What a day!

After all those dark months in quarantine—you in your apartment, me in a box with 99 other flexible adhesive bandages—the big moment has finally arrived. You’re getting your COVID-19 vaccine, and I’m covering the injection site!

If I may take a moment before we begin, I’d like to say a few words about what a tremendous honor this is. As a young strip, I always dreamed I was destined for big things, like covering a knife cut on Mark Bittman’s finger, or protecting a scrape on Usain Bolt’s leg, or being forgotten in the side pocket of Beyonce’s purse.

This blows those fantasies out of the water.

My mother—that’s what we called the robotic arm that suctioned us one by one into our wrappers—always told us to work hard and keep our heads down, and we’d achieve big things. Look at me now, Mom!

The truth is, it’s been hard to believe that this moment would arrive. Band-Aid usage is down 36%, which experts attribute to people avoiding risky behaviors like having fun. I’ve had to keep reminding myself: AJ (my name’s AJ), you are not an ordinary Band-Aid. You are a Tru-Stay Sheer BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandage, and that ain’t nothing.

Sure, I may not be waterproof or racially inclusive or printed with Marshall from Paw Patrol, but dammit I offer lightweight breathable protection. And if this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that breathing should never, ever be taken for granted.

Which brings us to this magnificent, improbable moment, and—whoops, there goes my outer wrapping! Give a guy a little warning next time? Ha ha. Of course, there won’t be a next time.

Wow, it is cold in this clinic.

Where was I? Right. As we approach the moment of vaccination, we give humble thanks to Our Fathers, who art Johnson & Johnson, for giving us life and—oh hi! You must be the needle. Looking sharp! Ha ha. Get it?

But in all seriousness, it’s a pleasure to meet you, sir. I wish you a precise and productive poking today. We all have our part to play in this little drama.

What’s my part? Oh nothing too important, nothing too important. Well yes, I suppose you could call me a “first responder.” At the first sight of blood, I’ll be there. Ready and willing to throw my non-adhesive absorbent pad into the line of fire, to sacrifice my own body to live out my ultimate destiny: keeping this lady’s clothes from getting stained.

You’re leaving already? Goodbye! Good luck up there!

Here we go! Deltoid's coming into focus. Steady, steady. Whoa, almost got my sticky bits stuck together. Can’t have that. Ha ha. Ooh yes, there we go. Easy now, easy now. And…we have placement. Yes! AJ is in position!

We doing a selfie? Hell yeah, girl! Now a silly one.

Goodbye, 99 brothers and sisters still waiting for your time in the sun! I’m off to see the world! Can you believe it? Me, an essential worker’s bandaid! A selfie star! Gosh, I wonder how many likes I’ve gotten. Not that I'm only in this for the—hey, what are you…?

Wait, no. What the hell, lady, I just got here!

Whoa. WHOA.

Help!

No no no no no. Not a trash can. Not a hospital trash can. This can't be real.

Of course, you hear rumors in the variety pack, but I never thought that I…dear god, is that a toe?!

Man. Fuck 2021.


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