Monday, October 13, 2008

A shot in the dark

Today's horror story concerns Howard's flu shot. Saturday, Howard and Ron Moss went to get flu shots at a CVS in Tonawanda.

Moss got his shot without incident. That is news in itself because usually Moss creates a scene wherever he goes. He kept asking health workers if they knew Len Lenahan, "overweight union boy," but other than that, Moss got his shot and was outside sitting placidly at the bus stop by the time Howard emerged.

Howard emerged with no shot! That is the horror of this story.

It turned out that the folks giving the shots -- Maxim Health Systems -- did not take Blue Cross/Blue Shield due to some complicated inside-baseball explaination that involved billing disputes. So Howard, after sacrificing a good chunk of his Saturday to go to this silly CVS, was turned away.

Fie on these workers! Fie!

Back to Moss and his questions. The health workers said they didn't know Len Lenahan. But I met Len Lenahan once. I met him at the Batavia rest stop. My friend Anne and I stopped there on the way back from this goofy Christina Aguilera concert I had to cover. This was some time ago.

Len Lenahan is one of those names in Buffalo everyone tosses around so much that you are mildly astonished to find there is a face that goes with the name.

Now I am at a crossroads as I write this blog. I could go with famous men named Len, which could take me in the direction of Leonard Pennario, where I always like going, or Len Hoeglmeier, the great bartender I know from his days at the Lafayette Tap Room.

But I think I will go the other direction, to famous rest stop stories. There is one that is almost supernatural.

I had just bought my house here in North Buffalo. This was something like 15 years ago. And I bought my house from someone distinguished, one Dr. John Higgins, who was president of Medaille College. My house was, ahem, once the Medaille College president's residence. Now, college presidents live in mansions the size of the Taj Mahal. This was not always the case.

Dr. Higgins and his wife were nice although we had the usual back-and-forth haggling during the sales process. I remember they left me a brand-new toothbrush on the bathroom sink. I thought that was so cute.

Anyway, I had been living in the house maybe a week or two when my brother George and I went on a road trip, to I forget where. All I remember is, we pulled into a rest stop in South Bend, Ind. And guess who was there?

Dr. Higgins!

Isn't that strange? George saw him first. "That's Dr. Higgins," he said. "Dr. Higgins!" He waved toward Dr. Higgins, who seemed bewildered to see us. Well, we were bewildered to see him, too!

What was he doing, at that rest stop?

A strange sighting indeed!

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