For whatever reason, dogs have never started their own pharmaceutical companies. I suspect it is because such an endeavor would cut into nap time. Conveniently, a large number of human drugs work just fine for our pups. So a few years back when Eko broke his toe, my vet sent me to the local pharmacy to pick up some medication to help him recover.
I cheerfully said hello to the CVS employee, slid the vet’s prescription across the counter, and politely asked the gentleman to have it filled.
“Patient name?” the employee asked robotically, turning to his computer.
Surely my dog hadn’t started an account at CVS, so I assumed the man was talking about me.
“Will…” I began
“Your dog’s name is Will?” the man asked, incredulous.
“No, I’m Will. But my dog doesn’t have a CVS account,” I explained
“These prescriptions aren’t for you,” he countered, as if I was trying to pull one over on him.
“Well, no, but are you saying my dog needs to come in here and fill these? Because I’m not sure how that would work.”
“No, your dog is not allowed in the store,” the humorless employee said.
The CVS employee and I then stared at each other for a very uncomfortable few moments.
“So can you fill them?” I tried again.
“Patient name?” the strange gatekeeper riddled again.
“Mr. Eko?” I guessed.
The automaton then began tapping away at his keyboard to create a pharmacy account for my dog.
“Patient phone number?” he asked, dead serious.
“Based on your interpretation of the previous question it seems like you are now asking for my dog’s phone number,” I began. “But my dog doesn’t have a phone, so is it okay if I just give my number?”
“Yes, that’s fine.” The man returned to his furious typing. “Patient Rewards Number?”
“I actually just moved here and I…he…we don’t have one. Could I open one today?”
“Yes. I’ll do it now.”
“Thanks. While you’re doing that can I ask why you’re entering my dog’s name and phone number into the system?”
“It’s important to track all pain medications to prevent opioid abuse.”
“If I’m understanding the situation correctly, in case my dog gets addicted to dope, drives to the veterinarian, convinces her to write him a prescription for pills, enters this store that he’s not allowed into and attempts to buy drugs – the system will catch him?”
“No, sir, the system is designed to catch you.”
“Well my name is Will and I actually happen to have the same phone number as my dog, so wouldn’t it be easier to put it under my name?”
Mr. Robot did not find my plan as brilliant as I did. I waited for Eko’s prescription and tried to decide if I was crazy or if that guy was. My best guess is that the correct answer is not mutually exclusive. I picked up the medication and my new CVS card and figured that either way I’d gotten the last laugh out of the situation.
That is, until the next time I visited a CVS, the employee swiped my rewards card, looked at me in confusion and said, “Your name is Mr. Eko?”