So, Tina asked me to pick up a few things on the way home. I decided to drop by the Walgreen in Los Gatos.
The trip was fairly innocent, until I got to the last item on my list, Sudafed Severe Cold.
Evidently, nearly all Sudafed products are now controlled, and kept behind the pharmacy. Sighing, I joined the line of people waiting.
Now, history on this pharmacy: This is the same one we refuse to go to. In the past, they have dramatically short changed nearly every order we've placed. Also, they have the charming policy of promising, "just 15 minutes," no matter how long it will take, just to get the customer to go away. Combined with the store floater who would be at home wandering around muttering about his Red Stapler, we've generally gone through customer service hell.
I finally make it to the head of the line, and ask for Sudafed Severe Cold, which I'm told doesn't not exist, and that I must have the name wrong. At that point, I figured, alright, they probably deal with it more than I. After some back and forth, I am given the box, and told to go up to the front counter.
I make it up there, and am stuck behind Annoying Crotchety Man From Hell. You know the type, hand full of coupons that don't work, and arguing with the skill of a Jesuit at the price of every single damn item being rung up.
When I finally get through what I assume is "Candid Camera Does World's Most Annoying Retail Experiences", my things are rung up fine, until the Sudafed. Evidently, the clerk cannot ring up the Sudafed, which can only be paid for back at the pharmacy. Indeed, her register locks down, and requires the assistance of her, the mumbling floater (who has still not his stampler), and the manager. Meanwhile, a passing pharmacy employee, whose going home, gets snappy at me, claiming that his department would never make such a mistake, and glares suspiciously at me.
Perhaps he was imagining me descending ninja like within the pharmacy, Mission Impossible music in the background, until I can escape with a single box of Sudafed, which I then, in my arrogance, decide to pay for it, gloating about my defeat of his perfect system.
Surprisingly, I do not rip my shirt off, and start exploding heads in a fit of post-Apocalyptic fury.
I make the long slow trudge back to the pharmacy, fully aware that the delays had ensured that the after work rush seeking their prescription based fixes had formed a line. Nay, not just a line, but veritable experience of agony, similar in scope and breadth to the row of cruxifictions from Spartacus.
Settling in at the end of the queue, gazing soulfully into the far, far distance of the pharmacy register, I resigned myself to my fate of hard time. As we slowly trudge, with the cry of "just 15 minutes more" calling out like the cracking of Javier's whip upon 24601's back, I wonder what sin I had committed? What breach of humanity and ethics had I committed to receive this fate?
Just when sanity was nearing its final death gasp, I felt a whack against my leg. A demonic gargoyle, cunningly disguised as a small child, that had been entertaining itself for the last 15 minutes by running around screaming "rain rain rain rain," had found the display of canes. Seeing an opportunity to dial the misery meter up to 11, the hell beast had grabbed one of the canes, and been running around, whacking things, until it had found my leg.
The child hit me twice more, before I recovered from the utter shock of the stupidity of the situation. Memories of past dreams, where Darwin had whispered in my sleep, "Weed out the weak with the Chainsaw of Natural Selection," came roaring back to me. The raw hatred and anger I felt exploding out my chest Alien-like probably went rocketing up to the upper atmosphere before bouncing down into the Middle East. I am certain that on the morrow, I will receive a call from the State Department, questioning why my rage had leveled Cairo.
I looked up as the progenitor of this... thing, came up, smiling, "oh, he's just playing." Meeting my eyes, she showed a sudden grasp of her mortality, as she suddenly scooped up her child, and backed away from the Pit of Rage that had touched her very soul.
The next Ice Age arrived, and I finally get up to the counter (third line in a row, mind you). The clerk chirpily rung me up, asking why I didn't do this the first time around. Clenching my teeth with a pneaumatic force, I take my purchase, and flee, flee, FLEE before my self control slipped, I went to Crinos, and destroyed all that was living.
I finally get home, and bring my purchases in. It had been long and hard, but my mission was accomplished, and after my 3 pumps in Walgreen, I felt ready to deliver my goods to my loving wife.
Tina looks at my offering of Sudafed... and it's the wrong medication.
Turns out that there is a Sudafed Severe Cold (we looked it up), and the pharmacy was just wrong.