On Friday, I had blood drawn to get some lab work done. After the nurse finished, she tossed the used hypodermic needle into a plastic bin with all the others.
I looked in. The bin was nearly full, nothing but used needles.
Then the nurse said the strangest thing. “If there was a million dollars at the bottom of that bucket, would you put your hand in and grab it?”
Shudder. No. No I would not. I told her so.
“Really? Not even for a million dollars?”
Bear in mind, I’m a needlephobe, so I’m pretty impressed with myself already for having my blood drawn and not passing out. But all I said was, “It’s probably contaminated, isn’t it?”
“Oh, come on,” she said. “What are the odds you’re going to hit that one needle that’s contaminated?”
I confess, I had not heard this sentiment voiced by a nurse before.
“Would you do it?” I asked.
“Sure!” she said. “I’m fifty years old, I’m going to die soon anyway.”
I expressed my belief that the typical fifty-year-old is not likely to die soon. She just laughed.
I sometimes think these brief moments of strangeness and humor are part of the reason we’re alive.