**HAPPINESS IS LIFTING A STRAY PIECE OF PAPER FROM ALL THE OTHER STRAY PIECES OF PAPER BESIDE THE COMPUTER AND DISCOVERING A LONE CHOCOLATE BULLET THAT SURVIVED THE GREAT OVERWORKING JUNK FOOD FRENZY OF THE WEEKEND**
I worked late back at the art school this evening, later than I'd expected, but I was elbow-deep in inky type at the time I said I'd go home, and there was no way of stopping until all the ink had done its work.
I had been charged with the job of obtaining more cough medicine on the way home. Best Beloved has his lurgy today. In the past I have called this the Man Flu, but actually factually it is some horrid lurgy all of his own, devised by someone from the tenth circle of hell, and he falls prey to it at least twice a year. It follows a set pattern, and one of the main symptoms is a foul mood. He is normally very pleasant man, but when he wakes up sounding gravelly and grumpy, I run a mile. As long as he has his bed, a bottle of whiskey (he swears the fumes help) and a bottle of this particular cough medicine and a gameboy, he is ok. But ask him a question, try to tell him a joke, wonder what the weather is doing, and you get a very rude and exasperated reply. He doesn't want sooky treatment, he doesn't even want to see your face, he just wants to curl up, sniff whiskey and die. Alone. With the occasional cuppa brought to him. So I tend to stay out of the way.
So. I'd worked late. There was a good chance that all the shops that stock his favorite cough medicine were closed, which would guarantee a really grumpy evening. Oh noes!
Luckily, just down from the art school is a new complex of student residencies. It has a Scottish name, which is very odd because everyone who lives there is Asian. Underneath the ressies is a bunch of shops, one of which is an Asian food store. It's not a fancy store, but every time I go there, it has what I want, and more besides. I went in once to buy some afternoon tea and came out with a very sharp mini-cleaver bought for $3 that is fabulous for chopping herbs. The best thing about the store is that it sells milk, and it's open really late and it's on my way home.
I went in and asked the man behind the counter if he had cough mixture, the one in the box with the nice pictures. He instantly reached for the box of Benadryl behind him.
No! no! the one next to it... his hand hovered over the box I meant, and then moved back to the Benadryl. No, I wanted the other one... yes! The one with the Chinese man on it. Thanks!
As he handed me the box of Chinese cough medicine, he said
Can I ask, how do you know about this medicine?
My auntie studies Chinese medicine, she says it is very good, and we now like it, it works very well.
Ah... that's interesting, because...
...because you don't look Chinese.
Heh. I don't know why, but that made me laugh all the way back to the car. Back at home, I blessed the store for its flexible retail hours, as BB made a grab for the box, and headed back to bed, leaving me to enjoy Spucks&Spacks in peace. I tell you what, if I could have an album of Don Walker's best Chisel songs sung by Jimmy Barnes' brother John Swan, I'd be the happiest woman in the world. Just putting it out there in the universe, you just never know your luck...