July 15, 2009:

"Remember that I'm allergic to lasiks."

Elderly man with a walker, heavyset, ruddy complexion. Looks overwhelmed, like he's having trouble processing too much input. His thin, anxious little wife wants to take care of him but is visibly flustered.

"I'm sorry?" The pharmacist doesn't understand.

"Lasiks. I'm allergic to lasiks."

Polite bewilderment. The pharmacist doesn't comprehend how to help them.

The wife tries to take charge, but communication fails. "He can't wear anything lasiks," she says slowly, emphasizing the word as you might to a foreigner speaking English hesitantly. "He's allergic."

A bystander has it sussed, saying to the stressed-looking pharmacist, "Latex. He can't wear latex."

The pharmacist seems relieved. The wife is thankful.

The gentleman is having trouble taking it all in. "Too much," he says, sitting down dejectedly. "Too much all at once."