A boomer’s best bet for the vaccine… like… tomorrow?

If you want the vaccine, you probably want it ASAP. Like maybe, tomorrow?  Humor columnist Nick Hoppe, now retired from the San Francisco Chronicle, thinks he has a way to make it happen. He tells us about it with his tongue planted firmly in his cheek… we think.

I was making a list at the kitchen table the other day, and checking it twice. It wasn’t going to Santa, though, it was going to my doctor. My wife walked in just as I was finishing.

“Whatcha doin’?” she innocently asked.

“Well, with the Pfizer vaccine rolling out this week, I thought it would be wise to make a list for my doctor of why I should get vaccinated before most people. It’s going to be a rat race out there.”

Her reaction was pretty much what I expected. “That’s rather selfish of you.”

Nick Hoppe

“Everybody else is doing it,” I argued. “Just today the teacher’s union came out and said they should be next in line after health care workers. I don’t want to get shoved too far down the line.”

She rolled her eyes in that manner that is all too familiar to me. “What could possibly be on your list?” she asked.

I knew she’d want to know. I couldn’t wait to show her and the rest of the world how needy I was, so I handed her the list.

“Hmm. Over 65, that makes sense,” she said, quickly scanning my reasons, moving to #2. “But I wouldn’t call you ‘obese.’ You’re only eight pounds overweight.”

“It’s called marketing,” I proudly replied. “Just calling myself a little overweight won’t cut it. I have to be aggressive here.”

There went the eyes again. “Atrial fibrillation?” she asked. “You had that procedure 10 years ago and it cured your irregular heartbeat.”

“It can always come back!” I cried, amazed at her lack of sympathy. “I’m a walking time bomb!”

She crumpled the paper in her hands and threw it in the air. She didn’t want to see numbers 4-10, which mostly referred to joint pain and hair loss.

“There are people with serious underlying conditions that deserve the vaccine long before you,” she said. “You’ll just have to wait your turn.”

I was amazed that she would think I’m THAT selfish. “I would never jump in front of more deserving people,” I proudly said. “I just want to make sure I get some of the good stuff before it runs out.”

She couldn’t help herself. “I’m sure I’ll regret this, but please explain.”

“It’s simple,” I began. “Let me put it this way. Pfizer is clearly the McDonald’s of COVID-19 vaccines, and Moderna is the Burger King. But there’s at least another 24 going through human trials right now, and maybe 150 in development. If I’m not assertive, and Pfizer and Moderna can’t keep up with the demand, I could end up with the Dairy Queen of vaccines.”

“I see your point,” she replied, although I’m pretty sure she didn’t approve. “You want the tried and proven vaccine, instead of some upstart.”

“Exactly! Pretty soon we’ll be inundated with advertisements on the evening news from small competitors claiming to be the best and safest vaccine. I won’t have to deal with it, because I’ll be inoculated.”

She nodded slowly. “What about me?” she asked. “Are you going to just leave me behind?”

“Of course not,” I replied, aghast that she could think I was that insensitive. “The problem is that you are not even slightly overweight and have absolutely no health issues.”

I could see she was crestfallen, realizing that she’d be far down the line of recipients for Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. I told her she’d get something, sooner or later. It might be the Sputnik V vaccine from Russia, but that’s probably better than nothing. And it’s got a great name.

“Look at the bright side,” I said as she slowly got over my suggestion of the Russian vaccine. “Once I’m vaccinated, you’ll be comforted by knowing the love of your life is safe from this horrendous disease. I’m sure that will make your wait a lot easier.”

As expected, she pulled out a pen and paper and began making a list for her doctor. I peered over her shoulder and saw her first entry.

I’m not sure “homicidal instincts” is a reason to move up the ladder, but it’s worth a try.


Nick Hoppe’s latest book is, “Some Books Aren’t Meant To Be Sold: A Collection of Humor Columns“.


  1. I guess humor columnists never completely retire? Funny stuff, and timely, since airline workers just argued that they should be bumped up the list since they have to transport the vaccine…

    Thanks Nick! Laughter truly is an excellent medicine.

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