Side of eggs

I went to get the vaccine on Monday.

Before receiving the jab there was all sorts of questions to answer and information to be given.

Like the possibility of some side of eggs

To someone like me who has previously reacted to having a needle days before getting it, such an incentive/reward is more than welcome, even as a vegetarian verging on veganism and not wanting any distractions.

True, it might well be unfair that anyone of a vegan persuasion would be without enticement, but as they say, never look a gift horse in the mouth. Trying to fight their (and possibly soon to be mine) battles for them in such a situation could only result in no side of eggs for me; it thus could be said, then, that I chickened out.

Likewise, I refrained from asking what the side of eggs would be precisely, thinking that any over-enthusiasm shown could result in none being offered whatsoever, having previously learned the hard way where that can lead (re having the door slammed in my face at the Brixton Academy just because Madonna was there; link below).

‘He’s just here for the side of eggs,’ all the staff/volunteers would conclude, and thus in no need of any vaccination incentive/reward at all.

Side of eggs; side of eggs; side of eggs: it was all everyone there could talk about!

They went on about them so much it was impossible to think of anything else, so questioning over and while stood waiting for the jab, I put the thoughts to good use by placing side of eggs possibilities into order of preference:

  • Scrambled
  • Easter
  • Fried
  • Boiled
  • Caviar
  • Kinder (banned in the U.S.A. despite assault rifles being legal; bullets considered too big for a child to choke on, while the parts of a Kinder toy, not)
  • Poached

Then, finally, I got to the person with the needle:

“Before I give you the vaccine, I must make sure you’re aware there’s a chance of side of eggs.”

“Look, I understand your concern given my irrational needle-fearing track record.”

She stared at me with big eyes (God knows what her nose and mouth were doing; she had a mask on). “I don’t know anything about that. Is there something I need to know first?” she asked.

“Actually, no,” I replied. “The less said the better. Last time it was spoken of, things didn’t end –”

“Done,” she rudely interrupted, having got up to stand by my side while I waffled.

Though don’t take that to mean I didn’t feel it like so many have claimed. It went in around the ‘less’, but being mid-sentence and not wishing to be rudely interrupted, I continued; not that it made much odds in the end.

My phobia of needles, which I managed to overcome five times for earrings, but wouldn’t dream of a tattoo, features in The Medusa Protocol, when ‘She’ points out Stud’s hatred of heroin is misguided as it’s the method of delivery he really despises, not the drug.

Once, knowing a needle would need to be rammed through the outer layer of my skin in a couple of days’ time, the backs of my hands and forearms broke out in a rash. Things were at fever pitch for the phobia at the time; the previous occasion a needle had been stuck in me, it was big, many times and in my kneecap as that’s where the fluid that needing extracting was.

Years later when having a blood test, I mentioned the fear, only for the nurse to ask if there was anything in particular about needles that gave me the phobia.

“The thin end of the needle breaking off and floating away in my bloodstream to cause untold carnage, chaos and mayhem,” I replied.

Finally: I’d said it out loud! The irrationality of such an idea would be handed to me on a plate and the nasty little needle monkey would be off my back!

The nurse paused, looked thoughtfully at the ceiling, then replied, “Huh! I’d never thought of that; it could happen, I suppose.”

But I digress; and not only that but also onto a memory that makes me feel quiet queasy, hence the reason it’s better not spoken of.

Heading out of the jab zone, it was side of eggs time, and I was pretty sure the volunteers ahead could tell how happy I was about that if the way they grinned back at me was anything to go by (these guys wore face shields for any of the super continuity minded that might be out there; whereas I, on the other hand, have very smiley eyes; note surname, etc).

But passing them and turning the corner, I found myself stood not in an area for side of eggs eating, but instead outside in the car park, no side of eggs in sight!

Turning to remonstrate against the fowl trick, I found myself faced with the strongest of ‘Covid: No Entry; Follow Arrows’ signs.

It was then that the true and full genius of the scheme fell into place, explaining the smug carefree grins of satisfaction as I exited.

If I wanted to go back for the side of eggs, I’d have to go through the whole getting a jab process again. Hinting at side of eggs is plenty incentive for people to get the jab; the idea of having another one just to find out why exactly the side of eggs had been withheld, plenty incentive not to bother; especially as I didn’t imagine there would be two side of eggs for the double jabbing.

It was the perfect subterfuge; not a single egg had to be bought or harmed in the process of the vaccination, so in a way a massive victory for vegans (and hens/eggs) after all.

But seriously (I was being serious about the needle story and what the nurse said, btw), the place I had to go was a hall with terrible acoustics. What with my hearing and the screens, visors and masks, I could hear people on the other side of the room fine, while hardly a word of the person asking me all the questions; at numerous points, it did sound like side of eggs had been said.

Amused by the tricks my slight deafness and tinnitus can play on me, I set about saying side of eggs instead of side effects to anyone I spoke to about the ordeal receiving the vaccination from that point on, and you know what: not a single person realised. The brain expects to hear side effects, so it does. I’ve been amusing myself with side of eggs ever since, and thanks to the mask no one can see me snigger.

Try it; it really is something to see the look on someone’s face when telling them that, actually, you wouldn’t mind side of eggs when getting the vaccine. 

My sincere thanks to all volunteers and staff involved with this massive vaccine roll out.

This post is dedicated to Dan Reynolds, who very sadly passed away last week. R.I.P. x

Photo taken by Chris Park, 2019, at Limmara and Marc’s wedding.

Other posts:

Thanks for reading 🙂

N. P. Ryan

Image credits can be found by clicking on/tapping the image.

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