Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Guest Post - Some Great "Isms"

A LOVELY guest post sent in by a truly happy veterinarian.  Some of us *do* love what we do!  :)

I love getting up and coming to work every day. 

See, since 1985, I’ve been collecting client and staff anecdotes.  The short ones are usually immediately jotted on a whiteboard in the hallway behind the exam rooms, for the amusement of the staff and, well, me.  It helps me remember them long enough so that when I get a moment, I go to my desk and type them into a document called Charlene-isms. 

Charlene has been working here either full-time or part-time since she was a teen.  She is petite, has a pretty face and great hair with which she can be a little adventurous.  A married mother of two, Charlene is a high school graduate and a born-and-bred local.

Local here is south of the Mason-Dixon line and east of the Mississippi, and small town/rural.  She was raised by her papa, a farmer who left her the farm and a nice house.  Charlene is pretty sharp with her assets but that is where her sophistication ends.  Her use of the English language is more crumbled than colorful, and you must use your mind to insert a pleasing Southern drawl for Charlene.

The sad part is that compared to my clients, Charlene is a model citizen with good diction.  For my clients, you should auto-insert the type of accent you hear when the local news covers a trailer park tornado.

My anecdotes cover a range of sins by clients and staff from errors in grammar and syntax to mispronunciations, faux pas and outright idiocy.  I’ll start with an actual Charlene-ism:

            A client called regarding her bitch, which was in heat and 
           was in the throes of  a coital tie with a male dog. 

Of course the panicked client urgently said, “My two dogs are stuck together!             What do I do?”  

I am practically omniscient within my office and from a nearby room, I perceived the urgency of the call, could picture the shocked look on Charlene’s face as she fielded the it, “Well, what do you think happened? Do you think somebody put superglue on them?”

Picture me in slow-motion, arms extended, mouth open in a silent scream, trying to run to the reception desk, dive and intercept the call before it terminated.  Picture Charlene, idly twisting a lock of hair around her index finger as she suggested, “Well, could you try to gently peel them apart?”

And see my anguish as I got there too late to salvage the phone call.

*  *  *  *  *

Charlene, planning a mountain vacation near several whitewater-rafting establishments:

“Well, they are advertising this new thing called shuttle tubing we want to try.”

After laughing hysterically, I drew a picture on the whiteboard of an old school bus, loaded down with river rafters, the top piled high with river tubes and rubber rafts.  Then I printed “Shuttle” on the side of the bus.

“Charlene,” I said, “They have a bus that shuttles you to the river and back.”

*  *  *  *  *

During a discussion about adventurous sex practices such as nudist colonies and swingers, Charlene came up with this jewel, “I don’t understand why some people want to have what they call a twosome.”  

Me, in reply:  “Charlene, unless you’re flying solo, sex is meant to be a twosome.”

*  *  *  *  *

Out at the local Wal-Mart on her lunch break, Charlene ran into a woman with long fingernails.  In fact they were about six to eight inches long and curling around in circles. 

Charlene blurted out “Are those real?”  And then, “Well, how do you…function?”

 Apparently the woman replied something to the effect of, “Very carefully” to which Charlene commented, “Well you should be in National Geographic.

*  *  *  *  *

A typical Charlene faux pas, said to a client who was pregnant and her usually lush breasts were even more voluptuous than usual, “Hi, Mrs. Smith, what can we do for Nipples today?”  The cat’s name was Ripples.

*  *  *  *  *

Charlene regarding a client with an accent:  “She has a Europe accent.”  We are still wondering which Europe accent she was talking about.  For the record, the client was Italian.

*  *  *  *  *

Charlene, to client, “Okay, Mrs. Jones, let’s get Kol-lol-NELL up on the scale and get his weight.”  The dog’s name was actually Colonel.

*  *  *  *  *

Assorted other Charlene-isms:

            “I tripped on a dingleberry and fell down.”  Regarding stumbling on a sweetgum ball.

            “That gave me the weeping willows.”  Regarding anything scary or creeping that gave her the willies.

            “ That scared me so bad I turned white as a sheep.”   Sheet, Charlene.  White as a sheet.

            “I didn’t do my toenails cuz I don’t wear toes any more.”  Charlene, remarking when complimented on her fingernails.

            “There seems to be some confusement about this,”  Charlene was emceeing a horse show and said this over the loudspeaker.

            “I was franticking.  Charlene regarding how panicky she was after running over a Great Dane.

            “Really?  So it’s just been out there wandering all over the world since then?”   Charlene, on being told there was a new Tropical Storm Emily in 2006.  She thought 1993’s Hurricane Emily had just been out there wandering around the world’s oceans and was making a return trip.


            “We’re having shrimp KUH-nups at my wedding.”  Canapes, Charlene, canapés.

            “I’m attached on them already.”   Charlene, telling a man that she has become very fond of kittens that she is bottle-feeding.  Calls to mind Charlene being physically attached to three neonatal kittens, which is frankly against the laws of physics.

            “That just bozzled my mind.”  Yep, and it boggled it, too.

And one of the most telling Charlene-isms:    “Papa said I was the smartest one in the family and I should have gone on to college.”

If you’ve ever wondered why your veterinarian is certifiably crazy, look no further than his/her collection of stories.  Dealing with staff and clients day in and day out will make you bonkers.


  1. Heh, but she seems to have a heart of gold yes? :)

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