Have you ever had one of those days? Well, no one cares when you have one of those days unless you take the time to write it down and share it with the hoards of sweaty, quivering masses lurching through the internet. That is why I sit here typing away at my keyboard. This particular day happened last week or maybe a month ago, and it reminded me how quickly things can change from “acceptable” to “fighting with a veterinarian.”

Yeah, it’s a cliche as old as time.

I was leaving the grocery store with a single bag. This bag contained two jalapenos and a half pound of shrimp. Since I bought it at one of those dipshit organic places where retards shop, it also contained a receipt for $87.22. I planned on taking it home and cooking up a spicy little number I like to call “Shrimp and Jalapeno completely expected”, since I don’t believe in surprises. As I was walking to my car, I heard a female voice say “excuse me…?”

My first guess was that it would be a meth addict asking for money. Second, I supposed it could be someone who needed directions. Third and fourth respectively were someone who had lost their child and someone with whom I had drunkenly sired a child four years ago and was going to introduce me to it. What it turned out to be was a chick hitting on me, and that would have been guess number 7,612 – right between being mistaken for the pope and having a mermaid ask to borrow a jar of triangles.

Let me say this to anyone who wonders about what makes chicks dig dudes. They have glands somewhere on their person that can see, smell, taste, and feel confidence. I was still riding the glow of having passed my latest checkride and I’ve been feeling pretty good about life in general since I quit my office job last year. I have also lost 20 pounds since I started purging and cutting myself in March and have a decent tan from being outside more often (I’m not bragging either – at my physical best I look twice as average as the guy standing next to me, so I don’t really bother with it). Luckily, women don’t seem to put as much weight on physical appearance as men do. If they did, I’d be living on an island with Gilbert Gottfried and Tom Petty, and we’d wile away the hours building cathedrals out of matchsticks and dodging the detritus being launched at us from the mainland. The only times I have ever been approached by women is when I felt good. It happens all the time all around us, yet men all over the world are baffled by it.

Just like a woman to only like the stuff we can’t fake.

In any case, I guess I had the swagger and the puffiness of chest or the pheromones or whatever, or maybe it was just gas. After she said “excuse me”, I turned and did the raise of the chin you do when you want to acknowledge someone, but secretly hope they don’t say anything else.

“My friend wants to know what you are doing for the rest of your life.” She said as she and her friend walked toward me.

By this time I was standing next to my car, and not having missed a beat, I did that thing where you have your back to the car and you put a foot flat against the fender so your knee sticks out. I slowly lit a cigarette and took one long drag on it. Then I squinted at them over my sunglasses and said in my most gravelly voice, “Whatever the fuck I want to, sugarbush.” I flicked the cigarette on the ground at her feet, jumped over the door into the bucket seat of my ragtop 68 GTO and roared out of the parking lot, leaving them both in a shuddering heap of desire and natural lubrication.

If you believe I did any of that, stop reading now and go feed your unicorn. For the rest of you, this is how it really happened:

“My friend wants to know what you are doing for the rest of your life.”

I spent a good ten seconds looking around for whomever they were talking to, and then sheepishly pointed at myself because I was the only person in earshot, but I thought maybe one of them had a Bluetooth earpiece in that I couldn’t see and I was about to have half a conversation with someone who didn’t even know I was there.

“Yeah, you. She told me to ask. She’s shy. I’m Blah Blah and this is my friend whatever. She’s curious about the rest of your life.”

“I…mm…got some groceries and now I’m going to pick my cat up at the vet and then I’m going home to make dinner for me and my girlfriend.”

Please note that I made an on-the-fly decision to add the note about my girlfriend. Not because I wanted to be all annoying and “I have a girlfriend”, but more to negate the gayification that came with admitting I have a cat. Also note that in answer to a question about what I was doing the rest of my life, I covered roughly the next half hour. I think that means either I’m a live for the moment rebel badass, or more likely I’m a closet fatalist.

One of them then noticed that I had on a shirt with the name of the place I work on it.

“Falcon Aviation? Is that where you work?”

“Yeah. For now, anyway.”

“Are you a pilot?”

“Yup, but I teach, mostly.”

“What kind of plane do you fly?”

“A blue one. Actually white with blue stripes. And I think a grey stripe.”

I said that to be a smartass, but they both seemed to accept the answer. That was a little weird and I started wondering if I was about to be mugged.

“Listen, I gotta go, but it was nice meeting you both…but uhh…I’m guh PetSmart gedda cat.”

“Okay. I guess if you have a girlfriend then…”

“Yeah. It’s been like three years and I really like her a lot, so…you know. But hey, it’s flattering that you even noticed my 35 year old carcass, so gracias for that.”

“You’re 35?”

“Thirty five and a half, actually.”

I’m sure they started with the “eeeewww, he was all old. GROSSS.” Stuff when they got in their car, but I drove over to the pet store/vet laughing my ass off the whole way about the scenario where I flick my cigarette at them and drive away.

Earlier that day, the Veterinarian called me and said my cat needed some kind of shot or something and it would be $18 and I could pick her up at 4. Alrighty, I said. I went to the office and told them I was there for my cat.

Everybody was rushing around and they told me to wait a minute. I waited 30 minutes and then I asked again. They said they were very sorry, but they had some emergencies come in and they had to deal with those. Then a girl came in with a big golden retriever, and bitchily told them that they had forgotten to clip the dog’s nails. Guess whose canine pedicure took precedence over me getting the hell out of there?

So the dick switch was in the on position, and I asked “Hey, if you could just toss my cat out here or slide her under the door or whatever I’ll get out of your hair. This dog getting its nails done is not an emergency.”

After 45 minutes, they brought the cat out.

They then handed me a bill for $56.

I handed it back and told them that they had done something wrong. The girl went to check with the doctor and came back and explained to me that the shots were $18 each and they had to charge me $15 to “board” the cat for the day.

I decided to try a little reasoning. “Listen, I know you guys are all in a twist right now, but I’ve been waiting out here for very close to an hour, and if you could just drop that boarding charge, I’ll leave here very happy.”

Then I got the most infuriating response you can ever get from a sales clerk, and it is a great indicator that things are about to stop making sense.

“I’m sorry, I CANT. It’s already on the bill and I CAN’T take it off.”

Really, retard? Your $8 an hour worthless ass CAN’T figure out a way to do that? And you also expect me to believe you? You saying you can’t do something is going to cause a lot of problems. Sure you don’t want to change your answer?

“Yes you can.”

“No, really, we can’t take it off. Seriously.”

“Put me behind that computer for 60 seconds and I’ll prove it can be done. If I can’t do it, I’ll give you a cat.”

*sigh* “Just a minute, let me get the doctor.”

The doctor came out and showed me the charges. He also told me that I signed the form where I agreed to pay for boarding if I chose not to wait for them to be finished. This pissed me off because I hate shit that isn’t rational. Normally I wouldn’t waste this much time and effort on $15, but this place has made a hobby out of ripping me off, so they were in for a fight.

“Okay, so you told me to drop the cat off at nine, right? And I had to work at 8, so I dropped it off at 7:30. You then told me I could pick it up at 3, but I couldn’t make it here until 4. Did you expect me to wait in the pet store for seven hours so I could save the boarding fee, or was I supposed to take the day off work?”

(Doctor looks at his watch)

“I know what time it is, because I have been sitting here for an hour waiting for a beagle to get an emergency massage so I could get my stupid cat back, and now I’m asking you to knock $15 off the price because I had no other option but to leave the cat here AND I had to wait, not to mention the amount of money I spent here last month…”

“I understand Mister Scott, but we can’t…”

“Yes you can, and I’m going to prove it. Keep the cat. Make it your mascot or sell it or whatever.”

(Chuckling) “Well, we don’t have anyone here overnight…”

I was halfway to the door when I overheard him say to the girl behind the counter, “He won’t leave the cat.”

The hell I won’t.

I got in my car and drove home, excited at the prospect of cleaning dried cat snot off the ottoman for the last time.

Just as I was pulling into the parking deck, my phone rang.

“Mister Scott? This is so and so from Shamfield Pet Hospital. Dr. Fucknose wanted to let you know that animals that are abandoned will be put up for adoption and if a home isn’t found, they will be given to a shelter and could be destroyed.”

“Fair enough.” *click*

Fifteen seconds later, my phone rang again.

“Mr. Scott? Dr. Colonbrain said he will remove the boarding charge if you will come pick up your cat.”

“Are you sure? Because I was told that there was no way that could be done. You guys must have really pulled some str…”

(interrupting because I was being super mega-patronizing) “He also wanted to let you know that in the future if you leave the ca…”

(The sound of me hanging up on her) Like I want to listen to this bitch bleating about the way a boarding charge works. If Doctor Asshat wants me to know something, he can call and tell me himself.

Fifteen minutes and $38 later, the cat and I left the clinic, never to return.

Sweet merciful baby Jesus and all of the feathers that fall from his brow, did I REALLY have to convince them that I was going to abandon a cat just to make them take a $15 charge off the bill? Why do I feel like one of only a few dozen people left on the planet who recognizes the point where things stop making sense?

So after it was all said and done, I was making Shrimp and Jalapeno completely expected, thinking about how quickly others can influence the way my day goes. I’m sure there is a lesson to be learned there, but hell if I know what it is.

So here are a couple more flying videos. Flying is like sex, except louder. And safer.

26 Responses to “All this and I didn’t even learn a lesson.”

  1. on 09 May 2008 at 1:01 pm Rhino

    First?!?!??!

    You should have stir-fried the cat with the shrimp and jalapenos. That would be completely UNexpected

  2. on 09 May 2008 at 1:05 pm Incredipete

    You know, Juddhole once told me “Pete, desperation is a shitty cologne, but confidence makes women squishy.” Those words changed my life.

    Anyhow, the vet story is priceless. What a bunch of chuckleheads. I would’ve left the cat, too. Of course, I hate cats.

  3. on 09 May 2008 at 1:28 pm Robert Phillips

    Just so you know, even though you don’t update your site as often, you are still the shit. I almost died laughing at the 68 GTO part and the unicorns that followed.

  4. on 09 May 2008 at 1:34 pm DRG

    Your post came in at an opportune time. I was bored.

  5. on 09 May 2008 at 2:05 pm Poppy

    Since the clinic was in a PetSmart, I’m assuming it was part of the ‘Banfield’ chain. With some inside knowledge (I am on the board of my state’s veterinary regulatory board – no, I’m not a vet, they need to have a ‘public’ member too) I know that Banfield is owned not by vets but by a corporation that regulates how the vets practice and also has the unsavory habit of setting financial quotas that must be met by the franchises, hence the bait-and-switch with the extra vaccinations and boarding cost. I’d try to find a local independent vet – try calling a local animal shelter and getting some recommendations.

  6. on 09 May 2008 at 2:33 pm jen

    dude, i work at petsmart. i would get a discount at banfield and i STILL don’t go there. the prices are absurd.

  7. on 09 May 2008 at 2:55 pm Mary Ellison

    You make me fall on the floor laughing everytime. Priceless!

  8. on 09 May 2008 at 5:35 pm Samantha

    I love your Cat Blogs, and that’s a nice one about the gals hitting on you too. It certainly does brighten a day.

    how about some new photos of the queazmister? haven’t seen any angry furballs lately.

  9. on 09 May 2008 at 8:58 pm Nightmare

    Holy Shit. That is some god cat leaving tale there! I wish it ended “and then I slashed Dr. colonlicker’s tires, and ‘marked’ my territory on his windshield.

    Nice job.

    Plus I don’t understand the fascination with cats here in the Midwest you can pretty much get all the free cats you want just sit in front of any Wal Mart Any Saturday morning and there are boxes of the stinking little shit machines being handed out by trailer children.

  10. on 09 May 2008 at 9:42 pm Chicken

    You are my fucking hero Dusty. Brilliant!

  11. on 09 May 2008 at 10:15 pm ILoveCatsHole

    Dude, I would have never left my cat in a million years. I would’ve left yours though.

    How wrong is it that your flying videos, with the spinning and the cloudtops and shit, gave me heart flutters and a bit of a choob?

    “Not wrong at all!” you say? Is that because you still think your choob is bigger than mine? Or because those videos indeed are the bitchinbaddassenest things I’ve seen on interwebs in a while?

    Christ, I wanna fly NOW.

    Smooches.

  12. on 09 May 2008 at 10:21 pm GGG

    Good shtuff.

    Feed the cat the JalapeƱo and shrimp… no, I guess that would still be expected.

    So if you decide to qualify on a 747, do you get to do a stall in one of those?

    It must be asked: Who’s the band from 1st video?

  13. on 09 May 2008 at 10:22 pm GGG

    I meant spin…

  14. on 10 May 2008 at 8:06 am Pedro

    Man, i got your rss on my rss reader for some reason i forgot, but it is always with pleasure that i see new posts! Your writing still is fantastic, keep it up!

    (and i don’t mind you making few posts, quality over quantity i say!)

    pedro, a portuguese fan

  15. on 10 May 2008 at 11:49 am anne

    Vet school….the new path to riches. They said that Buddy, my cat, might have peritonitis and that special tests had to be done (in Toronto) and analyzed (in Boston). Cost? $1,500.00. Turns out Buddy did have peritonitis and the cost of the antibiotics was $15.00.

    A few weeks later, Buddy’s sister, Belle, was minutes away from death due to liver failure but her pain was so severe I decided it would be the right thing to have her euthanized immediately. I could not bear to see her in such agony. Cost $476.00. And yet, as I held her in my arms dying, and tears running down my cheeks, they said, “For an additional $250, we will have Belle cremated and the ashes returned to you.”

    I said, “No, fucking way!”

    I have never seen such pure unadulterated greed.

  16. on 10 May 2008 at 2:27 pm Brian

    Lots of props on taking a stand and having the balls to dispute the BS added charges. It’s too often that corporations roll over people with shady charges knowing that most are going to end up bitching and moaning about it later but won’t put up more than a cursory objection. The sad thing is that it has to kill your day just to save you a trouble you should not have had in the first place.

  17. on 10 May 2008 at 7:24 pm Loamy and the Itchy Taints

    Natural lubrication and a GTO…you can’t have one without the other.

  18. on 10 May 2008 at 7:31 pm Loamy and the Itchy Taints

    GGG, the band is Drivin’ and Cryin’ and the song is called “Honeysuckle Blue”.

  19. on 10 May 2008 at 8:01 pm Laiet

    Nice story.

    Like you said. What can you learn from that?

  20. on 11 May 2008 at 6:47 pm fourthstooge

    Dusty… right on, man! The man is killin’ us with this “$25 for this” and “$15 for that” shit. Now please go see the sheiks about these freakin’ gas prices. I bet they don’t want your cat either!

    Rock on dude !!!!

  21. on 12 May 2008 at 9:44 am Phil

    that is the first thing i thought of when you told the girls you had to pick up your cat….”noooo, don’t say that! they’ll think you’re GAY!!!”

    nice recovery though…

    phil
    jax, fl

  22. on 12 May 2008 at 10:30 am Alex Q

    Hey Dusty,
    I loved those spin videos!
    I did a flight program with the RAAF here in Aus and they were the coolest out of all the aerobatic stuff we did – those and unusual attitude recovery!
    Keep posting,
    Alex
    Sydney, Australia

  23. on 13 May 2008 at 12:34 pm Aaron

    I’m usually one of the faithful, cheering your accounts of coming out on top in any given social situation, but this time I believe your logic to be a bit flawed. It isn’t as if your cat was going to spend 7 hours in a cage at the vet’s whether you were there waiting or not, and since you weren’t they charged you.
    It didn’t take 7 hours to give your cat shots. If you’d stayed and waited for them to be done, you’d have been out of there way sooner. Never mind that you have to go to work. That’s not their problem. The other 6.5 hours of the day they had to keep it for you because you couldn’t stay. I agree that for them to charge a “boarding fee” for one day is stupid since you were a client and they probably didn’t even feed the cat while it was there, but apparently you signed off on it.

  24. on 13 May 2008 at 2:55 pm IgnormousJ

    Colonbrain, Fucknose & Asshat, Attorneys at Law Motto:”Facts, shmacts” (see above). Really.

  25. on 13 May 2008 at 10:56 pm YaHear

    Hmm. IgnoramousJ. Douchebag. I don’t mind my own business, either.

  26. on 22 Aug 2008 at 6:13 am Fishing

    Fishing

    There are thousands of live- bait anglers, who are excellent sportsmen, but the fly fisherman can practice better conservation from the beginning.