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Food for thought

Laughter remains the best medicine

Well, this brand of vitamins must be flying off store shelves.

I’ll embrace a bit of entertainment anywhere I can find it. After all, it helps break up the day’s rope-pushing moments. Little did I know that CVS after prime time offers people-watching and other activities to rival Metro-North.

Nine o’clock last night found me there to pick up a prescription. It’s not a normal shopping time for me. In fact, I had washed up, tucked into my PJs, and was watching the Grinch return all the Christmas goodies while contemplating a bowl of ice cream for dinner when it became necessary to make the trip.

Although I exchanged the pajama bottoms for jeans and threw on a jacket, I fretted that I was venturing out in a pajama top, and without makeup.

I needn’t have worried.

CVS after hours is a come-as-you-are affair. One lady shuffled along in her black fuzzy slippers, and there were plenty of people wearing sweatpants or pajama bottoms.

I was, of course, not the only poor soul waiting on a prescription. One fella told he’d been waiting more than an hour, then made disparaging remarks about a person of another ethnicity who he felt was holding up the line. “I can’t help it,” he said. “It’s just how I feel.”

Well. OK then.

Another man ignored the long line, cutting in for a price check on an item, then taking out his wallet to pay for it — and the 39 other things in his basket — while the rest of us continued to wait our turns.

The situation wasn’t helped by the cashier who bungled the name of every person who presented himself — when she wasn’t standing aimlessly watching the pharmacist. The pharmacist, in turn, was doing her level best to keep things moving and remain friendly, even in the face of growing customer discontent and an apparently rude doctor on the phone.

As entertaining as the people-watching was, however, I got a bigger chuckle perusing the shelves. In the vitamin aisle, tucked among the Centrum, Geritol and store-brand bottles, I was surprised to find a multi-vitamin called Alive! (yes, with an exclamation point). There are different formulations of Alive! for men and women, in case you wondered.

What must the conversation have been like at the meeting where that brand name and logo were chosen?

I guess the marketing team figured Dead! wouldn’t sell quite as briskly.

About Terri S. Vanech

Wife, mother, communications specialist, Jazzercise instructor and recently reunited adoptee. I'm living out loud -- and trying to make it all work -- in midlife. Having a sense of humor sure helps.


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