to stay in your chair to focus and try and figure out what you just saw. That’s it. There’s none of this I’m so entranced by seeing who the makeup director was that I must stay seated on the end of the aisle, with other people in my row waiting on my to leave.

And entire family of like six did this to me. No joke. This isn’t the first movie this has happened with by the way. I’ve seen it before. It’s one thing if the movie has extra footage post-credits, but as much hype as Batman got, I knew for sure there was nothing more. So instead of these people just getting up and walking out, they made my party tiptoe through the narrow minefield of Sour Patch Kids boxes, empty popcorn buckets, half empty cups of Dr. Pepper, and a barrage of knees that were of varying length and sharpness. Yes, I said half empty.

On the other hand, it is kind of funny, when you know there is footage after the credits, unbeknown to ole cranky dude who wants to step over you and beat the traffic. It’s great to watch him awkwardly turn around halfway down the aisle as he walking out trying to see what he is missing. He must be thinking, “Oh wait…there’s more…but I’ve already committed myself to leaving…what if the person behind me wants to keep walking…but this looks like it might be really funny…person behind me looks kind of old…should I just sit back down…is that awkward…maybe I can watch from the aisle…hahaha, that was a good one…ok it’s over now…whew…shit, there’s more…maybe I’ll just walk slowly and catch the audio…just a quick glance over the shoulder…it’s outtakes…I love outtakes…no, must keep going…the gap in front of me is growing…must decide…but you already decided by standing up…stick with your guns…don’t want to look weak in front of the date…but what if she wants to see them too…don’t want to be the asshole who left early…but the grandma behind me looks pissed…wait, that audio needed visual…I missed it…grrr…screw it…I’m leaving.”

I know…I’ve been that guy.

Why So Serious?

The Final Episode of CVS

As I walked into work for the last time, it had all the makings of a ground shattering final episode that would break all the Nielsen rating records for final episodes of all times. And I fully anticipated excitement. After all, this is the last episode ever. There isn’t going to be a next season. It reminded me how I felt watching the last episode of The Sopranos.

I started off helping to verify, a position I was not accustomed to, and the stage was set…

Within the first hour, we had some mentally sick bastard call up with about 3 or 4 perverted phone calls. I think there was some French involved. He finally called in a normal voice and wanted a refill on his Lexapro. This set the plot early. Was the crazy asshole going to come in to pick it up? Was he going to make more dirty comments? Was he going to be naked?

Speaking of nudity, my lead technician made me a going away cake! What’s this have to do with nudity, you may ask. Well, the cake was in the shape of boobs. Yes, boobs. Big ones. She even went through the trouble of piercing one of the nipples. After a brief photo shoot me licking the cake and posing in other provocative positions, (pictures to follow) we dug in. The day was shaping up into fulfilling my anticipation for a great final episode.

Then we just kinda coasted for a while. There was the occasional douche bag customer. We had a non-understanding old lady who was mad because the physician told her the Rx would be ready when she got here. I informed her that unfortunately, the physician has no idea how busy we are, and that he just left the prescription on the voice mail which has not yet been checked. Of course I didn’t stop there. I went on to say jokingly, “Maybe I should tell patients to just walk into their doctor’s office in an hour and they’ll see you immediately. No problem. And…” She was not amused. She interrupted with a sarcastic, “Well it’s just eye drops!” There is nothing that makes you want to drop kick old ladies more than retail pharmacy.

One woman in an SUV (by the way…that is how you can tell a woman is an utter bitch. If she is middle aged and driving an SUV, you can bet she is a downright uppity twat) She complained because corporate CVS, in all of their wisdom, sends out automatic calls as a friendly reminder if you don’t pick up your script within 6 days. This of course leads to bitches in SUVs saying, “Um, I received an automatic robot call from you at my home! This is why I don’t give out my phone number! I didn’t want to, but you insisted, and now look what happens!” Ok, in my several years listening to complaints from bitches in SUVs, as well has dating several girls who will probably drive an SUV when they reach 40, I’ve learned there is no reasoning at this point. My only defense is to make them look like an ass until they just drive off. So I explained everything in short, simple sentences, until she just drove off with a trail of, “Well take my number out of your computer!”

The funniest comment of the day came of the day came when one of my favorite interns was trying to fix the stapler. She proclaimed, “I don’t know what happened. I was just holding it in my hand and it exploded!” This, of course, yielded a very loud, “THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!” from me.

Anyway, I digress. Back to the meat and potatoes of the final episode. We coasted pretty well for most of the day. I knew my PIC (pharmacist in charge) was not scheduled to work, but planned a visit. I wondered if my district manager, who I had shunned for a hospital job, would show up as well. I mean after all, this is the final episode. I was ready for my PIC to find out the baby he just had wasn’t actually his, my lead tech to divorce her husband and run off with an intern, and the DM to come out of the closet! Sadly, none of this transpired. The DM never showed, and the rest of us sat around and enjoyed boob cake reminiscing about old times at CVS.

But what would happen in the final hour? Would the psychotic pervert bust through the drive through window glass with a tire iron and attempt to kill everyone in the pharmacy? After all, his insurance didn’t pay for his Lexapro. Would there be an earthquake that toppled all the shelves sending pills flying? I would imagine customers would be jumping over the counter in a frenzy for all the pills like all the slot machines busted in a Vegas casino. Whatever was going to happen…I knew it was going to be something huge.

30 minutes left. Still not climax. I was walking between drop off and pick up.

15 minutes left…still no flying tablets or broken glass…

10 minutes left…I answer the phone…”Yes, we close at 10 o’clock…”

5 minutes left…I get the drive though. Over the CVS speakers, Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” starts to play. “Just a small town girl…

4 minutes left…I watch someone walk down the allergy aisle, and start to ask me a question, but change his mind, and walk the other way. “Streetlight people…

3 minutes left…a guy with a crustache drops off a prescription for Lortab. “It goes on and and on and on and on…

2 minutes left…I finish ringing someone up and struggle to get the credit card receipt in the register because its so full…The drive through bell rings, but I can’t quite see who is out there. Another intern attends to the call…“Don’t stop…believin’…hold on to that feeeeeling…”

1 minute left…I ring someone up for their Lipitor prescription…It was a $20 copay. They paid cash. “Don’t stop…

My rejected newsletter article

I submitted an article to a quarterly pharmacy newsletter last week. It got rejected. Can you believe it? Someone not liking something I wrote? Are you serious? WTF?

I kid, I kid…

Sort of…

I was told this was not an appropriate article for its purposes, and that I should change it to only include facts. Fair enough. I was simply trying to add some flare. I had to turn my original piece full of dry humor into a piece that was simply dry. However, ask and you will receive, and the boring, mundane article is what they got.

You, however…are not subject to editorial censoring. If I’m going to write something, I gotta have somebody read it. Here is my original article in its entirety. I have no idea why someone wouldn’t want this in their newsletter!

Enhance Trial Enhancing More Confusion than Understanding

Conspiracy theorists who claim big pharma trials are crude data manipulating, profit driven catastrophes have new material for which to hang their hat. For those of you who haven’t heard, there has been great controversy surrounding a recent pharmaceutical study. A trial called Enhance tested 720 people to determine whether Vytorin, a combination of Schering-Plough’s Zetia (ezetimibe) and Merck’s now off-patent cholesterol fighter Zocor (simvastatin) works better than Zocor alone. To say the least, the study has been one giant cluster and raised quite a stir.

I’m sure most everyone has heard the general gist of the story, but for those of you only heard, “Zetia…harmful…liver…endpoint…bad,” I’ll give you the rough breakdown of what exactly went down in the undercover world of pharmaceutical industry-sponsored trials.
The companies had said they would measure the thickness of plaque in two arteries, the carotid and the femoral. The primary endpoint of the trial was supposed to be the amount of plaque at three points in the carotid artery. After the results came in, they committed the cardinal sin of trials…they changed their primary endpoint. The companies decided to measure the thickness at just one place in the carotid, and they do not expect to release any results at all from the femoral artery.
This reminds me of the Kenny Rogers song, “I Am the Greatest.” In this song, a little boy throws his baseball in the air to himself and tries to hit it as hard as he can. All three times he swings and misses the ball completely. The song concludes with the boy saying, “I never knew I could pitch like that.” It’s wonderful what kind of positive outcomes you can get when you change your primary endpoint.

Merck and Shering-Plough have since renigged. They reared their ugly head out from between their legs and admitted to their mistake. They essentially said, “Ok, you’re right…I was actually trying to hit the ball and just missed.” Under pressure from several big names in the pharmacy world, they changed the primary endpoint back to their original hoping that would pat all the angry dogs on the head. Unfortunately for them, there was more involved in the uproar than just the primary endpoint.

Little things called liver enzyme tests also kept popping into Enhance trial conversations. An undisclosed number of patients dropped out of the trial due to elevated LFTs. The fact that this number remains hidden has raised the question about the harmful effects of ezetimibe on the liver. Some believe if the number had been zero, it would have been definitely been disclosed by now.

That’s not all. The New York Times reported Merck and Shering-Plough conducted other studies on ezetimibe from 2000 to 2003 that raise questions on the risk to the liver…studies that were never published. These unpublished studies were not listed on the industry web sites where companies are supposed to register the results of all drug trials that were ongoing after October 2002. The New York Times discovered references to the studies in briefing papers on the F.D.A. web site, the rug where they were evidently swept years ago.

With all the controversy surrounding the Enhance trial, what kind of practical impact does this have on their use? There are mixed feelings. Some health care professionals believe the changing of the primary endpoint is a moot point. Therapy is not based on plaque thickness, but on LDL levels which was not the focus of this trial. Others feel Merck and Shering-Plough intentionally are delaying results to maximize their absurd profits gained from the two drugs. Last year, they grossed nearly 4 billion dollars in sales from the two drugs alone.

During the wait, the VA has decided to take early action. On January 22nd, the VA put a freeze on all new orders for Zetia and Vytorin. Rather than wait to see how it would all turn out, the VA felt it was better to be safe than sorry. It continues to live by the mantra, “It doesn’t take a sledgehammer to smash every peanut, but if you use a sledgehammer, you will definitely smash every peanut.”

So for now, the only sign of ezetimibe you’ll see in the VA pharmacy is the Vytorin clock hanging in the basement. Considering there is still a Vioxx magnetic clip being used in the IV room, the clock can rest easy for now. As for the drugs themselves, more light will have to be shed on the gloomy Enhance trial before any certain future is determined. Now, let the Crestor non-formulary requests begin.

Letter to My Fellow Employees

There has been some problems at work lately. People just don’t show up, or “call in sick.” (which, by the way, is another rant all together. I would have to be on my death bed to be too sick to work) This led to an email from Val, the lead tech, about how not to do this, this hurts the store, please let her or Russ (the manager) know if you can’t make it, etc. It had a pretty serious tone, and set the table for my response. I got some ‘that was funny’ feedback, so I thought I’d turn it into an easy post. This was my ‘Reply to All’:

Hey guys,

While we’re on the subject of problems, I’d like to bring up another major issue that has been penetrating the store for some time now. There has been a large amount of farting going on around the production station. This causes disruption of work flow and brings down the overall moral of your fellow employees. There’s nothing that puts a wrench in the conveyor belt like the potent stench of human bowel. If you must release gas, please be courteous enough to take a “fart-walk” around the store, or at the very least back to the slow mover section. If we are too busy to make such effort, please let Val or Russ know so that they may cover their nose and alert others to do the same. This is a problem that we can all work on to make a better work environment for all. Thanks a lot, and continue working miracles everyday.

Adam

The Hart’s Underwear

Joe Hart has worn the same pair of underwear for over 30 years. A much-loved school teacher, Mr. Hart is one of the nicest, gentlest, and most compassionate individuals you will ever have the luxury of meeting. His pupils admire and relate to him through his unique prospective on teaching and his one-of-a-kind analogies. He loves his students for their willingness to learn and their wonderful rendition of the “Pledge of Allegiance” each morning. If you were to walk upwards of twenty-five paces behind Mr. Hart when approaching a closed door, you could bet he would be there holding it open with a smile on his face when you reached him. He would be the first person to give you the shirt off his back in a blizzard and the last person to steal your seat in a crowded movie theater. Mr. Hart exemplifies how every American should strive to live…he just hasn’t changed underwear since he was six years old.

Less than ten years ago, Mr. Hart ran across a gorgeous young female by the name of Grace. Mr. Hart knew this was the woman of his dreams and the person he intended on marrying, except for one major problem. Grace didn’t wear any underwear. How could she understand? How could he make her realize the comfort, support, and strength his underwear gave him? He had to explain to her how stable his life was in direct relation to his constant attachment of undergarments.

“Are you ever going to take them off?” she would sometimes ask.

“Nope,” he would reply, “I plan on wearing this pair of underwear for all eternity.” Although Grace found this a little odd, she was fascinated with his loyalty and commitment, even if it was to a sheet of cloth. She longed for this type of feeling and one day adorned an identical pair Mr. Hart’s underwear. She couldn’t believe it. Her whole life seemed much more pleasant all of a sudden. She spoke to strangers as if they were friends and hugged her friends as if they were brothers. Once Mr. Hart realized she valued and fully comprehended the worth of her new underwear, the couple wed, and since then, Grace, like her husband, has not changed her underwear since.

Now, ten years later, Joe and Grace’s six year old boy, Shane, has started kindergarten. One would have to ask, how do parents who haven’t changed underwear in years dress their school-bound son? How else? In an identical pair underwear that never leaves his body. Growing up, Shane thought nothing of this ritual and took it for granted that everyone wore the same underwear all the time. Once school began, the Harts knew it was time to give Shane a little talk.

“There is something very special about the type of underwear you are wearing.” Mr. Hart started, speaking slowly so that his young son would absorb as much as possible. “All of the positive qualities you have, like your willing to share, kindness towards others, and respect toward grown ups all come from the underwear you have on. That pair of underwear gives you the strength and support to do anything you set your mind to and to treat others with the same way you would like to be treated.” Mr. Hart hoped the golden rule would shed as much light on his son. He continued, “You are special to have such a wonderful pair of underwear.”

To Mr. Hart’s credit, the golden rule principle produced its desired effect, however the “special” sequence went straight to Shane’s head. After the first day of school, the Harts received notification Shane was so proud of his underwear that he pulled his pants down all day showing everyone how great his underwear was. He then went on to tell everyone how special he was because of his magnificent underwear. Needless to say, this offended many students and teachers, as well as the moms who stayed in the classroom all day for the lack of ability to let their child brave school alone. You simply can’t have a boy running around a kindergarten class exposing his underwear and then telling everyone he is better than everyone else because he has something they don’t.

This ordeal definitely required another talk. Mr. Hart sat down his son after his first day of school and tried to explain. “Yes, it’s true your underwear makes you special. There is no denying that. But the great thing about underwear is that no one else can see what kind you have on. And people don’t like it if you come right out and pull down your pants and put your butt in their face.”

As gifted as Shane was intellectually for such a young age, he muttered a confused, “Why not?”

Mr. Hart pondered for a minute on how to tactfully enlighten his young one, and continued, “Not everyone wears the same type of underwear. There are red ones, green ones, short ones, long ones, loose ones, and tight ones. Some people don’t wear any underwear at all! Most people will change their underwear often and won’t stick to just one. Some people stick to just one, but the underwear will have holes and tears all over them and not give them much support. When you go around showing everyone your underwear by pulling your pants down, they may get the impression you think you are better than they are and that’s not a nice way to make people feel. This can cause them to not like you think you aren’t very nice. The ones without any underwear usually feel this way the strongest.”

Shane gazed up at his father looking as if he understood most of it, but was still absorbing it slowly.

“Plus, pulling your pants down in class makes you look like a fool and can get you in trouble,” Mr. Hart added to give a more concrete answer. “There are ways of letting people know what type of underwear you have on besides pulling your pants down. Instead of showing them your butt, show them courtesy, kindness, and love. Eventually, when the time is right, you can talk about your underwear, but allow them to make the connection between it and your personality. Don’t get me wrong, if someone asks what type you have on, show them with confidence, but don’t get caught pulling pants down in front of everyone. This underwear has been part of your mother and me for a long time. Be proud of your underwear, son, and never take it off!”

~ Adam, Part-Time Free Baller

Last Day of CVS Circa 2007

For the last time this year, I adorned the white lab coat and strolled into work with remnants of champagne punch dancing in my head. Going in, I knew the pharmacist I was working with required Xanies and/or Atties to make it through the day which usually translates into intern misery, but with an all-star pit crew on board, I needn’t worry. What I didn’t know going in, was there was supposed to be a devastatingly deadly snow/ice/wintry mix storm to begin at 1:00 pm, EST.

Some of you might remember my post last winter on the irony of snow, so I won’t delve into that tangent, but in a nutshell, people freak out with the mention of a winter storm on the weather channel. You won’t find milk or bread in Winchester for a week. No joke. On top of the perishable food items, the common folk also must stock up on drugs as well. We pumped out prescriptions from like Pop-Tarts in the Pikeville factory. There was seemingly no end until a sweet little old lady who spent no less than 12 minutes writing out her damn check said she was in a hurry to get back because it was almost 1:00. We didn’t do a thing past 1:01. Of course, the snow or ice never came, but everyone was safely tucked away in their bomb shelters.

Before they made it into their steel cellars they managed to get out all their rude and obnoxious behavior out on me. I had a medley of ignorant customers, but there was story one in particular I’d like to share.

The most prominent story of the day came at the the drive thru. Go figure. I delivered the sign sheet out of the drawer to a borderline MILF in an SUV. (stereotypically speaking MILFs in SUVs tend to be the biggest bitches) She accidentally dropped the pen outside onto the pavement. This has happened before, and I’ve had customers both pretend they didn’t notice the pen drop and customers who act like civil human beings and go through the extra 20 seconds to open the door and retrieve the pen. This woman did neither. She acknowledged she dropped the pen by proclaiming, “I dropped your pen.” I stared. Surely not. Surely, she wasn’t going to announce she made a mistake without fixing it. Surely not. Sur…she did. She reached into her glove box and produced her own pen, used that sign, and gave me $12 for her $11.75 prescription with a smile on her face. She didn’t even make a flinch for the handle. Not even a thought.

For those of you who aren’t the swiftest at math, she had 25 cents coming to her for change. That’s a quarter…one solid object that I’m supposed to give to her…sort of like…a pen. Hmmm. As I began to put her medication in the drawer, I casually allowed the quarter to slip out of my hands and onto the floor. Oops. “I dropped your quarter.” I didn’t make a motion to pick it up. I simply continued to give her the medication bag and wish her a good day. It was awesome.

(Ok, so I actually didn’t do that, but I thought about it, and wanted to really bad…and it makes a better story if I act like I did.)

Alright, I’m done with CVS for the year. Off to San Diego…

Niacin Causes Flushing

There’s nothing like a good work story to get back in the writing flow. I take break from my normal store and work on the other end of town for one day last week, and am presented with the following scenario:

A huge black guy approaches the pharmacy counter with two bottles of Niacin, and mumbles, “Dis ‘posed ta flush ya system out?” (No, it’s not completely relevant that the man was black, but I’m trying to paint a picture here.) I’ve often heard of people looking for supplements over the counter to “flush your system.” It’s code for, “I have a drug test I have to pass, I just smoked weed last night, and I need it out of my body fast!”

Knowing Niacin had no diuretic properties, I told him, “No…it actually lowers triglycerides.” Then I realized if he was in here trying to find a pill to cause a clean piss test, he probably had no idea what triglycerides were. I followed up, “…you’re cholesterol…lowers cholesterol.” It was still a stretch.

He looked past my silly white-boy-in-a-lab-jacket jargon and wanted to know if there was anything to flush his system out. I told him no, but that some of the diet pills were diuretics and maybe that would help. Dammit, Adam…diuretics. He probably won’t get that either. I continued, “…make you pee more.” He said ok, and left.

Later that night when rehashing this story to a friend, I was enlightened. It’s fairly common knowledge that Niacin causes flushing. For you non-pharm pholk, that means your face gets really hot, red, and…well, flushed. He thought that flushing meant…flushing your body out. HAHA…I laughed quite hard. Perhaps this can only be appreciated by drug people, but what really was funny was that the bottles he gave me were the long acting, “No Flush Niacin” which was clearly printed right on the front of the label.

Oh…those silly pot heads.