It was a major relief for LMU students when the school announced that COVID-19 vaccination appointments were available on campus. I survived to tell my story.
Personally, after weeks of unsuccessfully calling Walgreens at 9 p.m., hoping I could receive a leftover dose before they closed an hour later, I reversed aged by a year when I heard the news. The only problem was that the available appointments on campus were fully booked within 30 minutes of being posted, so I put myself on the standby list for extra doses. When the call came, I decided that I would document my experience receiving the vaccine on campus so that those in a similar situation would know what to expect.
I was told to report to the Burns Rec Center at 2:45 p.m., so like the lazy little pig that I am, I showed up at the campus' back gates at approximately 2:44:35 p.m. When I presented myself at the gates, a shadowy figure in a cloak concealing their face greeted me, holding an hourglass in one hand and a lantern in the other. Considering my experience with LMU, I initially assumed this outfit was either due to some Jesuit observance or an experimental performance piece through the theatre program. I told them that I was on campus for a vaccination appointment.
“I see you have been summoned to join the coven of those betrothed to the needle of the Cov,” they said.
To which I responded, “Why are you talking like that?”
“I see to it that you shall pass,” the cloaked figure said. “Only if you are to answer a riddle, which you cannot dodge or fiddle lest you plan to be protected last: by way of Kanpai and the temple of crepe, an opening lays way to your vaccinated fate.”
“Are you telling me I have to go through the front gates?” I asked
“Go now!” they said, “quick! Before it is too late!”
“But why? Burns is right there,” I said, “I can see it, can’t you just let me in?”
Before I could finish my question, the figure dissipated into dust and was blown away with the wind.
Severely annoyed, confused and wearing flip flops, having not expected to walk more than a few feet on my vaccination journey, I walked my way to the front gates, arriving at approximately 3:01 p.m. As I stepped towards the security booth, a cloud of smoke appeared before me, from which a human-sized rabbit wearing a monocle and a 19th century top hat presented itself to me. Before I could convince myself that I had smoked opium earlier that morning, the rabbit spoke.
“So the reckoner’s riddle has led you to me,” said the rabbit. “I will receive my guest with giddiness and glee, only if he is able to address a quick inquiry: Beyond the gilded path of palm, past the fountain and sun-soaked lawns, resides a pupil, Snyder’s pawn, a major in economics and keeper of the Moderna wand. Where and whomst do I describe, the answer to which your fate doth lie?”
“I assume you’re talking about Michael, the student volunteer who called earlier and told me I could get vaccinated at Burns?” I said.
“Why do you return with a question of thine own? Have you no courage or pluck to show?” replied the rabbit.
“It’s Michael at Burns,” I said.
“Now do it in a rhyme,” said the rabbit.
“Michael at Burns said it is my turn,” I said, “and if I have to say it again, I will hurt you.”
“A saucy little minx, you are methinks. Now on your way, do not delay, or you’ll lose your spot in the matter of a blink!” said the rabbit.
“Wait!” I said, “can you at least give me a ride? It’s a long walk and you’ve got a golf cart.”
“No,” replied the rabbit. “I’m on break.” With this, he took off his top hat and monocle, put on a pair of sunglasses and drove off in a 2013 Hyundai Sonata.
I limped my way to Burns, arriving at locked doors at 3:23 p.m. I pounded on the glass until someone begrudgingly got up from behind the reception desk and came to receive me.
“What’s up, man?” they said.
“Are you Michael?” I asked. “The reckoner and that fancy rabbit sent me here to get a leftover dose! I was on the standby list!”
“Damn, sorry, my man,” he said. “We gave out the last dose 10 minutes ago. You should’ve been here earlier.”
I then proceeded to break down in tears while laughing maniacally. Maybe I’ll just show up 15 minutes earlier next time.