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“Hey Kid, You Want Some Vaccines?” Asks 1940s New York Criminal in Alleyway

scary alleyway

It was seemingly a night like any other. I was walking home from a Doily Allergen staff meeting (also known as $3 shot night at Summit) on a balmy April evening in Iowa City, and the weather was nice… too nice. As I stumbled my way back to my apartment I started to get the strangest feeling…. like I was being watched. I heard a wolf howl in the distance… strange for downtown Iowa City. I quickly got out my Doily Allergen standard-issue pocketknife (to protect ourselves against enemies of enterprise journalism), and began to walk slower and more decisively. Then, as I was walking past an alleyway, I heard the faintest “pssst” come from the dark corner of the alley. I swung around and said “who’s there?”, trying my best to sound like Geraldo Rivera so they’d get scared and leave me alone. That’s when I saw a shadowy figure emerge from the darkness. A tall man wrapped in a brown trenchcoat. He whispered again:

“Psst. Hey kid, you want a vaccine?”

He spoke in a New York accent, again odd for Iowa City, Iowa. But his offer was enticing. I had been unable up until that point to secure a vaccine appointment, and I was desperate. I stopped and gave a quick glance to make sure nobody was watching, then looked at the man and said, “What do you got?”

And then he opened his trenchcoat to reveal at least 25 syringes in the lining. “Oh, we gots everything. We gots Pfizah, Moydoyna, whatevah yous need,” he said with a sly grin. “Twenty bucks a pop, you in?”

I hesitated for a moment. Was I really about to accept a needle filled with a mysterious liquid from a random man in an Iowa City alleyway just for a taste of that sweet sweet efficacy and a sense of normalcy after a year of social isolation and depression? I thought for a moment…

“You sure that’s not just heroin?” I asked.

“Nah. These ones are definitely not heroin… or… wait… was this one… hang on a sec, kid” He then spent a few minutes laying out all of his needles on the ground and whispering to himself. I just stood there awkwardly, occasionally looking around to make sure no coppers were around.

“Ok gimme two Pfizer and a J&J,” I said.

It was only after I got home and had the most wicked night of my life that I discovered that it was indeed just heroin. Which was actually kind of a relief because for a minute there I thought the Covid vaccine just had the dopest side effects ever. Let that be a lesson for you kids: don’t do drugs, but also don’t let a strange man wearing a long trenchcoat in an Iowa City alleyway talking like a 1940s New York gangster stick a dirty needle in your arm just because he said it’s a vaccine. Also try not to get addicted to heroin, it’s not fun.


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