(Waiting room picture from here.)
The circumstances leading up to it aren’t important, but the other morning, I find myself at the Walk-In Clinic.
Generally, I avoid walk-in clinics like, well, the plague. Because I assume everyone in them HAS the plague. But I had no choice, so I did what I had to do.
As the name instructs me to do, I walk in. Grab a number, and scan the waiting room. The place is packed. I’m sure these chairs came from some diabolical factory where they make the chairs exactly 80% of the size of the average person’s ass, then sit back and watch the fun ensue. Miraculously, I find an open seat beside what appears to be the least smelly person there, and I make my move.
I immerse myself in a year-old copy of People (Oh look! Conan’s gonna take over “The Tonight Show”. I have a feeling it’ll be real big…), when I get that weird, prickly feeling. I look up, and into several pairs of eyes. Man eyes. Attached to man leers. Because here’s what I failed to realize: By showing up there, having showered in the past week, and not sporting a face tattoo? I’m automatically a pretty fine catch.
The stares aren’t just coming from around the room. Oh no, Mr. Not Smelly, Relatively Safe has taken to staring from his chair, a whole 5 centimetres away. I politely smile back. Which is apparently a universal waiting room signal that I am looking for it.
“Um, not much.” (Stare at the ground, maybe he’ll get the hint/get bored/whatever.)
“I’m Mike, just here on vacation. You from here? You’re from here, right? I’ve been here for a week, haven’t found any good bars, I bet you could show me around…”
And as I desperately try to pretend he’s talking to someone else (although the only other person in his line of vision is the gentleman in the yellow crocs and Daisy Duke cutoffs who can only see out of one eye, on account of the other one being swollen shut, and I mean, hey, if he is hitting on him, mazel tov and good luck making a go of it, boys, but I just don’t think he’s the intended target, even if that is conceited of me), my brain starts to scream:
“ARE YOU KIDDING ME? YOU’RE TRYING TO PICK SOMEONE UP IN A WALK-IN CLINIC? I COULD HAVE GOD ONLY KNOWS WHAT! AND YOU! YOU’RE NOT SITTING HERE WITH A SEVERED LIMB, SO OBVIOUSLY WHATEVER’S WRONG WITH YOU IS IN THE UNDER-YOUR-CLOTHES AREA, AND I WANT NO PART OF THAT!”
Mercifully, the nurse calls me, and I sprint into an office.
When I come out, my potential suitor is gone.
I go into the attached drug store, drop off a prescription, and wait.
And there he is, doing the same.
So I make myself very busy, browsing.
But when you’re trying to browse, with an air of absolute casualness, the universe will mess with you.
And put you in front of every embarassing thing it can think of.
(And really? By the time you get to the lube, you’re not browsing, no, I’d say you’re pretty darned committed at that point.)
So, what have we learned from my adventures?
1. If you might EVER get sick and not be able to secure an appointment with your regular doctor, stop showering immediately, so as to decrease your attractiveness.
2. Sit by that crazy woman with the lipstick around her lips. She has no interest in you, only the ghost of Winston Churchill, with whom she is carrying on a lively (yet tragically one-sided) conversation.
3. “Family Planning” is the most hilarious euphemism ever applied to an aisle. I’m pretty sure that when you’re stocking up on Astro Glide, your future family is not exactly on your mind.
Take my awkwardness, and use it to enrich your lives. My gift to you.