Running out of dog food; running out of allergy pills; flat out of garlic; need tomatoes. Realizing I don’t want to buy our favorite Christmas dinner entrée — Costco rack of lamb — during the actual horrible hectic week of Christmas, I decided I’d better go after those things NOW, not later. So along about mid-morning — late enough to miss the rush-hour roadblocks, early enough to miss the lunch-hour crowds — I set out.
Only a few stores have Freshpet dog food in the exotic rolls at a reasonable price. Fry’s is one. AJ’s. Walmart — but Walmart is often out of it.
Meanwhile, these allergy drugs I need are highly problematic. In order to safely ingest two 10-mg tablets of Claritin (loratidine, if you want to pay a reasonable price for it) in one 24-hour period, it can not be Claritin D (which contains pseudoephedrine, which keeps me awake all night if I take it after about noon) and it can not be the “extended release” variety. It’s got to be plain, boring, ordinary loratidine in 10 mg tablets.
But I also need a hit of pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) in the morning, to clear the tooth-searing congestion. No, I can not take Benadryl during the daytime hours: it puts me in a coma.
The gummint has decided to make it hard for meth cookers to get enough pseudoephedrine to make marketable amounts of their product (thereby driving the market for the drugs right straight into the arms of the Mexican drug cartel, but that’s another tale). You can only get a limited amount, you have to sign for it, your purchase is reported to the federal government, and presumably a record of your purchase is preserved for perpetuity.
I got the current bottle of plain unadorned loritidine 10 mg at the Fry’s at Tatum & Shea, a long way from here. That Fry’s also carries the dog food. But it’s a frikkin’ LONG drive. I figure if that Fry’s has the drug, then surely the one at 20th Street and Camelback will have it. It’s a schlep, but not as awful a schlep as driving to the outer fringe of Paradise Valley.
They do not have it. What they have is a pharmacy clerk with an IQ in the negative numbers. First, even though I hand him the empty bottle of the stuff I bought at the other Fry’s, he cannot figure out what it is. Finally he realizes it’s Claritin and tries to sell me Claritin D. I tell him no, the doctor said not to use Claritin D. He says they don’t have plain Claritin or unadorned loratidine.
I’m already annoyed as hell, because the roads are effing awash in nut-case drivers. There’s the one on 7th Avenue who gets into the fast lane, slows to 30, and weaves back and forth over the lane markings. Stoned? Or yakking on the phone? The one who will not take the right of way (which he has in extravagant bounty) to make a left turn on the green arrow, so we all get stuck at the red light. The one who cuts me off as she swerves into the parking lot and then grabs the last parking space. (Hope she was duly gratified.) And so on.
Okay, I’m now really mad and thinking I’ll schlep up to Tatum & Shea but by the time I reach the car on the far end of the adjacent parking lot have cooled off enough to think I do NOT want to drive that far. The Walmart has the dog food (maybe) and the Walgreen’s at 16th Street and Glendale is usually well supplied and is sort of maybe on the way to the Walmart.
So I drive up there, encountering the one who swerves right out of the west-bound middle lane, cutting off the guy in the right-turn lane next to him. They missed colliding: how, I cannot imagine.
The bright spot of the day is the Walgreen’s clerk, who has got to be one of the cutest young men I’ve ever seen, in 72 years of male-gazing. He’s handsome, he’s manly, he’s got a sweet expression, and…he’s dyed a streak of his coffee-brown hair aqua. I love him. I want to bring him home. Will he get along with corgis?
With a great deal of earnestness, he searches for the desired variant of loritadine.
No, Walgreen’s does not have it.
“Can you buy OTC pharmaceuticals from Amazon?” I ask him, on a whim.
“Sure! Bet you can get this there!” He whips out his iPhone and discovers a gold mine of plain ordinary unadorned loritadine at Amazon, much of it cheaper than Walgreen’s would sell it for, if Walgreen’s had it. While he’s at it, he also discovers Costco has it.
Well, dang: I have to go to Costco anyway, so WTF? I’ll ask for it there. Maybe I can get a lifetime supply.
Speaking of lifetime supplies, The Boy with the Blue-Green Hair sells me a box of 96 pseudoephedrine pills, about three times as much as I’ve been able to get before and plenty to make up a Mountain Dew bottle full of low-grade meth.
I drive down to AJ’s to pick up the dog food, AJ’s being on the way to the nearest Costco.
People who shop at AJ’s are by nature Entitled, and so their attitude toward their fellow drivers is “Get Outta My Way, Ya Crazy Fool!” But today they’re not only entitled, they’re full-out nuts. One guy tries to cut me off as I’m turning left across three lanes of oncoming traffic into the parking lot. He fails. There’s a point at which even the craziest of crazy Phoenix drivers will back down when confronted with an obviously lunatic woman. Careening into the parking lot, I meet another one who tries to cut me out of a parking space. Give it to him and grab a better one, screw you very much, bub!
AJ’s has the dog food — $2 more than Walmart and Fry’s charge, but at least they have it. Pony up the $4 gouge so as to stock in enough to be sure to have enough to last the hounds over the holiday.
Onward to Costco, past the public park that serves as a flophouse for spaced-out addicts. The grass is littered with sleeping derelicts. Thank my lucky stars I don’t have to live in the grungy apartments that surround this garden spot. You wouldn’t dare let your child play there. I wouldn’t even take my dog over there.
As usual, the Costco parking lot is full of nitwits who are SO determined to get as close to the door as humanly possible (god FORFEND that they should have to walk ten extra steps!) that they drive around searching for someone loading their car, park in the middle of the aisle, and hold up the traffic until the target parking space is vacated.
One avoids these by parking at the far end of the lot, but today even that area — which is usually half-empty — is full of nut cases. One of them cuts me off in his hurry to grab a spot three spaces closer to the (very distant) door.
The Costco’s pharmacy clerk is even dumber than the Fry’s nitwit, if that is possible. He tries to persuade me that the box marked “24-hour” is not “timed-release.” This is after I’ve told him that I do NOT want Claritin D. The 24-hour Claritin is Claritin D; it contains timed-release pseudoephedrine. That’s what the “D” stands for: “decongestant.” And the “decongestant” is pseudoephedrine (Sudafed, for the brand-name acclimated). Even if the Mayo’s quack had not specifically told me not to use Claritin D, I would not buy it because I cannot take pseudoephedrine after about 11 in the morning and still sleep at night. It jacks up your blood pressure and turns you into the Energizer Bunny.
Honest to God.
By the time I get home, I’ve been on the road for almost three hours. I’m starved and I want a glass of wine — of which, as you can tell, I’ve now had a couple. The homeward drive has entailed getting behind an airhead who will not turn right on red (eventually he does, showing he knows it’s legal) — at a red light that lasts half your lifetime.
Fly in the house, order up a package containing two bottles of loritadine from Amazon, and wish I’d thought of that first.
But at least I’ve got the chow for Christmas Dinner. What I’m going to do for the Christmas Eve potluck escapes me. But I’ll figure that out…later. Much later.