Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Stuff & Nonsense

There has been a small flurry of activity among readership (grading on a curve here), which has inspired me to Forge Onward.

Vision continues to improve, slowly. I will still need (prescription) reading glasses, but most of the time, they will be optional. Nick will finally get a chance to learn what color my eyes are.
THIS SPACE LEFT BLANK BY WORDPRESS, BUT I ABHOR A VACUUM

I am trying not to pound the keys in my usual manner, because 10/6/21 (or, as I would have typed it at work, 100621) marked the first appearance of arthritis in the finger I dislocated several years ago. The doctor told me it would inevitably occur, but it was taking so long, I hoped I’d be the exception. Oddly, people pounding keys at work was something that annoyed me–DO YOU HAVE TO MAKE SO MUCH NOISE?! So I guess it’s poetic justice of a roundabout sort.

MORE STUFF THAT ANNOYS ME

This is such a reliable topic that I typed it without having any content in mind, sure that something would occur to me.

—Oh–people in a commercial who think that bending over and shaking your hair constitutes dancing. Again, I blame TikTok. {Disclaimer: i don’t dance and have no interest in watching others do so, but isn’t that sort of thing what this blog is all about?}

–People who won’t walk a few steps to put something in a trash can. Gotcha, Woman Walking By My House Who Carefully Put Her Drink Cup On The Sidewalk Across The Street From My House.

GOOD NEWS FOR A CHANGE

Rock and roll hasn’t died yet! The Fall Festival (to which I was forced to resort {hundreds of unvaccinated idiots not being an optimal situation} because I had an eye appointment adjacent to it) had a soundtrack of classics. Of course, daytime is when the old folks are out. But I heard a young man at the Dollar Store listening to big band music the other day, so there always might be a survivor out there. Surrender, surrender, but don’t give yourself awaaaayyyy.…and I understand about indecision, but I don’t care if I get behind…. Well, yes and no on that one.

WARNINGS! WARNINGS!

Warning 1: I’m thinking of re-posting my Frederic Malle perfume reviews, so I can have them all together if I add to them. This will cause Nick to whine, but I have spoiled him too much already.

Warning 2: I realized that I never finished my Cosmopolitan Bedside Astrologer excerpts, so I’m going to repost and add to them as well, especially since we have new reader K8, my oldest friend, who I think will find them amusing.

So, if you don’t like either of these topics, too bad.

Bad Company

Well, you were waiting for the other eye to drop, weren’t you? I imagine the Superior Court is wondering if I have 3 eyes–I got 3 excuses from jury duty, since the 2nd surgery was rescheduled. Currently, I could technically serve, but can’t read very well. Just who you want on your jury, Mrs. Magoo. This post is brought to you courtesy of Rom’s reading glasses, which help some.

Since Nick skipped town and was unable to give me a ride this time, Rom accompanied me on the bus. We had to explain to the surgical staff–“No, he won’t be in a vehicle, he’ll just be hanging around outside.”

This time around, the surgeon and Dr. Feelgood were tickled by my praise for their classic rock radio. It made the during-surgery conversation more interesting, since they could discuss Montrose, Sammy Hagar, and Dr. Feelgood got to guess who did a song he hadn’t heard before–“It’s George, isn’t it?” (Thoroughgood–“One Bourbon, One Scotch, and One Beer.”) I was–finally–not offering my opinion at that point, since Dr. Feelgood had asked me, “Are you feeling relaxed yet?” and I said, “Not really,” so he had to up the dosage a bit.

Now, four days in, my eye is at the most annoying, get-irritated-by-everything stage. The post-op instructions said, “You may experience blood-tinged tears,” which I think would be a good name for the Sour Neon Crawlers’ second album. The first one would, of course, be eponymous. Speaking of which, a brief digression–

THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED

Last night, Rom and I were watching a CNN special on the music of the 2000’s. They finished up with a statement about how pop music is now hip-hop, and no new rock & roll is really being produced, and we shouldn’t expect any more to be produced, because “sound-sequencing software has replaced the electric guitar.” I have always said that “Rock and roll will never die” is no more true than “Big bands will come back.” Rock and roll will die with us. The Sour Neon Crawlers will, of course, continue to play electric guitar, as long as they live on in my head.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN

My surgery and post-op appointments entailed 4 bus trips, so Rom was able to have a bit of the bus experience. Since I was on drugs, I’m not sure I remember very well, but…

You know how you’re waiting at the bus terminal, and there are some people there who you hope won’t end up getting on your bus, but then they all do? {Just play along, OK?} There were a couple women who kept talking about the people they knew who were in prison, and their own experiences with prison. Then a guy who was dressed like an extra from a documentary about the problems of the Incas started blowing on this plastic flute-like thing very loudly, at unpredictable intervals. He caught sight of a young woman walking away from the terminal, and started yelling “LALALALALA” at her. She ignored him. (If you’re a woman walking, you ignore a lot.)

This whole cavalcade got on the bus with us. The guy who had the flute sat behind us, and started singing “Bad Company” very loudly. “NOW THESE TOWNS, THEY ALL KNOW HER NAAAME. SIX-GUN SOUTH IS OUR CLAIM TO FAAAME. THAT’S WHY THEY CALL ME–BAD COMPANY, AND I DON’T DENY…”–dramatic pause–“BAD, BAD COMPANY, TILL THE DAY I DIEEEE!!!” I have no doubt the gentleman is and will be bad company till the day he dies, but I really wanted to turn around and correct him–“It’s ‘they all know our name,’ not her name, and it’s ‘six-gun SOUND.’ Six-gun south doesn’t even make sense!”

Plus, the prison women were sitting across from us, and ran into a guy they knew, or wanted to know, and so they had to tell him the prison experiences of all concerned.

Also, we shared the bus downtown with a middle-aged guy wearing an AC/DC t-shirt like the one Beavis or Butt-head wears, and on the bus back there was a different middle-aged guy in an AC/DC t-shirt. So if you’re wondering how Beavis & Butt-head turned out, now you know.

As far as my prognosis goes, the optometrist said I’ll probably won’t have to wear glasses full-time, but maybe I will, and the surgeon says I probably will have to wear glasses full-time, but maybe I won’t. So now we wait.

Conspiracy Update

…but which conspiracy?

I have been reading up on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test, which has been billed as “astrology for intellectuals.” I can sort of see that–one must keep in mind that A.) people can’t easily be pigeonholed into 16 categories, and B.) your results might change at different times in your life. It probably shouldn’t be used as a job-application test, as it has sometimes been used in the past. (Hmm, was that the psychological test used at my workplace? I was hired before that era.) However, I’ve taken the MBTI test several times over the years, and always came up with the same result–INTJ. It is so accurate that I laugh when I read the results. Besides, who wouldn’t want to learn that “the stock movie villain is patterned after this type”? Besides being a Criminal Mastermind, they also say that the INTJ woman wears black all the time (with occasional gray for variety, although INTJs don’t really believe that variety is the spice of life), and minimal makeup and jewelry. My makeup is minimal, but jewelry is not, and although I’m often tempted to just order all my clothes (actually physically going shopping? Why?) in blue-gray and have done with it, I have not so far done so.

Where I’m going with this (answering a perennial question for readers here) is that, because of INTJs’ tendency to see patterns in everything, they can be drawn to conspiracy theories, even though they’re supposed to be smart. In my defense, I offer that at least I make up my own conspiracies.

Long-time readers here (is there any other kind?) may remember my imaginary theory that the Dancing Union Suit (in fall/winter) and the Baby Corn (in spring/summer) are angling for world hegemony. But a new angle has been thrown into the mix, namely…

I AM BEING STALKED BY DR. PEPPER AND MR. PIBB!

{Disclaimer: I am just figuring out how to use the bold/italic feature on the supposedly-improved WordPress site, so if the blog looks weird….oh, forget it. It is weird.}

Friday night, Rom & I got Jimmy John’s, and I ordered Diet Coke. But they gave me Mr. Pibb instead, which was disconcerting. Later in the week, I went to Taco John’s, and got a Diet Pepsi, and it was, you guessed it–Dr. Pepper. The second time, I got the drink myself, FROM THE DIET PEPSI NOZZLE. So the only explanation–CONSPIRACY! The only question remaining is, are Pepper and Pibb in league with the Union Suit, or opposed?

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ME AND THEM

Today I went to the liquor store (last hurrah before Thursday, since alcohol and eye surgery don’t mix). When I entered, I heard the clerk was listening to some radio show. It sounded like one of those Bob & Tom things–two guys laffing it up. Then one of them said, “Well, why do you think Dr. Mengele did it?” Hearty laughter. I thought, Something’s wrong here–Dr. Mengele didn’t do anything funny. Then the one guy said, “You know, in every culture–every culture–they build pyramids. The Egyptians did it, the the Chinese did it, the Druids did it. Every culture. And when archaeologists dig it up, what do they always find? Children with their hearts cut out.” Umm….Then he said, “You know, Fauci’s name means ‘signal.'” At that point I knew I was on a one-way ticket to Crazytown. I was glad I was on the way out the door.

Only Half Insane

Well, turns out the eye can only be corrected to 20/40 with surgery, not the 20/25 they’d hoped, due to:

  1. I have a long eyeball.
  2. Because of same, the outer coating of the eye has stretched thin and created a bulge at the back, which screws things up further. This is called a “staphyloma,” which sounds cancerous but isn’t.
  3. My map/dot/fingerprint dystrophy creates an ever-changing irregularity on the surface of my eye, which makes for changes in my vision. (I keep thinking of this as “rock/paper/scissors” or “puppy/monkey/baby” dystrophy.)

All in all, it’s a perfect storm of astigmatism, and I should have chosen my ancestors more wisely.

CLOWNS TO THE LEFT OF ME, JOKERS TO THE RIGHT

Usually, as a Radical Centrist, it’s only during election season that I have to routinely hide Facebook posts from the Lunatic Fringe of either side, but apparently now it’s Lunatic Fringe Time all the time.

TO THE RIGHT:

“They’re demonizing and discriminating against the unvaccinated!” Yeah, I am, and here’s some more of it. YOUR SO-CALLED FREEDOM DOES NOT GIVE YOU THE RIGHT TO ENDANGER OTHERS. We will now have to revisit the legal cases of Your Waving Arm vs. My Nose, and Fire vs. Crowded Theater. As a wise t-shirt once said, “I can’t hear you over the sound of my freedom!”

TO THE LEFT:

Oh, don’t even get me started here. Just think of all the cases where the Emperor having no clothes could be applied. I will just start “identifying” as a famous writer, and see where that gets me.

Having annoyed everyone, let’s just move on to…

ADVERTISING–WHAT’S WRONG WITH IT?!

“Choose Alabama for your next staycation.” BY DEFINITION, A STAYCATION INVOLVES NOT GOING ANYWHERE.

A pox upon TikTok, which has caused a rash of commercials with groups of amateurs dancing. Why would you want to see people not dancing well?

THE WAR ON SOCKS

I give up. Leggings are pants after all, because they identified as pants. The final straw–L.L.Bean now has leggings. This is made possible by the fact that no one wears socks anymore. Why they want cold ankles in the winter, I don’t know. I guess they don’t walk as much as I do.

P.S.

I cannot resist adding–the music in the operating room was Black Sabbath. “War Pigs,” to be exact.

I Have a Magic Eye

…like Mad-Eye Moody in Harry Potter!

My ride to the surgery center was courtesy of a certain Nick, whom you may have heard of. Being a mere beast, he was not allowed in the surgery center, but had to remain in the parking lot. His actions while there are unknown to me, and I cannot be held responsible for them.

The entire experience involved more sitting around than actually being operated on. I started by sitting around waiting for an ocean of eyedrops to take effect–dilating drops and more of the brilliant-yellow numbing drops. Then I was taken through the labyrinthine building back to the office area, so the surgeon could do “marking,” because of the special astigmatism lenses. I read up on these–they have marks around the edges, and the surgeon rotates them after insertion so those marks line up with the marks he makes on my eye. Yes. He drew on my eye. It just felt cool, as if someone were painting with watercolors on my arm. I was hoping to get to see how my eye looked with drawing on it, but the marks were gone by the time I took a look at home.

The person I was most anxious to see was the anesthesiologist, or Dr. Feelgood, as I thought of him. He explained that his magic IV solution would take a few minutes to work, and then “you just won’t care.” Good to know.

The nurse put a shower cap over my hair. She had to explain, “Hold your hair up, as if you were putting it up,” but since I never put my hair up, I had trouble understanding. Or maybe Dr. Feelgood’s solution had already started to work. She also put shower caps over my shoes, and then led me to the operating room.

By now I was experiencing a great lack of caring. I had read up on the procedure beforehand–“You’ll just see a bright light,” everyone said, but even so, I didn’t understand how I could keep from moving around, since I’m a fidgety person. But this was not a problem–lying there and looking straight in front of me was the easiest thing to do, so that’s what I did. I actually saw several colors of bright lights, but I didn’t know what they were, and I didn’t care. I could hear the conversation of the surgical team, which was about the vacation plans of a mutual acquaintance. They didn’t say anything about what was going on, except once Dr. Feelgood said, “Her blood pressure’s good,” and I thought, “Of course it is! It’s always good!” Just as I was idly wondering if they’d be done soon, the IV was being pulled out, and the nurse was helping me sit up.

Theoretically, I then spent half an hour in recovery, but my time sense at that point was unreliable. Eventually I was brought back out to Nick, with a plastic cover taped to my eye, which I didn’t remember anyone putting on me.

I’ve spent 10 days with an itchy and scratchy eye. It was creepily red the first day, but that cleared up quickly. It feels fine now.

I hate the filthiness that goes with medical problems–there’s always something you can’t wash, or can’t wash properly, in this case my face–especially since I’ve got adhesive from the tape on my face. But now I have 4 days off from all that stuff, until it starts again with the other eye.

I did have an amusing moment–the first day I went out after the surgery, a blind guy with a cane was waiting to cross the street at Franklin/St Joe, and I was able to tell him, “We’ve got the light!” I followed him across the street, with my Ray Charles sunglasses on, and thought, “Hey, it’s the blind leading the blind!” Unlike in Scripture, however, we did not both fall into a pit.

And my vision? At this point, it’s better than the other eye without glasses, but worse than that eye with glasses. (Not counting brightness and colors, which are unquestionably better. Did you know that a gray sky is actually blue-gray? I was absurdly thrilled with this fact.) Maybe it would get better faster if I didn’t read so much–or write, for that matter. “You may as well stop now,” Nick growls, “you’re boring everyone but me,” but he is huddled in the corner with his tail over his eyes, and may safely be disregarded.

I have gotten some use out of my new eye–I was able to say, “O Magic Eye, what kind of bus change do I have in my coin purse?” Before, I could only tell if it was silver or copper.

None So Blind As Cannot See

At Trexa’s request, I am posting about my upcoming cataract surgery. She thought I could find something humorous in it, so we’ll see.

My initial evaluation appointment was to last “up to 3 hours.” As it turned out, it was a mere 2 hours and 15 minutes. The first humorous thing was on my walk from the bus stop, where a sign on Vine Street said “SIDEWALK CLOSED.” I’ve been a pedestrian all my life and never seen a “Sidewalk Closed” sign before. I took their word for it, though.

My optometrist had referred me upon discovering that I couldn’t read even the top line of the eye chart, WITH MY GLASSES ON. I was a little nervous about whether I was bad enough off to qualify for insurance coverage, but that turned out not to be a problem. You know you have bad vision when two different eye doctors say, “Wow, that’s a strong prescription!”

I had to sit by a table that was a literal Lazy Susan of Eye Tests–they push the table around to bring a series of machines to you. I have no idea what any of them were measuring, since they all involved shining lights in my eyes. The most interesting one for sheer weirdness involved special numbing eye drops, because the technician was going to roll a lighted thing ON MY EYE. I didn’t feel a thing. However, they were having difficulty getting whatever reading they were after, so someone had to be called over to assist, and that person sent me to yet another machine which involved, you guessed it, shining a light in my eyes.

My technician then explained what they were going to do, and informed me that I have such bad astigmatism that I would still have to wear glasses full-time. My heart sank.

A bit of background–like Rom, I’ve worn glasses since I was eight years old. Rom had the cataract surgery back in ’05, and since they implant a new synthetic lens in your eye after they remove your old cataracted one, they were able to correct his vision enough that he only needs glasses for reading now. I was looking forward to being likewise liberated.

My face must have fallen along with my heart sinking, because the technician quickly explained that they have implantable lenses to correct astigmatism too, but insurance won’t cover them, because they’re considered “cosmetic.” So I went ahead and paid for the special lenses. Let’s just say that not needing glasses was worth a substantial sum to me–and paid up-front, too, since they won’t be able to catch me and repossess the lenses once they’re in my eyes.

Finally they were through with that, and sent me into a different room, where an optometrist with an eccentric fashion sense–bow tie and weird socks–took over. He was excited about my terrible vision, and how much it would be corrected with the special lenses. He said they can probably get me to 20/25. (I’m guessing I’m at 20/400 now, or some number similarly grotesque.) He also informed me I have something called “dot-map-fingerprint dystrophy,” which I’ve never heard of and which is causing me no symptoms (although it could if it progresses). The two outer layers of my eye, which should lie smooth and flat against each other, are actually kind of bumpy. The disease has the weird name because the irregularities look like dots, continents on a map, or fingerprints on their scan. Turns out that was the reason why that one test was giving them trouble. It’s an inherited condition, and if it was too far progressed, it would have to be treated before the surgery, which, he informed me, “simply” means the surgeon cauterizes my eyes in some way, and then it heals smooth. Which surely isn’t really as horrible as it sounds. At any rate, “dot-map-fingerprint dystrophy” makes me think of rock-scissors-paper. So there, I found at least one humorous thing.

He left, and the technician came back in, and did something which required different numbing drops, and these were brilliant yellow, which I also found amusing. She verified that I couldn’t read any eye chart, even with glasses, and was forced to resort to, “Well, how many fingers am I holding up?” I did OK with the left eye, but with the right, I just didn’t know.

Then the surgeon came in, with the brusque no-nonsense manner surgeons have, and remarked on my terrible vision, and warned me against moving around on the operating table. He finished with The Brightest of All Lights, shining it into my eyes while he had me move them all around, which I’m sure was to see if my rock-paper-scissors dystrophy was too bad, but it wasn’t.

So the actual surgery on the first eye will take place tomorrow. Hopefully I will be too groggy to be witty about it, but you never know.

I Should Have Called Swat Pest

Or, what happens when you have a dragon and a wasp nest in your yard.

My bestial onetime co-worker Nick, who is, as I’ve said, more like a dragon than he is like anything else, was nosing around one of my trees.

“Did you know you have a wasp nest?” he inquired.

“What?! Well, get rid of it!” I don’t know why I thought that would work. I only knew I wasn’t going to deal with it.

“What’s in it for me?”

I thought quickly. “All the wasps you can eat.”

“Really? They any good?”

“Uh…well, I prefer mine candied.” (Disclaimer: I have never eaten a wasp, prepared in any manner.) (Yes, I debated whether to put the disclaimer in brackets and italics like I usually do, but I just don’t have the energy.)

He leaned against the tree trunk, clamping his wings tight to his body (for the record, his mate, who is wingless, would have made an easier job of that), and seized the nest in his powerful jaws, wrenching it free from the tree. He then headed toward my front door.

“OK, let me in.”

“No!”

“I thought you wanted this!”

“No!”

“Well, what should I do with it?” Angry wasps were circling his head, making him look like a supercharged Lord of the Flies.

“I don’t know. Eat it or something.”

“OK.” He settled down on my porch, chewing up the nest and swallowing any wasps he encountered.

“Did you know you have a giant black fly on your porch?”

“Eat it, too.”

“OK. Wow, that was tasty. Got any more?”

“Hopefully not.”

“Did you know you have–what are these things, anyway?”

“Um…Slugs. My, they’re large.”

“What’re they doing?”

“Uh…” (How to put it?) “They’re doing that thing you did three times. To get the cubs.”

“Oh, OK.” He peered at the mating 6″ slugs intently. “Which one is the male?”

“Well, each one is both male and female.”

“Really?” He snapped them up. “They both taste the same, anyway. Got anything else you need eaten?”

“Not that I can think of.”

“Sure you don’t want to feed me the cat?”

“Very sure.”

“OK, then,” he said, and majestically flew away.

I Am Not F. Scott Fitzgerald

…as my writing professor at Mizzou told me. He had been saying bad things about one of my stories. I said, “But F. Scott Fitzgerald used an uninvolved narrator in The Great Gatsby,” and he said, “You’re not F. Scott Fitzgerald.” He went on to give me a B+ in the class. (Note: The story did suck.) Maybe I should have “I Am Not F. Scott Fitzgerald” put on a t-shirt.

Thank you to the hardy soul who read 14 posts the other day.

IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING….

Mask/vaccination requirements are not equivalent to the Holocaust. The one saves lives, the other destroyed them. You shouldn’t need to have this explained. And let’s just agree that nothing is equivalent to Hitler except Hitler. We will save ourselves a great deal of time.

ADVERTISING NEWS

In case you think I do nothing but complain, I approve of the commercial comparing yeast infections to a revolving door. See, you can address that topic without resorting to a talking vagina. Speaking of which, YouTube is currently plaguing me with a commercial in which Amy Schumer says, “It has come to my attention that I have a vagina about which I know very little.” If anything sounds like a personal problem, that does. (Try asking your vagina! Maybe it’ll answer!) She then goes on to ask another woman, “Did you know that–” but I don’t know what vagina-related question she was about to ask, because I cannot hit SKIP ADS fast enough on that one.

HOWEVER, what I mostly do is, indeed, complain. After all, the subtitle of this blog is “Observations for the Easily Irritated.” (Just check the tiny writing under the title.) AND SO…

I must issue a World Leader Edict (remember those?):

NO MORE CUTE SLOGANS TO MAKE YOU THINK OF CUSS WORDS

like,

“Fish, yeah!”

“Life happens!” “Pain happens!” etc.

“Give a shot, get a shot!”

“The new Mother Cruncher sandwich!” (That one was from Rally’s. Their slogan used to be “You gotta eat!” Rom suggests they should start saying, “It’s technically food!”)

The Charmin’ bear mom (you know I’d have to involve them somehow) saying “Holy soft!”

Oh, and speaking of YouTube, WordPress is suggesting “Try turning your blog into a podcast!” Yeah, that’ll work. I even shrink from video calling. (I remember that for years–decades!–They were telling us that video phone calls were THE FUTURE, but they had trouble getting people interested. Wonder what changed.) {Disclaimer: I do, in fact, know what changed. The Internet occurred.} I am, however, amused by the idea, and am considering a transcript/screenplay post about a fictional podcast of this blog. (This may be the most meta idea I have ever had–right up there with wrapping paper with pictures of wrapped presents on it.)

And speaking of inspiration, I saw a quote on Facebook, “Creative people don’t have a mess–they have ideas lying around everywhere!” The ideas currently lying on my desk are: forms I didn’t need for my taxes and which the wind keeps blowing onto the floor, perfume samples, and an appointment card from the dentist’s office which I have yet to transfer to my calendar.

It’s My Birthday and I’ll Write What I Want To

I almost forgot I’d promised to do this, which should surprise no one. It will add to the length of my tax preparation time, but it will help keep me focused! Well, if the threat of prosecution can’t keep me focused….Speaking of which, I also received a Notice of Eligibility For Jury Service in the mail today (my first!), so I’m beside myself with excitement. Perhaps I will post about that as well.

I was actually, in spite of what I told you previously, going to live-blog when I paid my property taxes, because I thought, Can I *make* me writing a check interesting? Apparently the answer was No, since I forgot to do it. Forgot to blog, that is. I did remember to write the check.

My tax booklet has a cover illustration of a compass pointing almost north. I hope this means “almost right is good enough.”

“If you owe AMT, you may need to file a separate schedule.” I will adhere to my guiding principle (like a compass pointing almost north) of, “If I don’t know what AMT or whatever is, I must not owe it.” Yeah, it is surprising that I’ve never been audited.

OK, got name/address/SSN down. A good start. I am encouraged to go on.

OK, now they want to know if I deal in digital currency. I could only hope to be that cool.

“Does anyone qualify as your dependent?” I guess not, since I have no children that I know of and don’t know very many other people.

“This form shows taxable interest paid to you by the IRS. List it as interest income on your 1040.” So you’re just snatching it back again? And don’t you already know how much it is, since you sent me this form?

OK, the above was an attempt at live-blogging which was aborted, since I was boring myself. I do have a couple new post ideas contributed by FanBasers, but first I want to warn you–

DO NOT GET YOUR MEDICAL ADVICE FROM PEOPLE ON THE BUS

You know, the plague-ravaged populations through history (or, for that matter, in some other countries now) are saying, “So you have a way to avoid getting a deadly disease? And it’s free? But you’ve decided not to get the shot? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?”

The whole front half of the bus (which did not include me) was announcing they weren’t going to get the vaccine, as if that was (were? Fans of the subjunctive, help me out here) something to be proud of. So let me just set the record straight–

–There have not been “many people who died” from getting the vaccine. There have, however, been many people who died from getting the disease it prevents.

–If you already had COVID, and then get the vaccine, the vaccine will not “make you sick.” I guess these are the same people who think the flu shot gives you the flu.

Oh, by the way, one thing I did learn from doing my taxes this year–you can claim a deduction, or an exemption, or a credit, or ONE OF THOSE THINGS THAT MEAN YOU DON’T HAVE TO PAY AS MUCH, if you won an Olympic medal. I am not making this up. I kind of thought I *was* making it up, since I was getting glassy-eyed by then, but I re-read it and it’s true. I’m not sure why that would be–surely Olympic medalists are not a big lobbying group. It doesn’t even have to be a gold medal–it could be silver or bronze. I will keep this in mind for future fiscal years.

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