Do you ever feel like someone's always upset or something's always broken at your clinic? We have six veterinarians at our place now and enough employees to fill two softball teams. These days my job seems to be playing peacemaker and fixing all the broken stuff. It's a hard enough job inside the clinic, let alone when trouble spills into the parking lot.
This day began like all the others. People and trailers came and went, and we did what we could to make everything go smoothly—until the red car arrived. Out from this vehicle a furious old man emerged brandishing a cane and threatening to call the police.
Over the years I've had a lot of irate clients, but no one has ever threatened to get the law involved. What could have set this old rascal off? Turns out he was telling our secretary that the people who worked at our clinic should be put in jail for the way they drove around town.
The secretary tried to get to the bottom of the situation, explaining that it couldn't be anyone from the clinic because we were all—well—working, and no one was on the road. His reply included many heavy-duty cuss words and repeated jabs in the direction of a trailer currently parked outside next to the horse clinic.
The owner of said trailer was a client, and the secretary explained that we had no control over how she drove. The old man let loose another string of cuss words. He said the trailer had just run him off the road and he was going out there to kick someone's a**.
It just so happened that the lady who drove that trailer was meaner than a snake, and I predicted that she would take no guff from this cane-carrying hothead. Boy, was I right.
The horse clinic staff had no idea what was up with Papaw as he ambled across the parking lot toward Mrs. Kimble, the owner of the offending trailer. But they were about to find out.
The first staff member who noticed our visitor wasn't sure what to make of him—an old dude with a cane screaming profanities and pointing at the trailer. So she got another staff member to observe the scenario with her. As soon as the geriatric gentleman made it to the horse trailer, he began clubbing the side of it with his cane.
This, of course, sparked the attention of Mrs. Kimble. She approached the scene with every hackle raised and was already hollering out her own volley of cuss words. Now all the staff gathered to see what would happen next. They didn't know why Grampaw was clubbing the trailer, but they were definitely ready to referee.
Grandad yelled that Mrs. Kimble had run him off the road with the giant pickup and trailer. Mrs. Kimble yelled that he'd cut her off and was going too slow. Grandad exclaimed that he was within the law and she was a road hog. Mrs. Kimble exclaimed that if he hit her trailer again she was gonna take that cane and whip his a** with it. Grandad replied that if Mrs. Kimble were a man, he would whip her fanny. Mrs. Kimble hollered back, "Don't let that stop you, big boy!"
The ruckus brought another client out of the barn. She began yelling at Papaw too, because apparently she'd witnessed the entire event while driving behind the pair of them. And this client was just as loud as Mrs. Kimble. Now there were two screaming women and an occupant of the Lamesa old folks' home having it out in the Brock Veterinary Clinic parking lot.
We were finally able to pry them all apart. We told them if they were going to fight, they had to go across the street to do it. It took more than an hour to get the place back to normal. Geesh. I don't know what happened on the road, but I do know it's hard to run a vet clinic sometimes.
Dr. Bo Brock owns Brock Veterinary Clinic in Lamesa, Texas.