We arrived at the bed & breakfast in the Berkshires and my headache had worsened. Forgot to pack some Advil. Damn. I went in the front door of the inn and an old man asked if I needed help.

“Hi, I was wondering if you had any aspirin?”

“Well I dunno. Let’s see what she has!”

Well that’s odd, I thought, assuming there was a little store inside — or at least those little individual packets for sale. Must be the owner of the inn. Maybe “she” runs the shop in the lobby. He led me to a large living room where an old woman sat in a chair by the fireplace.

“This gentlemen is looking for some aspirin.”

“Hmm, lemme see,” she said, as she plunged her left hand deep into her left pants pocket. She must’ve fished around in there for a good 20 seconds.

“Ah ha! I found one,” pulling something out. She then carefully tipped her hand so the pill would softly fall into the old man’s palm (so that he could walk over to me and do the same).

pillI looked down at a single white pill in my hand. *U-489* was imprinted on it (or something like that), with no other clue that this was indeed an over-the-counter pain reliever.

I clenched my fist around it and said, “Thanks”.

“Come prepared!” the old man shouted as I walked down the steps outside, firing the mysterious pill into the bushes.
I’ll never leave home without aspirin again.