The shirts on the two guys read Mr. Clean Car Wash. On the way to the deli, they halted in the floral department to study a rose that had been dyed to look tie-dyed. The older guy’s name tag read Doug. “Hey, psychedelic, that takes me back. I was at the original Woodstock. Saw Jimi Hendrix. Saw Janis Joplin.”
“Who?” said the younger guy, tag of Jimmy. Doug rolled his eyes. It rained a lot at Woodstock. The headliner was that band with a dude named Bowser. Sha Na Na. Doug said yeah! I asked if he had dropped the brown acid. A little theatrically, Doug stared into space. Jimmy said, “I think he did.” Doug said, “Good time.”
Then Jimmy said, “Can I ask you something?” Almost always, these words from a customer are followed by 1) Where is the restroom? or 2) Where is the habanero-infused organic pesto from Nova Scotia? But Jimmy was worried about his left ear. “It got stopped a couple of weeks ago, and I went to urgent care, saw a doctor.”
Jimmy said urgent care gave him some antibiotics and Tylenol with codeine. I said, “OK.” Jimmy explained that he was taking the other stuff for the past four days but couldn’t use the Tylenol “because I’m on probation,” and his ear’s still not right, and it was hard to hear the boss man yelling at him at work today.
One thing I learned as a reporter: Do not practice medicine. “Talk to the pharmacist,” I said. Jimmy nodded. Doug said we’re on break, let’s go, so Jimmy wanted a price for regular roses. Next payday, he’d get them for his girlfriend. Her ex used to beat her up, and Jimmy wanted to show her how a man should treat a lady.
Causes Anne Saker Supports
Freedom of thought.