Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Scratch my itch...or not

Every year about this time, Jeff gets this flaky patch on his back.  It’s like seasonal-related-super-duper-localized eczema.  I’ve known him since he was 16, and it’s been the same thing every year…the spot is about the size of a quarter and it’s on his left scapula (shoulder blade). (God, why did I say scapula if I was just going to put shoulder blade in parenthesis?) It appears in the fall, and he battles it all winter.  Over the course of the cooler seasons, he will ask me to scratch his flaky-itchy-spot eleventy-jillion times. His itchy scapula-rot made its annual appearance yesterday, and it reminded me of an amusing Jeff-story…
So Jeff has a best friend, Brad.  Back in the days before Brad settled down & got married & had kids, he used to hang around the house quite a bit, particularly on the weekends.  He’d come over, watch TV or play video games with Jeff…and then inevitably, he’d call for a Wal-mart run.  Brad didn’t like to do his weekly dog food/shampoo/detergent/whatever-stocking when it was crowded…but he also didn’t like doing it alone.  It wasn’t unusual on your average Saturday night at 11:17 p.m. to see the two of them pulling into the local Wally-World parking lot.  If I caught them before they left the house, I’d send Jeff with a list of whatever I needed too, so I didn’t mind in the least.  Did I mention that the two of them could bicker like an old married couple?  They’d come home from a Wal-mart trip, and Jeff would joke that he was sure everyone working 3rd shift there thought he & Brad were a “couple.” (To quote the Seinfeld episode…”not that there’s anything wrong with that.”)
Well, it so happened one year when Jeff’s eczema (or whatever it is) flared up…he was having an AWFUL time with it, and decided to resort to actually treating it.  Unfortunately, for two weeks running, every time I was in Wal-mart, they were out of Cortizone cream, and nothing else seemed to be helping.  Cue the weekly boys-night-out to the store…
Jeff decided since he was already in the store, he’d see if they’d gotten any more Cortizone in…and as he rounded the corner into the Health and Beauty section, he saw a nice, middle-aged woman stocking the shelves.  As a matter-of-fact, in her hand was the red box with the very visible yellow “10% Cort…” on it.  Jeff, being the theatrical guy he his…runs up to her, takes both her hands, looks into her eyes and said fervently, “Oh, thank GOD!!! You have no idea how much I need this!” while Brad waits patiently at the end of the aisle.  With a bewildered look on her face, the nice stocking-room lady slowly and carefully handed Jeff the cream and told him to “Have a good night.”  The guys finished up their shopping and headed to the register.  It wasn’t until Jeff handed his purchase to the cashier that he stopped to fully read the box:

Yes, that says exactly what you think it does.

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