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Those Sharp Needles

Those Sharp Needles Those Sharp Needles

Easy. Today we had flu

shots.

An injection is easypeasy compared to how things have been. [In the 1950’s and 60’s] School shots were given in the principal's office since there was no “clinic.” The closest thing was the science lab, a funky smelling room down the hall.

The principal's office was a behavior modifier. You didn't go there for good news.

Kids lined up and marched by classes. The first grade should have been first. No, we were last.

When our time came, the hallways were already full of crying kids holding their arms. First graders are apprehensive enough without seeing the older kids torn up.

A few first graders campaigned to be first so we could get it over with and didn't have to listen to the wailing and crying of our elders.

We knew the “instruments” were clean because they came from the sterilizer, but we didn't know anything about sharp needles. On reflection, the needles, having punctured scores of arms, had likely lost their edge.

The lady helping with the shots was the same woman who worked for a local doctor where she loudly asked patients through a dry smile, “And what is the reason for your visit today?”

Nobody wanted their complaint broadcast to the waiting room, but you had to mumble something in order to see the doc.

As a student at Georgia Southern, I had a dose of the regular springtime allergies. That was before you could go to a store and buy something useful.

Students with more serious ailments dreaded dealing with one of the campus nurses.

“Dorothy,” a retired Marine Corps nurse, didn't suffer fools.

The day I was there, a boy was in the adjacent room awaiting an injection from Dorothy.

“Drop your pants, Stanley,” she bellowed. Stanley hesitated because the door to the waiting room was still open.

He dropped his pants while someone in the waiting room offered, “I'll bet you can't hit him from the door.”

Dorothy tossed the hypodermic like a dart. Stanley rolled to the right and the needle twanged into the leather topped examining table.

Dorothy bellowed an unprintable stream and stomped off for another outfit. Meanwhile Stanley pulled up his pants and was out the door.

She also reminded departing girls with, “Remember, dear – pop a pill and pee,” announcing that the young lady was taking birth control pills.

All that to say that today's needles are sharp, disposable and painless. And besides being loud, Dorothy was a dear soul.

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