By DR. PIERRE B. BLAND
Though I try and keep my political views separate from my professional life, this contentious election has made that nearly impossible. I have completely lost my almost non-existent tolerance for people mentioning the famous quote “Grab ‘em in the ….” They think it is clever because I am a vet but I explain in no uncertain terms it is not funny, just vile and crude.” But even with that, at least 60 percent don’t get the point. I don’t want to suggest a few of my clients climbed out the basket of deplorables, but one client in particular comes to mind.
She scheduled an annual exam and vaccination for her two cats. The door alarm chimed and I came to the front desk from a chore in the back. She was decked out in the t-shirt and hat of the republican presidential nominee. The gear was worn proudly as she held a cat carrier in each hand. Even the two cat carriers were emblazoned with her candidate’s bumper sticker.
As I greeted her with the best “Good Morning” I could muster in light of her startling ensemble, she responded, “Good Morning Doc! Let’s make America great!” I thought, “Damn. She is enthusiastic too.” We proceeded to the exam room.
As the appointment proceeded, she repeatedly stated her obvious support and twice asked which candidate I supported. I ignored her questions, instead offering information about her pets dental hygiene and flea control options. With her third request, she pointed out I seemed to be avoiding her question. I explained I wholeheartedly support everyone’s right to support the candidate of their choice, but did not feel I had to share my choices, even when asked, and especially not in my work place. From my reluctance to share and my belief statement, I figured it was obvious as to where my allegiances lie. At this point she began to exhibit the word “fan” is the root word of “ fanatic.”
As well as any surrogate on a news channel, she began to list the reason I should support her candidate: being a smart guy, a small business owner, a deep thinker, and most of all, as an African American let down and fooled for years by the other party.
Being fed up, I opted to use my “bum rush” tactic, explaining it was getting close to my next appointment while passing the credit card machine from hand to hand and asking how would she like to pay. She took the hint, the bill was settled, and I reminded her she would be receiving her itemized invoice via email as usual. As she departed she reminded me to give our conversation fair consideration. Dodging that bullet, I proceeded to write the medical record and prepare the invoice.
The invoice included my usual reminder of salient points of the appointment and a thanks for her trust in me as a veterinarian and thanks for her patronage. I signed my name and on the line under it typed, “I am with Her” and emailed the invoice. Just another guy supporting that “nasty woman.”