Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Dentist. Plumber, Doctor. Car Dealer, Vet

The Dentist will most likely be genial and/or low keyed. She will be want you to be relaxed, unafraid, and at ease.

But sooner or later the Dentist or her hygienist will let it slip. “You have the worst teeth in all of Christendom, and you will need very expensive treatment”.

The Plumber will arrive late. Sometimes it will be many days late. He (and it’s still mostly he) will be overweight and surly. You will gain the impression that he hates being a plumber, and that he’d rather be a world famous author.

You’ll blubber out the problem. He’ll look at you as if you were speaking in tongues. He’ll take a cursory look. Then will come the sharp intake of breath through his teeth.

At that moment you’ll know that his work will cause you to take out a second mortgage.

You like your Doctor. She listens well as you describe your symptoms. She’ll ask the right questions, and hone in on your problem with amazing guesswork or accuracy. This is fine.

But then you remember what happened two hours previously. Her staff would have resented your entrance into her office since you were interrupting matters more important than a patient’s health. They will have looked at you accusingly, and then made you pay for your impertinence by asking you to sit in a penal waiting room until at least one hour after your scheduled appointment.

Hope will spring as you are called into the examination room. An assistant will take your temperature and blood pressure and assure you “the Doctor will be with you soon”. You wait, and wait and wait. There are no 1978 “Readers’ Digest” magazines in the room. There is nothing in this room but an examining table, an uncomfortable chair, a sink, and some charts of body parts.

And after another hour, the Doctor whom you adore will breeze in with an “I am sorry to have kept you waiting”, and your anger melts as you realise that she has come to you after saving the life of the President of Turkmenistan.

The Car Dealer will be your best friend from the moment you enter the showroom. He is full of wit and bonhomie, and you’ll begin to think “I’d like to have a few brews with this dude”.

It’s a trap, and you know it. But you cannot resist being sucked in by this now “long time friend”. Already you want to be a godparent for his children, and you know that you’ll be asked to give the eulogy at his funeral.

You are but scarcely aware of the dollars being sucked from your wallet as you purchase the car you never wanted or needed. It’s not until three weeks later that you realise that you’ll be in hock for at least four years. And you never, ever, never want to see that Car Dealer again.

If only Veterinarians could take care of your teeth, plumbing, health and automobiles.

For (as happened to me today) as you enter the Vet’s Office you are greeted with “Hello Mr. Povey, and how is Adelaide today?” (She is registered as “Adelaide Povey” which cracks me up!).

The front desk staff, the veterinary technician, and the vet herself will combine to tell you that you are the smartest person this side of Timbuktu, because you had the wisdom to choose this “wonderful, amazing, beautiful, charming, gorgeous cat (or hamster /gecko/ crow/ white rat/ pit bull/ snail/ vulture/python ) as your own dear pet”.

You leave the Vet’s Office knowing that although you may have crooked teeth, faulty plumbing, lumbago, and a horribly designed car, none of this matters since you have the perfect pet.

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