Yesterday, Steve drove me to Bangor, so I could get my second Pfizer shot at the Cross Insurance Center (across from the casino; look for Paul Bunyan in the front yard). This was the same place I’d gotten my first shot, a couple weeks ago. On my first visit, I thought Northern Light Hospitals, which is in charge of this site, had organized brilliantly. This time they had streamlined the process even more.
There were a couple of changes from the first time. This time, we had the company of a Police Dog (wearing a service vest that said POLICE), and his partner. Police Dog was one of those Big Yellow Dogs that you see everywhere — maybe some golden retriever mixed something else deep-chested, and solid. He made it his job to check everybody over, and accepted a pat on the head from a person in a chair before his caretaker could say, “No, Dad! He’s working!”
I am sorry to report that this time I was not offered a choice between Looney Tunes band-aid and regular, and I had to tell the person who administered my shot why I didn’t want it in my left arm. (“Left-side mastectomy,” I said. “Right,” she said, briskly. “No sticks in the left arm.”)
Funny thing there is that she wrote my Free To Go time on a Pfizer info-page for me — 11:10. I turned my head to look at the clock she had consulted to get this time, and it said: 11:10. I looked at her. “No, no!” she said. “That clock is to save our brains; it’s set 10 minutes ahead.”
I was pointed to the recovery lounge, waited my ten minutes, and wandered out to find Steve and the car.
I did have the impression — which may be quite wrong — that there were less people getting the second shot than had gotten the first. In theory, I should have been with my cohort — the same group that I had been with for the first shot, and we were not nearly so crowded yesterday. OTOH, second shots were administered on the opposite side of the building, and they had done wonders using the available space, in addition to upping the efficiency of the whole process, so they could have just been moving people through faster.
After my shot, Steve took us to Bangor Wine and Cheese on Hammond Street, where we made the acquaintance of Greta, who has just recently been given the job as Official Welcomer. Maybe some basset hound in Greta, or corgi? — brown, bow-legged, white chest and nose, big, sweet eyes.
We took on a case of mixed wines, some flavored vinegars and olive oils, as well as olives stuff with feta. Then we said a fond farewell to Greta, and motored on home the long way. The car’s map showed us a new route home — honestly, I would never have thought to go up Lebanon Street in Winterport, because it looks like an alley. Come to find out it becomes routes 139 and 69, and 69 eventually crosses 202, and anybody can find their way home from 202.
Stopped to pick up a pizza on the way home, and took it easy the rest of the day. I did have a talk with Trooper about shop-keeping, to see if he might like to keep a shop, pointing out that Greta not only had a Big Comfy Pillow in the street-side window, but also a nice grey bucket chair with a blanket back behind the counter, so there were real compensations. Trooper, however, feels that he has found his niche as a writers’ cat.
Unfortunately, I do have some side-effects from the shot: muscle aches mostly. The vaccination site is a little bruised, but I’ve had worse with flu shots. I’ve taken an ibuprofen and drunk some Gatorade.
The plan, insofar as I have a plan, is to take the day off. Yeah, yeah, I know, but sometimes I can make it stick.
Everybody stay safe.