“Sorry, I didn’t have a choice. Mistletoe!”
— zach to marilee
Having won the lottery, we’re at the joint to get our first COVID shot. It’s been a stressful arrival. A major wreck has shut down the entrance, forcing us to randomly weave around the endless parking lot of the fairgrounds of the Arizona State Fair. There is not a corn dog, funnel cake or ’80s hair band to be had.
Go this way and wait here, the nice man says. YOU CAN’T GO THAT WAY AND WAIT THERE, a nice security person says. Just follow a car randomly, Mo says, and that turns out to be the solution.
So now we’re in the state fair’s sheep barn, waiting either for a shot or a sheep dip. I’m not certain if there have been clinical studies on the effect of a hearty sheep dip on the coronavirus, but you never know. Although I do know that sheep dip doesn’t sound like something I would want with my tortilla chips. Fortunately we have no tortilla chips, so this moral dilemma is left unconfronted.
I roll down my window, and standing before me is a young guy who bears an uncanny resemblance to the hunky firefighter in a Hallmark movie about the rescue of a cat and its ensuing love story. Yes, I watch too many Hallmark movies. We’re in a pandemic, dammit. You do what you must do.
He is Drop-Dead Gorgeous, with huge biceps that make me wonder exactly how hard he’s going to jab me with the needle.
Nice guy. We go through the checklist, he gives me the shot, which hurts not at all, applies my hello kitty band-aid, and tells me that’s it. I swoon (possibly a side effect of the vaccine, mind you), totally questioning my sexuality. My wife, on the other hand, does not question hers.
She’s in the passenger seat and he reaches for her right arm, but she insists that he shoot her in the left arm instead. This, of course, means she has to GET OUT OF THE CAR to get the shot, snuggling up next to the unsuspecting EMT.
“Thank you so much for your help here,” she says, eyelashes fluttering. Looking over at me, she adds, “And thank you for being so kind to my elderly father. As an unmarried female selflessly taking care of her crabby dad, I appreciate your efforts so much. OK, I’m ready for the shot but I’ll warn you that I’m prone to fainting, so please catch me if I start to fall, and never let me go.”
Despite her best efforts, the firefighter assures her she does NOT need to take her shirt off to get vaccinated. He quickly gives her the shot and helps her back into the car. I don’t know if he rescued her cat. Fortunately, there was no mistletoe in the barn. The sheep likely ate it.
We wait the obligatory 15 minutes and drive away in search of Grand Avenue pizza. It’s not quite the same plot line as the Christmas movie, but I take solace in knowing that Hallmark always has a happy ending. I I look forward to ours.
If I’m ever ailing and EMTs are called, I hope they don’t send this guy. I’m worried about what Mo might do. Nine lives, indeed.