A co-worker came and stood in my doorway and started talking, fast, really, really fast. This lady is excellent at her job and has a good sense of humor. She is normally somewhat reserved and by all accounts is a highly ethical, together and classy person. She was going office to office handing out a pile of new phone books. Normally, she is NOT a morning person and certainly not a big talker early in the morning. In fact, she usually has an invisible wall around her until about 9:30 AM when the glaze disappears from her eyes after having a cup of coffee or two.
She was wearing glasses, which I’d never seen her wear before except to read. As she talked in NASCAR Jimmy Johnson speed, she asked, “Do you wanna a new phone book?”
I was about to answer, but she started talking at 70 mph and gathered speed. “I don’t know why they print so many of these phone books because I have three different ones in my desk and I don’t even know which one to use and one of these days these phone books will be obsolete anyway because I just look up everything on the internet, which is suuuuch a wonderful, amazing thing to be able to look something up by just typing in a name and it pops, just right up on your computer screen, it just pops the name and phone number right up on the screen. It’s like, magic!”
She paused for a pit stop breath while I agreed the internet would eventually make the phone book a thing of the past. Having had a breath, her tongue tires left rubber on the road, “Oh! I know! But I can’t even read the little words in there without my reading glasses! So without my reading glasses, it’s already obsolete for me!” (That was a pretty funny line actually.)
But then she hit overdrive, “But my eyes are getting worse all the time! I’m standing here looking at the phone book on your desk and I can’t even read a big word on it! And you! You look blurry too! Oh my gosh! I’m going to have to start wearing glasses! I don’t want to wear glasses! That would mean I’m getting old!”
I realized what her problem was and suggested she take off her reading glasses when not reading. She snatched them off and bellowed, “Ah! Bahahahaha! No wonder I can’t focus!” and laughed hysterically for a good thirty seconds.
She rounded the corner of the race track and hit the straight away again. “I don’t know if you can tell or not, but I got less than two hours of sleep last night?!” I only got one word in, “Why?” because that’s all I could say before she started her next diatribe.
Here’s her answer:
“Well, my younger sister called me last night about 9:00 o’clock panicking and asked me to come over because she wasn’t feeling well. She said she had been to the doctor because she was sick, so I went right over there. She has the flu! So, she went to the doctor yesterday at 2:00 and he gave her a prescription for Tamiflu, which she had filled. She took a Tamiflu at 3:00 PM, now get that, 3:00 PM! About an hour later she still felt bad so she took two Excedrin Migraine tablets! Well those have caffeine in them and they’re not for the flu anyway. Anyways, she was all over the place! She was fidgeting all over the place and couldn’t sit still and was talking ninety to nothing.” (The irony of that statement didn’t escape me, although it hadn’t dawned on her that she was doing the same thing.)
“Well my sister was doing laundry when I got there! Laundry of all things! With the flu! Laundry! I told her, ‘You go lay down’, but she said she couldn’t sit still. I asked exactly what else she had taken and she said she took one Zyrtec and a Phenergan for nausea at five o’clock! Can you imagine? Well I told her that wasn’t a good idea, not a good idea at all! And then! Then she tells me she started reading the prescription on the bottle of Tamiflu and it said she was supposed to take two a day.”
She starting laughing hysterically again, took a quick breath and sped on. “Get that? Two a day! Well she took another Tamilfu at 5:30 because she said she wanted to follow the doctor’s prescription and take it BEFORE it got dark so it would be in the day time!! They’re supposed to be twelve hours apart for crying out loud and she’s got all this medication in her!!”
I laughed at that too as she raced on, “Hey! She was born blonde, but she’s a natural brunette now! So I don’t know what in the world the ditz was thinking taking all that medication at the same time! The way she was acting, I told her I think you need to go to the ER! So we did. And then we had to wait an hour in the ER waiting room! An hour! And the whole time she was acting like a meth addict! Every couple of minutes she kept going to the door and looking outside to see if it was still raining and if it had gotten any colder. Finally about 2:00 AM we get to talk to the doctor and he asked what all she had taken and she told him and I think the doctor wanted to bust out laughing, but he didn’t. But then! Then she tells him she had also had a cortisone shot in her knee at her doctor’s office earlier in the day! And while she was there, she got a hormone shot too! She never told me that!! She’s nuts! Just nuts! What was she thinking?! The hospital looked up everything and they told her she was very, very lucky and not to ever do that again! We finally got out of there at 4:00 in the morning and my sister went straight to sleep when we got to her house! I’ve had less than two hours of sleep!”
Laughing about it all she said, “Only my sister would do something like that! I swear, she’s my sister, but we’re nothing alike! And now she’s home asleep and I’m afraid I’ll crash this afternoon, but I feel perfectly fine right now.”
I assured her she was much more talkative and animated than usual (which was an understatement). I made a big mistake by giving a scientific reason. She just stared at me with a big Ronald McDonald grin. I told her not getting enough sleep causes a buildup of toxins in the prefrontal cortex of the brain and inhibitions drop, similar to junior high girls giggling uncontrollably late at the night during a slumber party, or someone who drinks and starts singing when they would’ve never sung otherwise.
Half joking, half serious, she gave me a what happens in my prefrontal cortex stays in my prefrontal cortex look, and said, “I’m fine. Thank you!” and marched on down the hall passing out phone books.
About an hour later I walked up to the front of the office. She was much more zoned out now, and looked like she could curl up and go to sleep. She was searching everywhere on her desk and papers mumbling about losing her reading glasses. I just smiled and told her I hope she finds them, figuring sooner or later she’d realize she was wearing them again. Who knows. Maybe it just runs in the family!