Grunt 22 Augustus 2012


Last week, I needed to go to collect the drugs that help to keep my body functional – well, almost functional. It was a bad day, even though I arrived quite early, less than an hour after the pharmacy opened. There were more than fifteen people in the queue. Now, when I go to the pharmacy, I want to get my stuff and leave. So, I experience serious levels of frustration, occasionally bordering on homicidal, when some individuals presume that filling out a prescription is a social event, an opportunity to chat, to discuss the weather or their family currently living in Wagga-wagga, complete with the most recent photographs, or to seek advice regarding the problems they’re having finding shoes comfortable enough to accommodate their in-growing toenails or bunions. After several customers had been dealt with, I managed to squeeze into a gap at the end of the bench. Until then, it had been standing room only. The man next to me was moronically preoccupied with scrolling through the fifteen hundred messages that he had received. Ping! Ping! Ping! The cell phone pinging with every message. As he turned to show every one of them to the woman with him, he thrust his ample buttocks into my thigh, almost dislodging me from the miniscule seat I had managed to occupy. Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! The queue moved steadily but slowly. Ping! Ping! A couple of places ahead of me was a very well-built, neurotic man, flipping a small box from hand to hand while he flexed and twitched his muscles. Flip! Flip! Flip! Flip! The man next to me was still scrolling. Ping! Ping! Ping! And that’s how it went for about fifteen minutes: Flip! Flip! Ping! Ping! And sometimes: Flip! Ping! Flip! Ping! The neurotic man let several of us pass. It wasn’t generosity on his part; he wanted to chat up the youngest of the ladies behind the counter; this meant skipping his turn until she was free. The he lurched forward. Flip! Flip!