So for the last couple of days the boy has been all
and, frankly, it’s starting to look really unpleasant. He’s clearly not terribly happy with the situation either.
My wife gets home from work today and tells me she has a mission for me. I’ll be honest: I was tired (again) and hungry (again) and more than a little aggravated already for reasons that I don’t plan to go into and the thought of a mission was not entirely pleasing to me.
“Describe the nature of this mission,” I requested.
“I need you to get butt paste,” she said.
“Butt paste.” I replied. I made sure to phrase it in such a way that she heard the period at the end of the sentence.
“Butt paste,” she says. “I’m hoping you can get it at Martin’s.”
(Context: Martin’s is our local grocery store; it’s a chain but I’m pretty sure it’s limited to north-central Indiana and maybe lower Michigan.)
I look up Butt Paste on the Internet, which sadly is probably not the oddest search I’m going to perform on the Internet this week. It turns out that there is a product specifically called Butt Paste. Check the URL: you find it at buttpaste.com, which should not be a website for medical supplies. However, frighteningly, that is not the Butt Paste that I’m looking for.
What I’m looking for– what the pediatrician apparently explicitly suggested my wife try to locate– is actually called Dr. Sirlin’s Bottom Ointment, which still sounds inappropriate. Dr. Sirlin’s Bottom Ointment is, near as I can tell, only sold in one place on Earth, but more on them later. Needless to say, that place isn’t Martin’s. My wife calls Martin’s anyway, just to be sure, and asks the pharmacist who answers the phone if they carry, no shit, this is a direct quote: “Dr. Sirlin’s butt paste. For butts. Baby butts.”
I consider protesting the use of the phrase butt paste for this query, because we aren’t looking for butt paste, we’re looking for bottom ointment, which is clearly very different. I do not actually voice the query. The person on the other line comes back quickly with an affirmative. We have butt paste! Go for butt paste!
And I’m off to Martin’s. It’s not far away from home, which is the reason we’d rather go there. Once I get there I arrive timed perfectly with a car leaving a very choice parking spot, which I wait for. The driver of the other car, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to get that I want her parking spot, and keeps trying to wave me on past her, thinking she’s being polite, and no amount of flailing and pointing at the empty goddamn parking spot on my part convinces her otherwise. So instead I park here:
And into Martin’s I go. To be greeted with a conundrum! Cute Cashier Girl is for some reason working at the pharmacy counter. Cute Cashier Girl, I hope to God, is in her early twenties. She’s a cashier, though! She’s not supposed to be at the pharmacy!
I cannot ask Cute Cashier Girl for butt paste. I’m gonna try and be all suave, like
but I know me. It’s gonna come off all
I cannot do this.
I spend a moment considering other options and can’t think of any. I approach the counter. She smiles cheerily and asks if she can help me, with no idea of the horror of the request I’m about to make of her.
“I’m looking for something called Dr. Sirlin’s Ointment?” I omit the word bottom, because I cannot say bottom to this lovely young lady. “I understand it’s supposed to be behind the counter for some reason.”
She looks quizzically at me, then looks around for a minute.
“I don’t see it. What’s it for?”
Don’t say butts.
“Diaper rash.” Ha! I win!
She lights up, smiling again. “Oh! You’re the butt paste guy!”
Oh hell no. I am a lot of things, Cute Cashier Girl, but I am sure as hell not butt paste guy. No. Uh-uh. No goddamn way.
The butt paste, apparently, is not behind the counter. It is actually in the baby aisle. I swallow what is left of my dignity and head for the baby aisle, knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt what is about to happen. And my worst fears come true:
God dammit. That, you will notice, is not Dr. Sirlin’s Bottom Ointment. That’s fucking butt paste. I don’t want butt paste. I want bottom ointment.
I pick up the box, cursing God and all creation, and return to the pharmacy counter. She’s still there, of course, it’s not like the goddamn baby aisle is that far away.
“I have a, uh, follow-up question?”
“Oh, okay!” oh god she hates me so much she’s actually got her bright cheery smile on her face, and a bit of a twinkle in her eye that suggests to me that she’s enjoying my pain.
“I assume you are the one my wife talked to.”
“She asked for Dr. Sirlin’s… (makes a face) Butt Paste. The stuff we want is actually called
Bottom ointment. I thought this might happen. Do you have the ointment? This isn’t actually what I’m looking for.”
She looks around again and then signals the actual pharmacist, who has been hiding behind a rack of drugs and trying her damnedest to keep a fucking straight face. The pharmacist confirms that, no, they don’t have Bottom Ointment. Just Butt Paste. So I have to go to the other place.
I thank her for her time and apologize for my own nonsense. Off to the car!
There are two reasons I don’t want to go to this other establishment. One I’ll get to later. The other is that they are a million miles away. They are literally not in the same town I’m in. I don’t want to go to another town for butt paste or bottom ointment. I want to be home, eating dinner. In my town.
But I love my wife, and I love my son, at least the non-butt parts of him. So off I go. I drive past this place on my way home from OtherJob all the time, so I know where it is, and I head there– to OtherJob, not quite realizing until it’s slightly too late that I drive past it on the way home from OtherJob, and for reasons that are not interesting I generally drive home from OtherJob via a different route than I take to get to OtherJob. So I’m going the wrong way.
Once I realize this and correct my course, I still manage to make two fucking wrong turns before successfully arriving at Pharmacy Two. On the way over to the pharmacy, it occurs to me that I am so fucking blogging this shit when I get home. I take a moment in their parking lot and compose an entertaining Tweet to that effect. Then I get out and go inside.
Well, I try to. As I’m reaching for the fucking door, an employee locks the fucking thing from the inside and points at a sign next to the door. The sign cheerfully informs me that this fucking place closes at six, as pharmacies do oh wait no they fucking don’t, ever.
I look at my watch.
It’s five fucking fifty-eight.
At this point my mood somewhat transitions.
I was entertained with this bullshit up until this exact fucking second.
You did not just LOCK A FUCKING DOOR IN MY FUCKING FACE TWO FUCKING MINUTES BEFORE FUCKING CLOSING AT A FUCKING ***PHARMACY***. It ain’t goddamn 1983 anymore. My fucking watch ties into a goddamn satellite that tells it what time it is. I can’t even adjust the motherfucker. It ain’t goddamn 6:00 yet, which means your ass isn’t fucking closed yet.
Listen, bitch, this ain’t fucking Barnes and Noble and it isn’t fucking Applebee’s. I am not fucking here to browse. You’re a pharmacy, motherfucker, and no fucker anywhere goes to a fucking pharmacy unless they motherfucking need to. I am there to get my shit and get the fuck out, and don’t you dare fucking thing for one fucking second that I can’t see that there is at least one motherfucker in there who isn’t dressed like he’s at fucking work.
I have two fuckin’ choices here. One is to go home. The other is to go to jail. Jail will no doubt feel better but either way there will be no fucking Bottom Ointment.
I went home and had dinner. A bit more research after dinner indicated that Dr. Sirlin’s Bottom Ointment is apparently produced by this pharmacy. It’s literally the only place you can get it other than the Internet. Well, fuck them.
Butt Paste it is. I return to Martin’s.
I collect my Butt Paste. I go back to the pharmacy counter, because I’m buying this with a damn flex account and it’s easier if we just use the pharmacy counter to buy anything medical-related. She’s still there, naturally. And she, I swear to God, says:
“There’s a story here, isn’t there.”
Oh sweetie. You have no idea.
(ADDENDUM: I didn’t include this in context because it kinda kills the tone of the piece, but the other reason I don’t like this pharmacy? They tried to kill my dog. My dog in high school/early college developed epilepsy, and rather than try to get a canine version of the drug they needed the vet just contracted through them to produce his medicine– which happened to be in liquid form. He was on the stuff for quite a while, and at some point we went in and got a bottle that was a radically different color and consistency than every other version of the medicine we’d gotten. The pharmacist not only argued with my mother about whether the medicine was different, at one point he actually said the words “Look, it’s just for a dog.” So this is the second time this place has nearly resulted in a member of my family going to jail. Merrill Pharmacy in Mishawaka, Indiana? Go fuck yourselves.)
(FINAL NOTE: As I was finishing this post up, my wife, who has been bathing our son, sticks her head into the office. “Hey, babe? There’s poop in the tub.” Because of course there is.)