Town day yesterday. Same ol’, same ol’. Trek in, run around, split-when-exhausted and dog-schlep the last leg to load stuff in-and-out-of-the-boat as dusk turns to dark. That part is now routine monthly restocking and somewhat normal going for us. But yesterday was the first big storm of the nasty season. Lots of dire warnings.
We were trying to be quick-like-bunnies. The idea was to start early, get it all done and escape the worst of it before it comes down like the hammer of Thor. And we mostly succeeded. Soaked to the skin but setting a fire in the house just as the skies opened and dumped a literal waterfall, we did manage to beat the worst of it. Biggest plus was getting unloaded while the seas were still calm.
Can’t say as I was calm the whole day, myself, tho.
We so much appreciate the extra effort that town-folks usually give outer-islanders when they know you are on a ‘town-day’ Their usually casual and molasses pace picks up and they help you keep to schedule. As a rule. But, as a rule, we do not ‘play’ the outer-islander card unless stressed or simply by way of explaining why ‘coming back tomorrow’ doesn’t work for us. It’s all usually pretty good.
So good, in fact, I decided to try calling ahead to have orders ready this time. You know, storm and all?
That didn’t work. The doctor’s office was supposed to call the pharmacy days before (even with an extra reminder the day before) but hadn’t. Sal placed the call back to them while standing in front of the pharmacist who was annoyed that Sal was using the phone! The doctor’s receptionist said, “Oh! Oh, yeah. I’ll do it now.”
That’s pathetic. Sal would have been quicker carrying the paper. That little hiccup added over an hour to the trip. Why? Because our order had to go into the ‘queue’ as per store policy.
I needed some more lumber and parts. So, I called the BIG store and made the order. “It will all be here except we don’t cut lumber til you are present.” “OK. Fair enough. But every time I do that, your ‘cutter’ seems to be on a break or has disappeared. Takes forever. I’ll pay double. Can you get it done?” “Sorry sir, against store policy but tell me when you are coming in and I will make sure our guy is there.” I told him. And I went there. And the guy was there. 17 years old. First day on the job. Couldn’t find the wood. Barely found the saw. Worked like a sloth on Valium.
He had to cut four sheets of plywood in half lengthwise. I saw him do one.
“Yo! Dude. Small hint: You can run all four sheets at once. Saves time, makes better cuts and all the pieces are the same.”
“Huh? Sorry, sir, you are not supposed to be on that side of the line……..” So, I stepped off. That transaction took 50 minutes. If I waited for him to lash the materials to the car, we’d still be there.
Last stop was to check in at the doctor’s office. She had forgotten to get a BP reading while on her ‘remote rounds’ the other day and they love BP readings. I like her so I was willing to do that. But, knowing me, if I had to sit in the waiting room for no bloody reason for more than ten minutes, my readings would be off the scale.
AND I had just experienced an unforgettable hour with sloth-boy and then the always frustrating BC ferry.
“How ’bout I just tell you what my blood pressure is and we can all save time?”
“I’ll just be a sec,” said the nurse, as she wrote in a file and ate some apple slices.
“Sit in the chair with armrests and we can do it in the waiting room.”
I sat. Calmed myself down and started counting back from 600 (that’s ten minutes). I have had a personal policy for years: I keep my appointments. Always. You (whoever you are) get a 15 minute ‘allowance’. After that, I am gone. That applies to doctors, lawyers, gangsters and royalty as much as it does to anyone. I keep my appointments. And I leave if you don’t keep yours. She was quick enough, tho, but she could see I was ‘verging’ on leaving.
“Town day. Always stressful. Makes me tense. And tense makes me grouchy. Grouchy makes me dangerous (i then growled at her). I am generally a lot sweeter than this. Cuter, too. I’d try to get more likable for ya but that would take time and would actually make me worse.”
“Hahahaahahah……..” (She thought I was joking)..“You said that you could guess your blood pressure…?”
“Yeah. Days like this, 145/90. Days at home: 120/80.”
“OK, let’s see…………………wow! 117/74. Looks like you are handling the day rather well.”