10 August 2007

Example #5287 of How the Fates Conspire to Make Me Look Like a White Trash Mama Despite All Efforts to the Contrary

Yesterday afternoon, Caroline and I were off to Target to pick up the odd collection of essentials usually involved in trips to Target. About twice a year, like 80 percent of the population, I am stricken with mad allergies. I've been on every OTC pill on the market. I've tried every prescription drug hocked in TV commercials with people frolicking carefree among flowering trees and pet dander. None of them worked. The only thing that has ever worked for me is Sudafed, and not that fake Sudafed that’s out now but the old one, with the ingnoble, much poo-poo-ed pseudoephedrine. A few years back pseudephedrine was exiled from the shelves like some rabid societal menace thanks to idiot methheads who were baking it up in suburban labs. Now, trying to purchase old Sudafed is a huge process: You have to sign a release and present a photo ID so they can run your name through a computer to make sure you haven't been buying the stuff in bulk. I have no problem with the red tape. The product really works -- and if you happen to get a little bonus buzz from it, what's the harm?

THEN:

"Can I help you," the pharmaceutical assistant says, stepping down from his perch. He is a thirtysomething dude with a pervy little rat tail circa 1985 -- and not an ironically retro one -- he is just a hick. He looks at the Sudafed card, sighs loudly and grabs the box from the shelf. Then, he pauses, turns slowly toward me and starts tapping the Sudafed against his chest. “So, did you hear they found a meth lab in Framingham," he says. “No, I hadn’t heard that." “Yeah. Well. They did," he says. Long silence. Still tapping against his chest. “Do you know what they use to make meth?” “Um...could it be Sudafed? Yeah I’m well aware." I'm starting to feel like I am in the deep South trying to purchase birth control pills from some Jesus freak at Walmart. "Can I just sign and go, please," I say. He continues his loud, loathesome sighing; a martyr bleeding inside for a drug-free America. I print my name and scribble my signature beside it, trying to get out of this bad episode of Law & Order as quickly as possible. Suddenly: “Mama, what’s a meth lab?" I glare at pharmaceutical hick “That's awesome. Thank you very much. ” I snatch the Sudafed off the counter, throw into the carriage and storm off in my yoga pants and wifebeater. "What's wrong," Caroline asks as we swerve around the corner into the paper products aisle. "Nothing, sweetie, he's just a very bad man." "You're a very bad man!" she exclaims so loudly that I'm certain he's heard it. "That's right, baby" I yell just as loudly, drawing the stares of other customers. [By now, you know I’ve already emailed a rant to that Target and its corporate headquarters.]

On the ride home, Caroline sings along to the radio: "They tried to make me go to Rehab and I said NO, NO, NO."

9 comments:

cameo said...

Awesome! Laughed out loud in my dingy NY cube. F*er, your tales of Suburban woe could make for a fine series of short stories.

Anonymous said...

KJ, I had a similar experience at the South Bay Target (the worst Target in Mass., by the way) while trying to get some outlawed Advil Cold and Sinus with the pseudo-e. It was like, I would imagine, trying to buy oxycontin.

jal said...

I too had the experience at the Target in Revere when I tried to get my scrip for Valium filled. Not that I've moved to the valley of the dolls but I was having major dental work done and it's the only way I can get through it. It's a low dose but the grilling from the pimply faced JT wannabe was maddening. "Do you know what this is?" "Yeah valium, my dentist prescribed it to me." "Do you take it a lot?" "I'm having major dental work done." Can I borrow Caroline when I go to fill it again? He needs to know that he is a bad man too!

sb said...

I love Caroline's candor. And something tells me that it's not b/c she's a 4 year old, but that this will continue on well into her teenage years.

They sell OC at the South Bay Target? Nice.

KT said...

Laugh out loud funny, Ms. J! Reminds me of an episode last year in the Woburn Target.

As Ellie and I were sharing a stall in the ladies room ("Yes, I have to go to the bathroom again. Mommmy has had six diet cokes and sports a bladder the size of a kidney bean."), Ellie bends down, peers under the divider to the next stall and announces, "Mommy, that lady has REALLY ugly shoes!". Ok, hurry up, outta the stall, no need to wash your hands, mommy has Purell in her purse, quick, blend into the crowd.

Target: Making us all seemingly normal suburbanites feel like bad mommies and pissant rednecks.

KJ said...

That really could be their tagline.

This was the first Target outburst of Caroline's that I actually seconded and was proud of.

SB-I hope they don't sell OC at the South Bay Target...talk about being "a target."

james said...

Great Stuff Katie. I love when Paulie does the finger point with the No, No, No, No...

Bean Down Under said...

KJ -Hello from down under! Your blog as always has put a big smile on my face! You should have told the guy you would take their entire stock of Sudaphed when he told you about the ingredients of Meth! Framingham.... isn't that where Rena is from?!

KJ said...

EPB: I've figured out that just as we have rookie cop parents, we have rookie narc pharmaceutial assistants. Little more than Office Dwights -- they're worthy of our amusement and little more, not to be taken seriously.

Keep updating BDU..I'm loving the armchair travel. We miss you.