Thursday, January 8, 2009

Do You Have That In Cherry?

One of the first jobs I ever had was as a clerk in a pharmacy. I worked the third shift because the hours suit a night owl and there was a twenty-five cent shift differential. The things you'd do for a quarter when you were young.

One morning just before shift change, a 20-something guy in obvious discomfort purchased a Fleet® enema. As I rang him up, he asked, "Do you have this in another flavor?"


His demeanor indicated this was no joke. He was either in pain or REALLY embarrassed.

Humiliated enough for both of us, and fighting laughter, I stammered, ", Sir, that doesn't come You do know not for use orally, right?"

He muttered, "OK, fine, whatever," grabbed his change and left. He barely made it out the door before I fell apart. The shift change showed up while I was still giggling, and midway through my story, the same unfortunate fellow raced back in the door, down an aisle and up to the register, red in the face and clutching a bottle of the Pink Stuff in his hand. "I got the WRONG THING!!"

I had to pull over, hysterical, halfway home. NO WAY would I have gone back for the Pepto®.

(Original photo by Kenneth Lu, some rights reserved.)


  1. I wonder what lesson he learned? Read the directions and listen to the highly paid cashier?

  2. Oh no! That's horrible! Poor guy and poor you for having to hold it together!

  3. Laura: He was maybe 17 and shy. I never learned anything at 17, so I can’t say if this taught him a lesson, but it taught me. He "cowboy’d up" instead of going home and dying in intestinal misery, something I couldn’t have done until I saw it done, and he lived through it (I assume). It changed me. I still get embarrassed, but I don’t let the fear of embarrassment keep me from anything (even the odd karaoke performance on a wild night!) (…But no naked Twister!!).

    Momo, it was awful. I kid you not, once I realized my mistake, I would have died before I walked back into that drug store. And if I had needed an enema, I would’ve just died because I would never have bought one. I was laughing in sympathy –either laugh or cry – but he wouldn’t have seen it that way. That poker face was hard, but I wouldn’t have dared to make it any worse for him.