I'm Vaccinated: Thank God That's Over

*Please see an earlier editorial in which I explain this term.


Dear readers,


I finally got my stupid vaccine for the Crotch* the other day. Thrilling, I know. What finally convinced me to take the plunge? It all got started when I walked into my local pharmacy to buy some googly eyes – Gladys is working on another one of her ridiculous charity projects, you see – whereupon I noticed a sign that read more or less the following:


MASKS ARE STRONGLY RECOMMENDED FOR ALL SHOPPERS

Unless you have been vaccinated.


Well, that was the green light for me. I removed my flimsy (almost useless, never washed) Crotch mask, crumpled it back into my pocket, and strode boldly into the store, mask-free and head held high. It was not long before I became conscious of several aghast stares.


“Um, excuse me?” chimed one of the clerks, “Sir, you need to wear a mask.”


“Oh really?” I intoned manfully, “Your sign out-front clearly states that masks are recommended only.”


“Yes, but that’s only if you’ve gotten the vaccine,” she replied.


“Balderdash!” I snorted, “If that’s true, then whoever wrote it needs to revisit second grade and learn the difference between a recommendation and a requirement. Besides, the subsequent prepositional phrase only modifies the recommendation. It furnishes no new information and may be discarded.”


Of course they don't teach this stuff anymore.

The clerk jabbered on like a fish flopping on the deck. “Look, I don’t know what you’re saying, but that’s just what I was been told. Have you been vaccinated?”


“No, I haven’t!"


“Well, then you need to put on a mask.”


And with that, I rolled up my sleeves and really got to work. With immaculate equipoise, I immediately began to describe the manifold intricacies of… Well, no actually. I won’t lie. What really happened was I put on the goddamn mask and shuffled away angrily. Look! Gladys needed her googly eyes and I didn’t want to have to cook dinner. She can be rather difficult about such things. But I did vow, then and there, that I would get the shot and return to the pharmacy as soon as possible, just to wave my vaccination card in the clerk’s bony horse-like face.


So, I decided to mosey on over to the county fairgrounds, since I heard they were taking walk-ins that day, no questions asked. Also I couldn’t figure out how to make an appointment over the goddamn computer. Not that I would’ve wanted to anyway. Walking up is far more my style.

But you should’ve seen the looks on the faces of the volunteers when I strolled up. I never saw such an assortment of pansies, frauds, and sickening do-gooder types in my entire life. All of them masked, of course, and wearing bright yellow vests. Some even had the silly idea to adorn their vests with obnoxious pins that read “Hope” or “Life” or “Our Shot, Our Chance” and other moronic drivel. I felt I could vomit all over myself just from the sight of them.


Never get the "Fried Fish on a Stick".

As I approached the start of the line, several bouts of pearl-clutching erupted from the mostly female (or female-impersonating) volunteers to my left. They immediately swarmed me and began peppering me with highly impertinent questions, such as “What’s your name?” and “How old are you?”


“My name is James O’Flannery and I’m eighty-four,” I replied curtly.


“Eighty-four! And you haven’t been vaccinated yet?” one of them shrieked (I’m pretty sure).


“What do I look like?” I snapped back at her, “A fellow who has nothing to do but sit on his hands and get vaccinated all day? I’m a busy man. I’ve got business to do. Lots of business. But I’m here now. Do you want to pop this sucker or what?”


Well, that prodded those corpulent sows into action. Either because of my endearing bravado (or perceived infirmities) they rushed me to the front of the line. A moment later some faceless twerp directed me to a row of registration booths, these staffed by National Guardsmen. It was a heartening sight to see some aspect of American government that actually does a decent enough job. I made sure to thank each militiaman for their service as I passed by.


Not an accurate photograph, but close.

However, my assigned guardsman really threw me for a loop at first. It was, in fact, a guardslady – although I use that term loosely. She didn’t quite have pink hair (which surprised me) but it was cut in a most boyish manner. I immediately began to suspect this guardslady had scant interest in gentleman callers, as you might say. She was a bit cold at first, until I laid on some of that tried-and-true O’Flannery charm.


Be all you can be?” I remarked with an impish smile, “More like Fill out all these forms, am I right?”


“Yeah,” she muttered, “I guess…”


Well, I could plainly see there was no hope with this one. My playful banter couldn’t draw out so much as a chuckle! Some people have the worst senses of humor, it seems.


The rest of the sequence was more or less uneventful. I was directed to a station where a nurse – an African immigrant by the name of Miriam – bade me take a seat. She was much friendlier than the guardslady and we got along splendidly. As for my choice in vaccine, I elected to go with the variety brewed up by the good misters Johnson and Johnson. Its main appeal was that it was a single dose, since there was no way in hell I was going back to that God-awful concentration camp. Miriam stuck it into my arm, I got my little card, and that was that.


What a pussy.

There was some grumbling from some other faceless charlatan about the need to “wait for medical observation” but I simply ignored him and headed for the door. As soon as I walked out of the place, I ripped off my mask, breathed deep of the fresh air, and … lit up a cigarette.


This was a bit of stunt on my part, I’ll admit. Although I haven’t smoked in years, I bought a pack of Camels Unfiltered – a smooth, bold, inimitable smoke – just for this special occasion. I had no other reason than to (quite literally) blow a pleasing aroma of sophistication in the faces of all those smug detestable people. I wish I had a nickel for every dirty look I received!


“Excuse me,” I remember one lady saying, “Sir, this a smoke-free area. Could you please move to the parking lot?”


“Where does it look like I’m going?” I shot back at her.


Somewhat miffed, she added, “Smoking is going to kill you, you know.”


“Ha!” I laughed over my shoulder, “You can’t scare me! I got the vaccine. I can do whatever I damn well please.”


Really, I couldn’t remember having so much fun in years. Why, it was such a satisfying experience, I think I might just fire up another of Joe C’s finest just as soon as Gladys goes to bed. And I hope that’s soon because I’m really starting to feel antsy all of a sudden. I can’t stop touching my teeth with my tongue for some reason. Boy, it’d be nice to have another cigarette… Just one more… One won’t kill me or anything…


Anyway, there was one final chapter to my vaccination affair and this occurred while I was driving home. Ever since my beloved ’89 Oldsmobile Cutlass was desecrated in an unspeakable incident, I’ve been driving a ‘05 Buick LeSabre once owned by my cousin. Not a bad machine all things considered. The brakes are on the level, at least. I know this for a fact, for as I was approaching a particular intersection, the car directly ahead of me was hit by some asshole running a red light.

By the grace of God, I just managed to stop in time - but it was a nasty wreck. The first car was one of those tiny rice-rocket sort of things, now smashed to smithereens. The other was a minivan of some kind. For a moment, I sat in my car, my hands trembling. “Just my luck,” I muttered, “To be killed on my way home from getting the goddamn vaccine to save me from being killed by the goddamn Crotch.” It dawned on me then that if I had gotten my shot ten seconds sooner, then I would’ve been that poor soul getting rammed by the jerk-ass motorist.



I shortly stepped out of the vehicle and moved to inspect the scene. Thankfully, both occupants were uninjured – shaken but uninjured. Another fellow called 911 from his mobile communication device. After lingering around for the cops to arrive, I returned to my vehicle and drove on. In a morbid twist, this accident happened to occur directly across from a cemetery – the very cemetery where my mother and father and sister are buried – and that gave me a lot to think about as I drove home. I though about something I have been saying ever since the Crotch first appeared in the world: Whatever happens, we’ll get through it.


That’s about as humanist as I’m liable to get these days. I didn’t necessarily mean that all of us (myself included) would live to see the end of the Crotch, I meant merely that mankind as a whole will survive, and that is an encouraging notion. Others among us, as we all know, reacted quite differently.


Alas, what was never on display throughout this whole debacle – except from a handful of figures like Rand Paul – was that kind of manful courage that used to be the norm in America. Sure, we argued amongst ourselves about the best responses and differences in degree, but I don’t recall any elected official ever saying something along the lines of “Courage, my countrymen! This calamity, like every other, shall one day pass, and when it does, I should like it to be said of me that I did my duty, and upheld the law, and preserved the blessings of liberty for my children and for those yet to come.”


Language of that sort won’t get you very far in politics these days. It just goes to show how low we’ve sunk as a people, how feeble and clueless and panicky we’ve become, how distant and removed we are from the spirit of 1776. God help us. I don’t know what we'll do if we have to fight another global war. My guess is the same people demanding never-ending mask mandates and ubiquitous hand sanitizer stations will be cowering in bomb-shelters while someone else goes off to fight. For Christsake, it was just a disease. A bad disease to be sure, but it wasn't the Bubonic Plague or anything. Have you people no sense of history! Have you no faith in yourselves!


Or maybe I’m starting to succumb to a little panic myself. I suppose I ought to take my own advice.

Whatever happens, we’ll get through it.


Sincerely,

James O’Flannery

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