The Shot


Prior to travelling to China I was advised to take certain precautions. The first suggestion was a Hepatitis vaccination. I did this Wednesday. I asked about the pills. I’d seen them advertise on TV. I was told it would be a shot. I was reluctant but I over came it. But when I got to the doctor’s office it turned out that two shots were required. They decided to through in Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio. Whoopee. I don’t like shots.

The nurse was really quite pleasant about the whole matter. She had an eastern European accent, that I placed in some former soviet block country. Her appearance was a cross between the nurses one might expect to see in either “a Clock Work Orange” or “One Flew Over the Coo Coo’s Nest.” I placed her in some ex-soviet concentration camp for political prisoners. She had the smile. As she pointed the implement of my doom, needle-first towards the ceiling, and ejected what air their might be in the tip with a quick squirt of the medicinal fluid she announced, “don’t worry, I have practiced on grape fruits.”

When I regained consciousness, the ordeal was completed, but I was left with two sore arms.

The next suggestion was taking some protection against the “runs.” This involved the consumption of some clear and colourless liquid packaged in a little vial and so it tasted.

Bear in mind, the last time we went to China we didn’t do any of this and we survived without incident.

So why this time? Well, we are venturing outside of the larger cities and we are a little older and may be more susceptible.

In any case, the medication for the “runs” included a rather lengthy and obscure set of instructions in a very small font. One half of the material is copied below. All I really wanted to know was how to consume it. The documentation reminded me of system documentation that a computer programmer might produce. Technically correct, complete, and concise, but with the key information deeply buried. “Really, you have to read the whole thing” was what I’m sure the author thought. It leads me to conclude that technocrats exist in every field, not just those involving the computer.


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