How bored are you? You have watched television or your computer for six or seven months now. Your phone answering machine refuses to talk to you on account of backed-up messages from Aunt Clara warning you to wear your mask she knitted for you, and even your dog wants you to use soap on your hands and clean his dish. So, “Bunky, how bored are you?” I stole that phrase, that I was raised with, from my buddy, Frank Cullen. “Is that what’s bothering you Bunky,” is a snappy little video in black and white that is adorable. Work the googler and check it out.

However, the question remains, “How bored are you?”

If you have time read this, do something about the boredom—like get a flu shot.

Last Saturday Bill, my husband of only 48 years, that romantic, said, “We don’t have anything on, let’s get a flu shot.” It was more of a command. Now as a diabetic, I take a shot of insulin every day. The needles are sharp, and it really does not hurt. And did I mention it keeps me alive? But going to get a flu shot? Ick. But I always go. Bill was 33 years in the military, and whenever they went overseas, he and our two sons, Will and Tom, also members of the New Mexico Air National Guard, got shots for EVERYTHING. Consequently, I feel like a real baby to say, “No.” So off we went to Walgreens.

Smith’s pharmacy also has the shots for free. My brother, Arch, an Army veteran, swears Bill has the legendary Gladstone Gander’s luck. He has had (and still has) a perfect life. Argggggh! The shot did not hurt at the time but in about 10 minutes my arm was a little sore. The next day I had muscle aches. The next day I got the sniffles for about six hours. Nothing serious, but a pain for a truly little while. Bill, he was absolutely fine.

Do I think the shot is worth it? Yes indeedy! We don’t have a vaccine for “that which shall not be named,” but for the regular flu, why not? I also support pneumonia shots and shingles shots. My 99-year-old Grandma Irene, who lived to be 100, caught shingles in the last year of her life. Shingles comes from chicken pox when you were a kid. It hides along your spine and jumps out at you like a Halloween ghost in a painful costume. You break out and blister your torso. “Whooo Howdy,” it is bad. Most people know of pneumonia. There are several kinds, but only one shot.

Sad story—you remember one of our most famous founding father, Benjamin Franklin? I did not know this until I did research about smallpox, but they had a way of dealing with it in Franklin’s time. He was inoculated for smallpox. They got a string or thread and ran it across the open pus pockets of someone who had it and was going to live. They cut a little bit of your arm and ran the thread across the open wound. No lie that was how they prevented smallpox. He had a little boy, four, with Deborah Read and he wanted him inoculated. Francis or Frankie was sick with a cold, so they waited. He caught regular smallpox and…died. Franklin never got over it. Would you?

There is lots of talk on the internet, yes vaccinate, no don’t vaccinate. I had pneumonia; thought I might die. Now, at 73, I take the shots. I have already made it past what they tell you is a life span. I am washing my hands. I took my shots. And I am saying my nightly prayers. “Please Lord, let us get beyond this. Amen.” Roaring Mouse, praying during the day, too. Out.

Jo White
Jo White

From 1966 to 1971, Jo attended the University of New Mexico and Memphis State University, earning degrees in Communications, English, Journalism, Speech and Drama with history minors. At UNM, her hero was Tony Hillerman. She taught high school and middle school in city, country, and private schools for 30 years. Roaring Mouse is in its 25 th year. She can be reached at jomouse@aol.com