A Trip to the Grocery Store, And a test of my patience

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay
I had just come from the gym where I had an encounter with a couple of old farts who were staunch Trump supporters. After hearing them spout off about Obama being a Muslim, born “in a foreign country” and Nancy Pelosi working for Iran, I had no desire to deal with morons and other people who get on my nerves. To top off my day my sinuses were acting up, with my teeth aching, eyes bulging and my head feeling like it would explode any moment. I had one more stop to make — the grocery store.
I felt that grocery shopping was a safe activity where I need not become involved with anyone who would further grate my nerves. I needed a respite. What could go wrong in the aisles of Wegmans? A lot!
I’ve always considered myself to be a tolerant person, although as I grow older I find that I can get pissed off at certain people much easier. I try to be somewhat politically correct, although I don’t believe that some people deserve to be included in that category. Some people are just plain stupid, rude or just assholes and it’s their own fault. It’s not an accident of birth, but it may be genetic.
Well anyway, I grabbed a cart and began my shopping. I didn’t get very far down the first aisle when I came upon two women with their shopping carts chatting as they blocked the entire aisle. They become irritated as shoppers on either side of them try to get by. Finally, with a look of disgust, one of the women suggests they move so “those rude people can get by”. They move to the side and give all of us waiting a dirty look. I can feel my blood pressure begin to rise.
In the next aisle, I stop to help an elderly lady retrieve an item off the shelf because it is too high. She pleasantly thanks me and I can feel my faith in humanity begin to be restored. At the end of the aisle, however, is a young mother with her 3 children around 8 or 9 years old, pulling stuff off the shelves and screaming for their mother to buy the items for them. Mommy isn’t the least bit perturbed and never once attempts to even try to correct their behavior! I notice that other shoppers steer clear of Atilla the Hun and her children.
I’m amazed at the number of young women who stroll the aisles with their cell phones held between their shoulders and chins. At first, I thought they were maybe asking about some of the products they were buying, but I was wrong. I know I shouldn’t have eavesdropped, but I just had to know what was so damn important that they couldn’t concentrate on what they were doing. They were gossiping about friends and relatives! How urgent!
Don’t get me wrong. Not all of the shoppers were women. I encountered quite a few men shopping, many of whom were also on their cell phones. They weren’t gossiping though. They were on the phone with their spouses or significant others either comparing prices or following strict instructions on what to buy. I guess that’s safer than taking a guess on what to buy.
The most exciting incident I observed took place in the produce aisle where the bananas were being restocked by one of the store’s employees. The stock boy was being verbally attacked by an irate elderly gentleman speaking in a heavy Italian accent. The old gentleman, pounding his cane on the floor, was berating the stockboy for not treating the bananas properly. Apparently the old man, in his youth, had worked with produce back in Italy and knew what he was talking about. I felt sorry for the stock boy but knew enough to mind my own business.
As I approached the checkout line I could feel my sinus pressure getting worse, but at least I knew I would feel better once I got away from the annoyances of my fellow shoppers. After I checked out I decided to buy a couple of lottery tickets from the machines lining the walls of the exit ways. I maneuvered my shopping cart so it wouldn’t be a hindrance to anyone and approached the machine which had the tickets I always bought. Then I noticed the vending machine was blocked by a middle-aged woman in an electric shopping cart.
This didn’t bother me until I noticed that it was a woman I just saw at the gym earlier. I remember her because she is always complaining about how tiring and boring it is to exercise. She also bitches about how hard she tries to lose weight even though she tries very hard. There she was sitting in the electric cart blocking myself and others from using the machine, as she put her money in the slot with one hand and munched on a donut in the other. I waited along with a few others as she got about $50 worth of lottery tickets all the while eating her donuts. While waiting I saw elderly people and handicapped people struggling along with their groceries who would have benefitted from using an electric cart.
Finally, I was out of the store going through the parking lot towards my car. It wasn’t over yet! Parked next to my car I see the old white Datsun pickup truck belonging to the village idiot of my community. This truck is plastered with stickers praising Trump. “Trump 2020”, “CNN Fake News”, “Obama’s a Muslim” and of course “Lock her up” cover the entire truck, including some of the windows. As the bearded, camo wearing nearly toothless driver and I meet face to face I just shake my head and smile. F***ing Moron! Then I drove off to the tranquility of my home.
know some people will criticize me as being insensitive for complaining about some of the people I encountered, especially the darling in the electric shopping cart. But come on. We all know that there are plenty of people who use these carts intended for the handicapped because they are just lazy. I’m willing to give a person the benefit of the doubt, but I’ve been around enough to see that there are a lot of people out there who take advantage of the system, the elderly, the handicapped and society in general. I threw away my rose-colored glasses long ago.
Maybe I lose my patience more easily and more often as I grow older or maybe I’m beginning to realize this isn’t a perfect world. There are a lot of beautiful, kind-hearted, caring people in this world who come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. And there are also a lot of assholes!
Originally published in The Partnered Pen on Medium.com

Flu Season is Here Again But, Can you afford the treatment?

Image by flockine from Pixabay
Last November I faithfully took the flu shot as I do every year. It didn’t work. I was felled by the flu in March and spent a week in the hospital, in isolation. I really thought that this would be the end. Fortunately, it wasn’t. It took me a little over a month to fully recover and a few months more to pay off the hospital bills, even though I had Medicare and a Medicare advantage plan. Those frigging deductibles can kill you as easily as your disease. This country has the worst healthcare unless you have the big bucks, which I don’t.
This year, with the memories of last year’s serious bout with the flu, needless to say, I am a bit apprehensive. I got the flu shot again, even though last year’s version was a complete failure. I stay as far away as possible from anyone sneezing or coughing, especially little kids. I’m scared stiff of catching a cold that could develop into something worse. I have chronic sinusitis which acts up every year at this time and on an almost daily basis and I hope that too won’t lead to the flu.
Along with the television ads urging everyone to get the flu vaccine are the ads from our thoughtful and benevolent pharmaceutical companies pushing their flu medications. These ads push drugs that are to be taken within a couple of days of the first signs of the flu and promise that your symptoms will be improved in three days. If you check the company’s website you will see their comparison to a placebo. The drug reduces symptoms in 3 days, while the placebo takes 4.3 days. What a frigging deal, 1 1/3 days!
I don’t know about you, but if I call my doctor and request medication he wants to see me first and it’s not usually within the next few hours. Then if I have a fever and chills and am coughing pieces of my lungs out into a wadded up tissue or napkin, I really don’t want to climb into a freezing cold car and drive through the snow and traffic to sit in a doctor’s waiting room for 3 hours. Then I will have to crawl to the pharmacy and wait in line for another few hours until my prescription is ready. Then I can make my way home to die.
Now for the best part of this whole process. The ads for this wonderdrug offer a deal in which you could, if you qualify, receive a coupon for $60 off. If the coupon is for that much, how the hell much does the damn medication cost? According to GoodRx the cost of this drug is anywhere between $156 and $183. Holy shit who has that much money laying around? Even with my Medicare advantage plan, I would have to pay $50!
So what are the choices we face this flu season? As soon as you sneeze call the doctor for an appointment. Keep stashing away your spare change in case you get the flu and need the medication. Move closer to an emergency room or an urgent care center. Move to any other country in the world, since whichever it would be, it would have a better and cheaper system than ours. Quickly become a millionaire. Or the best choice of all is staying inside and avoiding all contact with other human beings. Stay healthy my friends! 
Originally published in Rogue’s Gallery on Medium.com