One of my favorite clients came in yesterday. Let’s call him ‘The Matador’.
Everything about him screams ‘machismo’. He struts into the exam room with his chest jutting proudly out, his wife trailing two or three feet behind, and plunks his poodle Beatrice on the table. “HELLO, Doctor!” he booms jovially. “I am here with my best girl! And my wife! hahahahahahahaha!”
He loves to make bad jokes.
“What’s that?” he asks when I give Beatrice dewormer. Beatrice spits it out on the table. “What are you doing to my dog? Remind me NEVER to come to your house for dinner! A ha ha ha ha!” He turns to look at his wife, and only then does she also laugh, in the way that a wife does when she is married to someone like that for a long time, tolerant and just a wee bit embarrassed.
“Beatrice eats birds, doctor,” he tells me in a serious tone. “Should I be worried?” I start to discuss some of the concerns, but I’m interrupting the timing of his schtick so he just blurts in: “As long as my wife isn’t doing it, right? hahahahahahaha!”
If I lived with a guy like that I’d want to strangle him, but he and his wife are extremely nice and very good owners, and I enjoy their visits. Since I only see him every month or so I find him strangely endearing. This may partly be because he told me in great detail how I resembled a telenovela star whose name I can’t remember, but at the time I ran over the computer and looked her up. Other than our blond hair I see zero resemblance, but the fact that he did was a kindness I will never forget. I resemble her as much as I do Pam Anderson. And that is not a lot.
We have a new girl at work, who is still learning the ropes. One of our practice policies is to call people the day after their appointment to check on their pets. This seemed a good job for her to take on, to get used to client interaction. She called Mr. Matador, whom she has not met yet, to ask how Beatrice was doing after her deworming. “Oh,” he said solemnly. “I am sorry to inform you that she died after your services yesterday.”
Her face went white, and then just in time, he saved her: