Madam Ouija's second opinion shouldn't be in the cards

Madam Ouija's second opinion shouldn't be in the cards

Oct 01, 2011

You may be familiar with the bumper sticker "Stuff happens" or something to that effect. With great wisdom, the sticker points out that sometimes things just seem to happen all on their own.

We live in a cause-and-effect world. But sometimes the cause is difficult, if not impossible, to pinpoint.

Mrs. Howcum does not understand this basic principle of life. She's a nice enough lady, but she's also living proof of one of the basic laws of physics: Light travels faster than sound. That's why she appears bright until you hear her speak.

"I just don't understand, Doctor. If my dogs have this strange new disease, there must be a reason for it. After all, you know what they say, 'Where there's a will, there's a way.'"

Of course this made no sense at all, but I chose to let it go.

Her two dogs, Devil and Rascal, had come to see me because of a strange new behavior. They liked to sit facing each other so that each could watch the other. I would hardly categorize this as a "strange new disease."

"I know it can't be an allergy," she said. "I never give them peanuts. Do you think they need antibiotics? I saw on the Internet that dogs can act strangely from lead poisoning. That can't be it because we don't have any pencils at my house. Is there anything else it could be?"

I had an explanation: Stuff happens. I tried to expound on the principle of bumper-sticker wisdom, but the concept was over her head.