Is That All There Is?

Oct 26, 2023

So, you want a vaccine shot, eh? Well, first you have to “call this number”. What number? Oh, you’ll have to look on the internet. Or, watch local TV news. And, then when you find the “number” you dial it up. Ring, ring, ring, ring .. finally, a voice answers: “if you’re calling to set up an appointment to get a vaccine shot you’re shit out of luck. All slots have been assigned. Try calling back another time. You might be able to set up an appointment in 3012.” So, you call again. Nobody picks up the phone. So, you find another number to call. “Sorry, all slots have been assigned and we have no idea when the Feds will resupply the vaccine. Call again.” Two weeks later MA calls again. To a number in Fort Lauderdale. And, someone actually answers the phone. She gets an appointment and then asks about me. “No, we can’t give “him” a shot. Just the caller.” ‘WHAT??? What do you mean?? He’s my husband!” “Congratulations. What’s his e-mail address: theotherdonald@gmail.com You’re kidding me, right?

An hour later we get an e-mail to fill out a form, print it and bring it to the Hard Rock Stadium on your assigned date and time. “And, don’t come early!” The time comes to head to the Hard Rock and we decide to leave a bit early just in case there’s traffic or an accident or something. Uh, oh .. We’re 45 minutes early. Maybe we can find a place to get a cup of coffee? Are you kidding?? There isn’t a joint within 20 miles of this place to get a cup of coffee. So, we drive around … aimlessly … for a while. And, then we head back to the entrance where you’re supposed to get in line to get a shot.

First we see a slew of police cars. Maybe 30 of them. All spread out like they were expecting an insurgency. We stop to talk to one of the cops. He looks at my wife and says, “you can’t get a vaccine. You look way too young.” A refreshing wiseguy comment. We proceed. The next guy we encounter asks to see the form we filled out. He glances at it and writes some squiggle on our windshield. We proceed. The next guy asks us for our Driver’s License. He looks at them and writes another squiggle on our windshield. He says to proceed. The third woman we encounter asks to see the form we filled out and printed at home. She asks me to hold it up to the window and she proceeds to copy it word for word. And, then asks me to sign it with my pen but I can’t touch the paper. Did you try to do that? It’s not possible to write your signature that resembles your signature. Why would she ask us to re-do what we already did? She’s told without touching the paper. And, why do we need to do it this way? “It might contain the virus. She finishes and again writes some squiggle on the windshield. Now, we definitely can’t see shit out the front window.

Next, we get our car on line. Originally, we were told it will only take 15 minutes. Well, we’re on line for two hours. Inching along .. two inches at a time. And, then we are asked to open our window just a crack. “Do you have an appointment?” Are you fucking kidding me? I went through this insane process and got to you and you’re just getting around to asking me if I have an appointment?? “Yeah, we have an appointment.” “Okay, proceed forward”.

Finally, we reach the tent where they are administering the shot. “Now, they do the Arlo Guthrie Alice’s Restaurant song routine: Have you been “ injected, inspected, detected, infected, neglected, and selected”? Have you been here or there, near or far, touched much by anyone wherever, whatever or whenever? Are you allergic to this or that, such and such or have you ever now or then? “Well, I was once …” “Nevermind that. Just roll up your sleeve. One, two .. there you go. Now you’re done. Pull ahead and wait in your car for 30 minutes.” “Is there a bathroom? I’ve been in the car since yesterday.” “yes, there’s a port-a-potty that says ‘Doodie Calls” on the door.” Oh, that’s lovely.

Thirty minutes pass and off we go only to return to this bureaucratic insanity in three weeks.

Says, my wife, “You’re way too negative.” “You think so? Hey, I’m from New York. And, by the way, it’s “on line”, not “in line”.

And when I was twelve years old
My daddy took me to the circus, the greatest show on Earth
There were clowns and elephants and dancing bears
And a beautiful lady in pink tights flew high above our heads
And as I sat there watching
I had the feeling that something was missing
I don’t know what, but when it was over I said to myself
Is that all There Is?

Is That All There Is/ Sung by Peggy Lee