The $168 Chicken
So, vet day arrives. I put Butters in the cat carrier and drive. I have to say, chickens are a lot easier to ferry back and forth than say, cats. They generally hunker down and don't utter a peep. After the requisite wrong turns that seem inherent for any new location (for me), I arrive at the Exotic Animal Vet. The receptionist was the kind I love, especially when I'm somewhere for the first time. I'm here for a 2:30, with Butters, I say and she just looks at me. So, I go sit down. There's a lone guy in the tiny waiting room, with a small parrot on his shoulder. I'm sure he's looking at my chicken and thinking 'fffttt'. The receptionist rouses herself from her singular catatonia and gives me a clipboard with some crap to fill out, asking for spouses and family members and anyone else they can hound for the bill. After a fairly uneventful vet exam I go back out to the waiting room to wait for the results of the fecal float (which conjures up images of root beer and chicken shit). Some hipster dude comes in with a laundry sack containing some mystery animal. A mountainous man comes in to retrieve his Amazon parrot and I overhear (hard not to) the bill being discussed: around $900. Finally, the doctor comes out and says the crap tested positive for coccidiosis, which is no big, but it's better not to have it. So, antibiotics for Butters (translated: they don't have a clue why she's limping), stuff to put in their water and $168 poorer, I left, blinking. Oh well. I've decided that what I don't know about chickens, I'm going to learn so that I don't feel so mystified every time something goes wrong with them. But in the end, I have a new catch phrase. When someone posits an unanswerable question, I will now say: Well, that's the $168 chicken, now isn't it?