Katr and I were watching the Superbowl a couple of years back, because Katr likes the Superbowl and I like her. The New England Patriots were playing the Carolina Panthers, for whom Katr’s cousin Mitr is the defensive coordinator (which, coincidentally, was also MY title when I worked for the government! Well, the coordinator part, anyway. It’s not MY fault I was defensive, I was under a lot of pressure.) During a suitable break in play - or in the middle of a play, because who really cares, pass the nachos - I, curious Canadian that I am, asked my American-born love a geography question that had been puzzling me for some time.
“Where IS New England?” I say.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, what state is it next to?”
“Well . . . it’s . . . not really NEXT to a state . . .”
“Why? Is is on the coast?”
“What? Are you mocking me? Don’t make me get the atlas.”
“No, no . . . it’s just that New England isn’t actually a state, it’s a region made up of a bunch of states.”
“WHA? What about New England Clam Chowder?”
“Well, that’s like saying West Coast salmon.”
“OH MY GOD.”
There is a pause as Katr struggles to remember the six states that make up New England (she was born in Connecticut, which is one) and I struggle to let it sink in that NEW ENGLAND IS NOT ACTUALLY A STATE.
I mention this dazzling show of ignorance because I experienced a similar feeling earlier this week. I had decided that 5 years was enough time between annual physicals, so I finally got around to seeing my doctor. You don’t get a lot of love from Dr. Mafl, or even the time of day but she has a prescription pad and really great hair and doesn’t usually say anything about the size of your ass unless she’s obligated to do so by law. Also, she has oven mitts covering the stirrups on her table. The oven mitts have happy snowmen on them. It’s a good time.
I’ll spare you the details of my shy cervix and how Dr. Mafl can’t keep goldfish alive (a revelation that filled me with confidence, coming from my health practitioner) but suffice to say that . . . thank god that’s over. As a result of my visit, I got a prescription for some asthma medication, which I then took to Shoppers Drug Mart.
Before, when I got drugs, I wasn’t getting reimbursed, so I never really looked at the receipts - I just paid the $16 for my inhaler and went on my merry way. This time, though, Katr’s benefits were covering the drugs, so we decided that she would pay and then submit the receipts to the insurance folks. Being a more business-minded and curious creampuff than I, she actually looks at the receipt and then she says “Gee. $12. That’s a pretty big dispensing fee. Maybe we should go to a cheaper pharmacy next time.”
“Yeah. They charge you a fee for filling your prescription.”
I look at the receipt and sure enough, the inhaler I need was $4 but it cost me $16. $16!! Because Shoppers Drug Mart charges an EXORBITANT DISPENSING FEE. That’s right, Shoppers! I hope that someone at your organization is blog monitoring and that they register my disgruntlement! Printing out a couple of stickers, slappin ‘em on a couple of inhalers and telling me to rinse my mouth after puffing is not a $12 service. Was there a handjob? NO. Nevermind that I already got one from the doctor ("Cold hands, cold hands!” “Keep your feet on the mitts!")
I know that YOU probably all knew about the dispensing fee (although I remember polling my work colleagues about the New England question when it happened and discovered that 50% of them also thought it was a state - HA!) But this incident has inspired me to pick up where I left off on my pitch for a new CBC Radio show. I would call it “The Great State of New England - Things You Thought You Knew, But Don’t, Because You’re Not So Bright.” I’ll keep you posted.
Speaking of posting, many thanks to all you fine, fine folks who’ve been voting for this blog in the Favourite Lesbian, Bisexual Queer category this week at Blogs by Women! You guys . . . the love . . . it’s beautiful. The poll continues ’til Saturday and y’all can vote EVERY DAY, if you want to. And if you don’t, that’s cool too. Because there’s no pressure here. Just love. And donuts. Mmmm . . . donuts.
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