In other Words: Drive-by shots

OK, I confess: I have been involved in a drive-by shooting, and let me just say, I am guilty as charged. Please understand, I have already been doing time for nearly a year. And so, when I was made an offer to participate in this life-altering opportunity, I couldn’t refuse.

Thoughts filled my head: would there be after-effects, would I be a marked woman, or more importantly, would I survive the ordeal?

It was suggested that I dress casually, wear a mask and appear at a given time at a designated spot where the shooting would take place. There was nothing to fear, I was told. Easy-peasy. No weapons required. All I had to do was show up and act cool. Eventually, I got a grip, and I met up with a similarly masked person wielding a pointy object.

“This won’t hurt a bit,” I was assured. It would all be over in a flash. And so, with some trepidation I willingly succumbed. I got shot with no commotion and little fanfare.

After the deed was done, I was asked to join a lineup of cars and hang out for a period of time with a bodyguard close by, until I was deemed fit to split the scene with no questions asked. I could return to my home where I would lay low, my getaway car secure and safe, as I got back on the road none the worse for wear.

Thanks to my doctor’s wonderful, persistent and accommodating nurse, Tracey, who arranged for my drive-by shooting.

The big event took place at Lord & Taylor, the store where I once shopped, but which now had permanently closed its doors. Its parking lot has now morphed into the stomping ground for all those eligible to be shot up with the choice of two drugs: Pfizer or Moderna.

Status symbols have changed. What once evoked envy: a fancy car, a palatial home, an important piece of jewelry, has now shifted gears. The most prized and sought-after 2021 acquisition is the vaccine. And it doesn’t stop there. Pfizer and Moderna, each in competition with the other, have their own unique snob appeal. This topic is discussed with great passion and allegiance.

“Whadya get?” a friend asks when we check in with each other. “Pfizer,” I say, with an air of bravado.

“Mine is Moderna,” she tells me, boastfully.

But we have no choice in the matter. Drug users never argue. You simply keep quiet and get what your supplier offers. One woman was willing to drive to the Canadian border to get shot. Desperation and perseverance know no geographic boundaries.

Side effects have also become the discussion du jour. We analyze our mutual symptoms ad nauseam, deciding that whatever we experience are small prices to pay for social liberation.

My friend, Rita in Maryland, reports: “while many have suffered sore arms, fatigue and worse, I hallucinated about having appetizers with Tom Selleck, dinner with George Clooney and dessert with Sam Elliott.”

Not that we are fully unleashed. After our second shot kicks in, we are still in undercover mode, having to mask up and stay distanced, though at least we are now moving in the right direction where total immunity is our ultimate goal.

We sequestered souls follow in the scientists’ footsteps. We roll up our sleeves and partake of the golden elixir. We’d be fools not to. This is no time to be casual about life-saving drugs, which can ultimately change the trajectory of the pandemic.

And so, I drove over to Lord & Taylor, and I waited my turn to get my fix. And while this trip didn’t involve a shopping spree, I was here for the more serious business at hand: a drive-by shooting, to get us back to the Land of the shot at a time.

Westporter Judith Marks-White shares her humorous views monthly in the Westport News. She can be reached via email at or at