Walgreen Pharmacies slogan is “at the corner of Happy & Healthy”. I would add “and sometimes some very interesting people”. I know, I know, you would say “only when you are there!” and I wouldn’t argue with you about that statement. But interesting people to me…now there is a story.
I was coming back from Edmond this afternoon and my fuel light came on when I gunned the Odyssey unto I-35. It didn’t surprise me because when I left the house I knew I would be getting fuel on the way home. Being at one with my Ody’ I knew I would make it back to SW 89th and S. Penn with plenty of fumes to spare, which I did. I was surprised at most all of the pumps were occupied. I suppose with the weather turning colder and the possibility of ice later in the week, folks were preparing for that event. I would have liked to have claimed that forethought, but the truth is I was not entirely sure how much further I could have gone or I would have remembered too late in the morning going somewhere and running out of gas. The arctic blast of air would have made me into a very large Popsicle.
After filling up the Odyssey, I went across the street to Walgreen’s. Their parking lot was filled as well. I could tell the drive-thru was packed, so I went inside the store. I was in a fairly good mood. I was relaxed, comfortable wearing my favorite ex-employer tee shirt, a pair of jeans, and my Crocs. How could anyone be uncomfortable in Crocs? I had a short list of items as I made my way back to the pharmacy area. As I rounded the end of an aisle, I could see a queue of people lined up looking like they had just been beaten by Clemson University. Sad as they were, I entered my place at the end of the line.
From my position, I had the opportunity to observe my fellow drug dependent patrons. Immediately in front of me was a man, close to my age, maybe a little bit younger, who was reading a gazette type publication of current criminals wanted by the State of Oklahoma. They had mug shots and were conveniently listed by county and with their charge listed in abbreviations. You had to look at the glossary to decipher the charge accurately. Being the friendly man that I am, I leaned forward and said, “if you see me in there, let me know.” This quip earned me a grunt from Mr. Sherlock Holmes.
Next to Mr. Holmes was a small lady with bleached blond hair with dark roots. She had a gallon of milk sitting on the floor in front of her. My immediate thought was the milk would turn into buttermilk by the time she got to the front of the line. I could not tell if she had visited the Clairol aisle before getting in line or if she was planning on stopping on the way out. She could have used some moisturizer on her face, but I don’t wish to be cruel in mentioning it. I lost sight of her on one or two occasions, it seemed she would squat down to rest herself. I thought she may of been having flashbacks of Saigon.
Not in line, but making himself know was an un-shaved man sitting in the corner, obviously waiting for a prescription. He was an older man, who wore a tweed coat and a ball cap. Personally, I don’t think they should be worn together, but that’s what makes us individuals. He was on his cell phone apparently talking to his 98 year old dear mother, who could not hear or hold the phone close to her mouth. I assume this because Cap’n (that’s what I’ll call him) was talking very loudly and would repeatedly say, “Move the phone toward your mouth!” Now, you might have another version but that’s what I came up with. I did confirm he was waiting on his medicine and he had a $1,000.00 deductible.
In front of the milk maid (that may be why she squatted; she was used to milking the cow directly) was a guy who just didn’t seem right. He was too tight. I could imagine him having his socks matched perfectly and in order of color, cross referenced by date bought. I think he starched his underwear too. He had on a black knit hat with a two and a quarter inch fold, black leather jacket, black gloves, and blue jeans. Jacket was zipped to the top. Gloves were always on (no fingerprints?) and a look on his face like he was on Xanax and could go postal (sorry Eddie and Maria) any minute.
There were a couple of more in front of the Black Knight, but the ones holding us up were two Asian women. One apparently could not understand or speak English and the other acted as her interpreter. The interpreter was dressed in neo-classical Mongolian garb. The other lady contrasted the interpreter’s heavy boots with her own style of flip flops and flesh colored socks, but again, that’s what makes us individuals.
The Black Knight makes it to the front of the line and I could hear he was picking up nine prescriptions. While they are gathering his med’s, the PA systems tells three people their prescription is ready. The Cap’n was one of them. He jumps up and moves directly behind the Black Knight.
I look around and there are now about four or five people behind me. Normally you stand about three or four feet away from the person at the counter, but Cap’n was like he was getting free chocolate ice cream and standing fairly close to BK. Apparently, the Black Knight felt his space was being invaded and was offended. He raises his voice to the Cap’n and tells him to back away from him. Cap’n was stunned! He apologizes saying he was just wanting to get his medicine.
Now Cap’n was to my right and about four feet behind the counter. Mr. Holmes was next in line, but instead of allowing Cap’n to go in front of him, he steps up to be next, leaving the decision about what to do with the Cap’n to me.
After the Black Knight left, it was my turn. I touched Cap’n’s left elbow and said, “Sir, you may go next.” He thanked me, got his medicine and went home.
The lady standing behind me gently said over my shoulder, “I appreciate you doing that.”
I was called up next, only to have to wait for the registers paper tape to be refilled. As I waited, I thought about what the lady said. I seemed to me to be the only right thing to do. That’s the Oklahoma way. That’s the Christian way.
I am thankful we don’t have many Black Knights here. Oh we have plenty, but more White Knights than Black Knights. Just a year ago this month, A White Knight helped me at the same gas station I was at today. I was trying to put air in one of the car’s front tires. The chemo had left me too weak and the air was too cold for me to stand after kneeling. Terrie called for a man, who was getting gas
to come over and help me get back to my feet. We thanked him and he left.
May this little story encourage you to do good. Look for opportunities to help others and thereby glorify God.
Amos 5:14 “Seek good and not evil, that you may live; And thus may the LORD God of hosts be with you,..” NASB