Debby: Hi, thank you for calling Purgatorio’s Specialty Pharmacy. My name is Debby, how can I assist you on this glorious and blessed day?
Me: Um, okay, sure. So I got a text saying it’s time to refill my daughter's medication.
Debby: I would be delighted to help you with that! Can I get your daughter's name, date of birth, address, phone number, social security number, favorite color, the last time she pooped, her grade on last week’s Geometry test, shoe size, favorite Pokemon character and lastly, any new allergies?
Me: I just need a refill. She’s been on this med for 15 years. Do you really need all that information?
Debby: Let me check with the pharmacist.
Twenty minute hold while Kenny G performs “Hark the Harold Angels Sing” and “Who Let The Dog’s Out.”
Debby: The pharmacist does indeed need not only all of that information but because there has been a manufacturer’s change to this med, she will also need to know if your daughter has had any hospitalizations, new medications or new injuries due to a fall from a glacier or cherry picker? Or has she traveled out of the country to regions where people still speak Latin or Middle English?
Me: Nope. No changes. No falls. No, um, Latin or dead languages.
Debby: Okay, that’s good. Any new friends? Enemies? A boyfriend, and if so, is he a good boy, does he have any tattoos or a criminal record? Has your daughter experienced any side effects from this medication, or from the present Presidential administration? Any mood swings or seemingly uncontrollable eye-rolling when asked to practice her violin or do her homework?
Debby: Does your daughter currently have any of this medication on hand and if so how many days would you say?
Me: Not much, which is why I'm calling...for a refill.
Debby: Okay, um, does your daughter prefer homemade Mac n’ cheese to boxed? Has she ever experienced peer pressure and if so, I will need the names of so-called friends as well as their social security numbers, names of first pets, if their parents are still married or ever were and if anyone in your family or extended family has ever suffered from PMS or been a member of the Jelly of the Month club?
Me: OMG, can I speak to the pharmacist? This is really getting invasive. We just need a refill.
Debby: Sure sweet pea, honey bunches of oats, let me just connect you to the pharmacist.
Forty five minutes of Kenny G’s rendition of the musical “Oklahoma!”
Me: (loudly singing) When I take you out in my surry, when I take you in out in my surry with a fringe on top!!!
Pharmacist: I’m sorry?
Me: Nothing. Um, I just need a refill of my daughter’s meds but the amount of information I need to give is kind of ridiculous.
Pharmacist: I am so sorry about this. We’re experiencing higher than normal call volume so I’m going to place you on a brief hold.
An hour and a half of Kenny G’s rendition of Britney Spears “Oops I did it again” and “Here I Go Again” by White Snake.
Pharmacist: Sorry about that hold. I went to lunch at the new Applebee’s across the street. Did you know they have bottomless mimosas if you are in the medical profession or are born in a month that starts with U?
Me: Are you kidding me? Literally no months start with U. What is going on? I just need to order my daughter’s meds!
Pharmacist: Where were we? Oh yes, just gathering some VERY basic information for the refill. Oh shoot, my computer just shut down. Oh no, it’s on. I’m just drunk. Okay, I’m afraid I’ll need to get everything the previous rep had as well as the following: When was the last time your car was serviced?
Me: My car? This is a refill for my daughter’s specialty medications!
Pharmacist: Oops, sorry about that. I moonlight as a mechanic. Right, oh dear. Oh noooo.
Pharmacist: Your insurance is saying that it no longer covers this medication because their lobbyists completely run the government and they can do whatever the hell they want to do so they charge 1000 times more than any other country. Guess we should’a voted for Bernie am I right?
Me: Okay, so how much is it out of pocket?
Pharmacist: I’m going to need to place you on a very brief hold.
Three hours, twenty seven minutes of Kenny G playing “Love Hurts” by Meatloaf and “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.”
Pharmacist: Sorry about the long wait. I totally forgot about you and I’ve been playing FarmVille. Okay, so not great news. Your out-of-pocket is $4,893,430 and 21 cents.
Pharmacist: I do have a coupon for $5.00 off if you respond to a survey at the end of this call. Will that help?
Me: Is there a generic, anything?
Pharmacist: Good question. Let me just place you on a brief…
Me: No, please, please. No more holds. If I hear Kenny G one more time, I will stick my head in the oven and Bell Jar this call!
Pharmacist: Okeedokee artichokee, looks like there is a generic, but it is only approved for albino orangutans living in a very small, protected area of Borneo. Does your daughter fit that description?
Me: No, my daughter is not an albino orangutan from Borneo.
Pharmacist: Well can I help you with anything else today then? Have you gotten your flu shot?
Me: Not yet.
Pharmacist: Alrighty then sweet plum sugar buns, it has been a pleasure serving you and please hang on for the brief survey that takes an hour and a half. And don’t forget to get your oil changed every 10,000 miles or yearly, whichever comes first.
Me: Right, flu shot, oil change. Got it.
Kenny G playing “Baby Shark.”