Saturday, June 21, 2008

It's raining cats, and dogs and parrots...

I work at a vet on Saturdays. It's generally relatively quiet, I sit back and help the clients who come in, read a bit of the oh-so-awesome stats books (there are actually two, one explains exactly HOW the tests work, and the other explains the logic behind using different tests and how to understand the results in a biologically-significant way), catch up on Mens Health and GQ by reading the copies left by Nick, who works during the week and discuss random stuff with my boss. Occasionally there is a rush of people, like with last weekend's feline leukaemia scare, or Puppy Day, when for some reason people all rush out and buy puppies on the same day. It's not a formal thing, it just happens, and I love it because I get to spend my morning being paid to cuddle cute little puppies.

This morning I rushed in slightly late. The robot a block away breaks regularly every saturday morning. It is green one way and red the other for hours at a time, and it's a main road, so people like me who come in on the red side and need to cross, get to play a fun little game of car-chicken trying to dash across in a gap while people around you hoot and swear and tell you you're irresponsible... until 15 minutes later when they're still sitting there and then they dash across and all the newcomers hoot and flash their lights and tell them that they're irresponsible drivers. Unfortunately if, like me, you get stuck behind someone who isn't aware of the saturday situation, there's not much you can do besides, hoot and flash lights at the person in front of you, who generally gets very flustered and refuses to move and gestures wildly. Until someone turning left or right sneaks across and then they begin to understand that it has been an awfully long red light, and not just becasue they were feeling uncomfortable because of the bad behaviour of the person behind them.

So I rushed in late, and started reading Men's Health. They came to the startling conclusion that if you stop exercising you gain weight! Apparently they did a study where they had a huge group of guys, and half of them stopped exercising and miraculously were out-of-shape after a few months, compared to the control group who ran 30 km a week. You learn something new every day! The sad thing is that as a girl reading mens magazines I can laugh. I know if I picked up the latest Cosmo I'd probably find out similar nuggets of information, but I would then be forced to be offended by their underestimation of the average women's common sense. Or I'd be saddened by the lack of common sense that prompts girls to buy said magazines. At least I know from experience of many afternoons of reading Heat with Joey, that very few people actually read the words, and it's all about the pictures after all.

So back to the story... I barely had time to read 20 pages of the magazine before the floodgates opened and hundreds of people with cats and dogs arrived. The phone rang and rang and rang and I was helping people, filling out vaccination books, answering the phones, having discussions about cat collars (with an adorable little boy and his dad), getting bitten by a bull terrier ("he's such a sweetheart! He won't bite you!" Hah!) and so on. It didn't stop until half an hour after my shift had officially ended!

Actually it ended 5 minutes after the end of my shift and then some moron came in and insisted to talk to the vet about cat food, but the vet was operating on a dog that was bleeding everywhere and he wanted to go into the theatre and chat to the vet. I said no several times and he refused to listen until the vet came to see what all the noise was about. The guy was pretty loud! Unfortunately in the meantime a bunch of people drove past, saw him inside and went "Oh good! The vet's open!" and rushed in. While on the phone I had a hysterical girl with a sick cockatiel who refused to take him to the only bird specialist in about 50 square kilometres. The vet in question is really nice, and actually treats my birds, but I was unable to talk any sense into her so I think she may have gone off to pretoria with her sick bird.

By the time I got home I was so pumped up on the adrenaline that I literally fell over and had to take deep calming breaths. And the watch House until I fell asleep. Still gives me weird dreams! better than Malaria-prevention medicine!