Sunday, March 14, 2021

"A Shot and a Beer"

By Jerry Zezima

For anyone who is nervous about getting the coronavirus vaccine, I will allay your fears by saying that I recently got my first injection and suffered no ill effects aside from the lightheadedness I have had since birth.

On the negative side, you can’t, no matter how hard you try, get a shot and a beer.

I found this out when I went to Stony Brook University on Long Island, New York, and saw many helpful volunteers, security officials and health care professionals but not, unfortunately, a bartender.

Of course, the fact that it was 9:30 in the morning may have had something to do with it.

I got the idea to ask for a cold one from my buddy Tim Lovelette, who said that when he got his first shot, he asked if he could have a brew, too.

“I said, ‘Where’s my beer?’ They were giving me a shot and I even offered to pay for the beer, but they wouldn’t give it to me,” Tim said. “For my second shot, I’ll bring my own.”

I should have thought of that when I went for my first one, although my wife, Sue, who got her first shot 10 days earlier and accompanied me for moral support, would have said that I was being even more ridiculous than usual.

When we pulled up to a spot where a cop was directing traffic for people with appointments, I said, “I brought my wife in case I pass out.”

He nodded and said, “Good idea.”

We parked the car and walked into the building where shots were being given.

A young woman put a digital thermometer to my forehead to take my temperature.

“Is my head empty?” I asked.

“I don’t think so,” she replied.

“Obviously, this isn’t an X-ray machine,” I said and moved on to a table where I had to show my paperwork. After that, Sue and I walked down a corridor and met a volunteer who asked, “Is this your first shot?”

“It’s my ninth,” I responded.

“Wow,” she said. “You’ll really be protected.”

We moved on to another table and met Elana, who asked if I am allergic to anything.

“Only to myself,” I answered.

“You’re a standup comic,” Elana said.

“If I sit down,” I told her, “no one can see me.”

“But we can still hear him,” Sue chimed in.

“Can I get a shot and a beer?” I asked.

“No,” Elana said. “It’s a bit too early for beer, but some people have a little whisky to calm their nerves.”

“Are guys wimps when it comes to needles?” I wondered.

“We all know that,” Elana replied. “But don’t worry, this will be painless.”

She was right, as I found out when I met Tina, who would be giving me an injection.

“How old are you?” she asked.

“Old enough to know better,” I said. “But if you must know, I’m 67.”

“You look great,” Tina said. “What’s your secret?”

“I eat like a horse, drink like a fish and get absolutely no exercise,” I said. “That’s all there is to it.”

“In which arm do you want me to give you a shot?” Tina asked.

“It doesn’t matter,” I said. “I’m ambidextrous. I’m incompetent with both.”

“Pick one,” she said.

“My left,” I said as I rolled up my sleeve. “It’s a good thing I’m not an octopus or I’d never make up my mind.”

It was over in a flash.

“It didn’t hurt,” I said.

“Of course not,” Tina replied.

“Can I get a beer?” I asked.

“Of course not,” Tina replied again.

It figured. Still, I felt so good about getting my first shot that I went home with Sue and relaxed before having lunch. Afterward, I celebrated with a beer. It really hit the spot.

Copyright 2021 by Jerry Zezima

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