The Wide Angle: The fact remains ­— no sucker

Published 6:30 am Saturday, April 3, 2021

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I have received the Blessing of St. Science.

That’s right. On Thursday I received my first of two Moderna vaccine shots courtesy of Mower County Health and Human Services — and I didn’t even cry.

Granted, I don’t feel invincible and my arm throbbed for a bit, but for the sake of everybody around me, I kept the whining to a minimum. At least the kind lady giving me the shot was impressed by my fortitude -— and maybe a little disappointed?

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It was a nice feeling to be sure, knowing that I now fit the welcome cliche, “getting back to normality.” And I can attest to a certain kind of relief, and yet I didn’t celebrate a whole lot, even when the giver of shots issued her “congratulations.”

I mean, where’s my sucker?

I suppose we should offer some backstory as to why I’m simply yelling out, “Where’s my sucker!?” On the surface, it probably seems a little weird.

Back in the good ole days of being younger than I am now, the torturous trip to the doctor or the dentist was muted somewhat by the knowledge that at the end of whatever pains I knew to expect, I was to receive a treat of some sort.

I suppose it was bribery in the hopes that the medical professional could freely do what he or she needed to do without the extra migraine of screaming children.

Luckily for all parties, I was perfectly okay with the dubious act of bribery and so gleefully accepted the bribe in what I can only imagine was the early days of my criminal background.

Let me tell you of my brazen theft of a bag of M&M’s from Gene’s Service Station just down the street from where I lived in ye olden days. I do this in the hope that I have thwarted capture by holding out through the statute of limitations.

What would that be for M&Ms I wonder?

This was a job for a well-honed gang of master thieves as my friends distracted and I filched the bag of candy. It was a heist for the ages and it would be years until anybody was keyed into my crimes … mostly because I hid the bag out of fear of what the coming interrogation might be and the amount of grounding I could be looking at.

Minimum sentence was 5-10 days grounding and as much as no TV. Serious punishments to fit serious crimes.

I found the bag nearly five years later and looking back, I’m pretty sure Gene knew I was the mastermind.

So with that backstory of crime and greed, you now know why I could take a bribe for just sitting still.

These were the days when the sucker, a flat disc of hardened candy, was stuck on a looped handle. It rarely lasted all the way home and usually broke before I could get it out of the bag.

On the flip side, the dentist usually gave me a toothbrush (whoa there buddy, let’s not have too much fun here) and perhaps a toy. I never could convince him of the ironic fun of giving me candy after a visit.

I thought I had the hygienist on my side, but she proved to be just as lacking in fun as my dentist, unlike my doctor of those days who gleefully gave me suckers.

Either way, the central point here is, without sounding too much like a complainer, after suffering through 2020 and slogging through the sludge that is 2021, perhaps handing out suckers might be a nice little treat.

So for those giving out the shots — I prefer the orange suckers when it comes time for my second shot.

And just so you know, the Austin High School senior class of 2018 gave me a bag of carmel apple suckers just for saying something on Twitter, so … orange.