I was motoring along a Kitchener, Ontario freeway on Saturday morning. Ahead of me waited Lydia Ko and the LPGA golf tournament. All was well, except for my lips. Four days of sun had dried them to a crisp, and they were starting to hurt.
Blistex. The wonderful ointment that soothes and softens. And the tube was back in my B&B bedroom, forgotten on the dresser. Oh, silly man.
No worries. There must be a drug store around here somewhere. I remembered that the freeway frittered out at one point, with traffic slowing down through a littering of big box stores. There’ll be Blistex somewhere amid the rectangles.
First though, I spotted a furniture store ahead – The Brick. At their store in London I had recently bought an off-white bedroom suite for my condo. Forsaking the urgency of peeling skin, and completely forgetting the marvelous person who is Lydia Ko, I pulled into the parking lot, hoping to visit another incarnation of my suite. And there it was, in the double bed model. I touched the wood. I opened the drawers. I drooled.
On my way out of the store, I asked two fellows if there was a drug store handy. “Costco has one. It’s just down the road.” Thank you, my esteemed sales associates.
A few twists and turns later, I walked into consumer paradise. I had my doubts about the Blistex since everything seems to come in Grade A Large at Costco. I approached a druggie (I mean a drug department employee) to find that the tiny tube I sought hadn’t made it into inventory. My lips groaned. I asked her if she knew of another drug store nearby. She smiled and drew me a map, featuring a return to the freeway, a long looping road, and a few traffic lights.
My lips pursed as I followed the lovely young woman’s directions. I kept looking for Shoppers Drug Mart on the left but there was nothing. Then a “Pharmacy” sign on the right. I veered in. Smacking my lips in anticipation, I approached the counter. “No, we don’t stock that product. Sorry.” (Sigh)
Back on the road again, I squinted for a Shoppers. And finally it appeared. There was even a “Lip Balm” aisle. I walked down it, glancing left and right. Nothing again. Finally, I noticed a rotating display. I twirled … and there it was: my sacred tube of Blistex.
Out in the car, I applied liberal amount of the goo, coming perilously close to the underside of my nose and my chin. All was right with the world. Except for my cell phone sitting awkwardly in the left pocket of my shorts. I reached in to adjust things. My fingers touched something soft. It was a tube.
Although my intention had been to follow the sweet Lydia Ko for all eighteen of her holes, I managed to see just four.
Strange, this person
Strange, this life