My pharmacist is overly friendly. At first, I didn’t realise he was my pharmacist. I just thought he was a creepy customer who had a thing for people in sweatpants. I was served by a very nice lady, signed my prescriptions dutifully, and sat down to wait for them to give me my hayfever tablets and antibiotics. A swarthy gentleman strolled through the pharmacy, winked at me and said hello. I smiled tightly. A few minutes later, he called out my name. And handed me an enormous plastic bag, leant forward and said softly, ‘I have, you know, put your things inside. Inside this bag.’ And winked again. I’m sure there is an appropriate way to deal with these types of situations, so I nodded and quickly walked away from him, to a no-exit door. Apparently my pharmacy is a maze. As a business model, it makes sense. Sick people are pretty much the perfect customers, so keeping them in the store as long as possible is inspired. I myself did not manage to leave without buying some chalk (five different coloured sticks),
a family-sized bottle of TCP and some antiseptic cream. It is the height of grown-upness to be so prepared.
TCP is my Father’s answer to every medical problem.
He called me yesterday. ‘How are you?’ ‘I’m sick.’ I could hear the rustling which meant he was pulling down the ‘BMA Complete Family Health Guide’. This enormous tome has an immovable place in my childhood memories. I remember at one point my Mother threatening to throw the book at my Father if he did not drive me to the hospital immediately. My Father was affronted, because my Mother does not have a medical degree. Luckily, my little sister nearly does.
‘Can you tell Mum I’m not malingering. I’m really sick. I need to be fed. She needs to come over and feed me. You tell her, she believes you.’ ‘But I haven’t seen you. If I call her, she’ll probably guess that I’m just relaying your message.’ ‘I’m not sure. I think she went out last night. She’s not coping very well today. Anyway, just use your junior doctor voice.’
No-one brought me any food, so I assume my sister didn’t pass on the message. I went to see my GP. This led me to the overly-friendly pharmacist. What I really need is for strangers to be more stand-offish and my family to be more friendly. And a blackboard.