My friend Arnie called me last week with some exciting news. It seems that he has developed yet another theory concerning
veterinary practice. (Here we go again.) As usual, he claimed to have gathered research data at his hospital that would back
up his hypothesis. We arranged to meet for lunch to go over his findings.
Michael A. Obenski
When I arrived he was beaming with pride. "Mike, I've got ESP," he announced. "Sometimes I know what's going to happen before
it actually does, and often I know what people are going to say before they actually say it."
Arnie was referring, of course, to extrasensory perception. He had several pages of notes with him to document his recent
extrasensory feats. Arnie explained that, during each office call, he tried to make predictions as to what would happen next.
He felt that his notes verified a high rate of success.
For example, on Monday morning, Arnie had seen Mr. and Mrs. Neuron with their dog, Foggy. The confident couple smacked the
exam table and called for Foggy to jump up and be examined. At that moment, in a flash of intuition, Arnie was able to predict
that the dog would fail to comply. (Really? I, for one, am shocked.)
I felt compelled to point out that such a prediction was hardly impressive. In fact, it was no harder than postulating that
if you drop a piece of bread and jelly, it will land jelly-side down.
He was not discouraged. He went on to describe another office visit during which he had made a half-dozen accurate predictions.
It seems that Dee Nyal and her children brought in their dog, Scratchy, because of a persistent rash. Arnie was able to predict,
before even entering the room, that the children would be swinging from the end of the exam table when he went in. He also
knew that when he asked how old the dog was, the children would ask, "In dog years or people years?"
Dee Nyal was, of course, insistent that fleas could not possibly be contributing to the problem because "Scratchy wears a
flea collar, and there's a fence around our yard." As soon as she made her pronouncements, Arnie knew that he would soon be
treating a case of "fleabitis."
As if those astounding predictions weren't impressive enough, he was also able to sense that Mrs. Nyal wanted to sit back
and let the kids hold Scratchy for his exam and that the kids would try to follow him when he went to the pharmacy for the