My Week 140: Titus Shows Off at the Vet, Wonder Woman and Sexism

Saturday: Titus goes to the vet

On Friday night, Ken reminded me that Titus had his yearly vet appointment. He’s a pretty healthy dog, so he hasn’t actually seen the vet since this time last year. I had errands to do, but I agreed to go in my car and meet them there—not because I didn’t think Ken could do it on his own, but because I like to make sure we’re not getting soaked for extra tests. You know how veterinarians are always upselling procedures to make a profit. Not that there’s anything wrong with that—they need to make a living like the rest of us—but does a dog REALLY need a hearing test? If you open a bag of chips, and your dog doesn’t immediately appear next to you no matter where he is in the house, then your dog has a hearing problem, and it shouldn’t cost $200 to tell you that.

Anyway, on Saturday morning, I said to Titus, “Hey buddy, guess what? We’re going for a car ride!”

He immediately looked both intrigued and suspicious. “Where are we going?”

Me: The VET! It’s going to be awesome!
Titus: How is that ‘awesome’? The last time I went there, she stuck a needle in my ass. Wait—is that the place where they have those Liver Treats?
Me: Why, yes. Yes, it is.
Titus: Ok, cool.

So we got him into Ken’s SUV, where he insisted in sitting up front, and we both set off in separate vehicles. I got there at the same time as them, and I was all like, “Hey, buddy, did you have fun in the car?” but Titus was too concerned with smelling EVERY CORNER of the door frame, then EVERY CORNER the waiting room, straining against his collar, wheezing like an emphysemic old man, and whispering “So many messages…”. We managed to get him to sit still long enough on the scale to get his weight, which was 41.7 kilos. That sounded like a lot, and I was trying to do the conversion math in my head but failing I just looked it up—92 pounds). I was convinced that Titus had gotten a little ‘chunky’ over the last few months, but when the vet tech came in, she confirmed that his weight last year was 41.1 kilos.

Titus: Ha!! And you called me ‘chunky’. I’m svelte, baby. Cheese slices for everyone!!
Me: Well, I’m sorry, but you looked bigger.
Titus: That’s just my personality. I’m larger than life.

Then the vet tech gave us a form to fill in, because Titus is now technically a “senior dog”, having attained the age of 8 years old. There was a series of questions which we had to answer on a scale of zero to 3.

Ken: Does your pet seem listless?
Me (watching Titus run back and forth between the counter and the door): That would be zero.
Ken: Does your pet urinate outside the litter box?
Me: I’m confused. Is he supposed to HAVE a litter box? How big would it have to be?
Ken: I think this is a generic dog/cat survey, so I’m just going to say ‘Non-Applicable’. Has your pet’s appetite increased?
Me: He’s a Lab. I don’t think there’s an end to his appetite. Is the next question, ‘Has your pet’s appetite decreased?’ cuz you can say zero to that one too.
Ken: Ok. When your pet barks, does he dribble a little urine?
Titus: WHAT?! (Looking at floor)…Actually, maybe a little right then.
Me: No, that’s just drool. Stop staring at the treat jar.

Then our vet came in, and, long story short, she was VERY impressed with his health. Then she tried to extend his back legs and looked a little concerned:

Vet: He doesn’t want me to manipulate his right leg. Has he been favouring it?
Me: No, but every so often, it goes out from under him a bit.
Vet: Could be early hip dysplasia. We’ll have to keep an eye on it, and start him on joint health supplements. Of course, we could X-ray it right now…
Titus: Death Ray?! I’d rather smoke a joint.
Me: A ‘joint health supplement’ is a vitamin, not marijuana.

Then it was time for the shots, which Titus didn’t even notice because he was too busy eating Liver Treats to distract him. We also reluctantly agreed to bloodwork to test for heartworm, liver and kidney function, as well as flea and tick medication, and the dollar signs were just ringing up loud in my head. But after the blood was taken, the vet made him a special bandage with a little heart on it, so that totally made up for the incredible cost. At one point, she left, and Ken whispered. “What do you think? Like, $300?” and I was like, “No way—at least $500.” And yeah, guess who was right?

The best part though, was that when we came out, the place was packed, and everyone turned to look at Titus. I couldn’t have been prouder in that moment, as they ooh’ed and ah’ed over him. “What a gorgeous dog,” said one woman. “He’s a giant!” said another. People commented on his shiny coat, how well-behaved he was, and what a beautiful smile he had. None of this was lost on Titus, who’s nothing if not a showman.

Titus: Let’s do our routine—really give them something to remember. We’ll put that Shih Tzu over there to shame.
Me: OK—ready? Sit. Stay. Bang! You’re dead…OK, you’re just wounded…Fine, you’re alive—roll over.

Then he gave the crowd high fives, and everyone, including the snooty little Shih Tzu, was suitably impressed. So I guess the vet bill, which I put on Visa and will be paying off in installments, was totally worth it.

Women Only

So this week, I’ve been reading about how some guys are really upset because there are special “Women Only” showings of the new Wonder Woman movie. But I understand why they’re upset about this, because every time I’ve done “Women Only” things, men always complain about it:

1) Ringette

When I was 7 years old, I started playing Ringette. Ringette, at that time, was a Women Only sport. Of course, what I really wanted to play was hockey, but at the time women’s hockey teams were extremely rare, and girls weren’t allowed to play on boy’s hockey teams. I played Ringette until I was 14 and it was always an all-girls team. Of course, there was no body checking, or pucks, but it was still a pretty cool game. Then the guys started complaining that they wanted to play Ringette too, so now, of course, there are men’s ringette teams.

2) Brownies and Girl Guides

As a kid, I was really into nature and hiking in the forest, and basically just doing cool stuff, so I joined the Brownies. What I really wanted to join was the Cub Scouts, but girls weren’t allowed to join the Cub Scouts. I became a Brownie and got badges for sewing and cooking instead of making fires and killing bears and sh*t. But hey—I got to dance around a toadstool and my leaders were named after owls. Now, of course, thanks to boys wanting to join the Girl Guides, there are unisex troops, and adventure groups for both sexes.

3) Home Ec.

When I was in Grade 8, I was in a ‘girls only’ Home Economics class. Well, ALL the Home Economics classes were girls only. The boys got to take Industrial Arts where, instead of cooking and sewing and learning to apply make-up, they got to weld and do woodwork. But what I really wanted to take was Industrial Arts, and one day, my dream came true. The boys and girls switched classes for one period, and the Home Economics teacher made cookies for the boys while they watched, and the Industrial Arts teacher made us all key chains. I could have made my own f*cking key chain, but the teacher didn’t want me to burn my fingers melting the plastic in the electronic frying pan. Silly guy—I KNEW how to use an electric frying pan because I’d been taking Home Economics for almost a year. But I guess boys really like to make cookies because now all of these classes are co-ed.

My point? Well, women have lost all the bastions of their womenhood to men. Everything is co-ed now, thanks to men complaining that they’re being left out of all the cool stuff. All we want is the ability to do something without the opposite gender constantly wanting to join in and make things equal. Is that so wrong? I mean, men have been saying that for years.

Sarcasm aside, I think it’s a bit hysterical that a lot of the same men who are upset about not being able to see Wonder Woman would never have complained when women were FORCED to have Women Only things, like the Lioness Club instead of the Lion’s Club, or the Rebekah Lodge because women weren’t allowed to be Masons, or any other “women’s branch” of any fraternal organization, or sport, or activity because they weren’t ALLOWED to be a part of the men stuff. K pointed out that saying it’s ok because men did it to women for years doesn’t make it right, and I told her that I didn’t actually think it WAS right. It’s just ironic. And if it’s any consolation to the men out there, Wonder Woman is still wearing a ridiculously skimpy outfit. But of course, next thing you know, Batman is going to be complaining about why he can’t fight crime in a bustier too, and all the superheroes will be wearing lingerie. But that’s equality for you.

My Week 79: Naptime at Batman Versus Superman, The Queen and I Rent a Car

Wednesday: Napping at the movies

The other night, Ken and I rented the latest James Bond film, “Spectre”. I was kind of excited, because I love Daniel Craig as 007—he’s my favourite Bond, although when he retires, I will be totally pulling for Idris Elba, just for the record—and I’d been wanting to see the return of Blofeld for a while. We settled in to watch it and it was pretty good, but part way through the fortieth car chase, I said to Ken, “I’m having serious déjà vu right now. You know, like I feel as though I’ve seen this before.” Ken said, “But when would you have seen it? You’ve been talking about renting it for about three weeks. Did you watch it in Toronto without me?” But that wasn’t possible because there’s absolutely nowhere in Toronto anywhere near my condo that rents movies. So we kept watching, and the feeling got stronger until I said to Ken, “I don’t know how I know this, but in about 1 minute, they’re going to walk away from that building and it’s going to explode in the background.” I know there’s a lot of explosion-y stuff in James Bond movies, but it happened just like I pictured it in my mind. Then I was pretty well able to predict what was going to happen in the rest of the movie with some accuracy, but I still didn’t know HOW I knew. Until Wednesday, when my brother came over. We were going to have dinner and then see “Batman Versus Superman”. I thought it was a long shot, but I asked him if there was any way that we had seen “Spectre” together. My brother has a PhD, which also means he has a really awesome memory, and he very quickly reminded me that yes, I’d gone with him and his wife to the VIP theatre to watch it about three months ago, and that we’d shared a bottle of wine and had pulled pork poutine for dinner. And that I’d fallen asleep almost immediately at the start of the movie, which they thought was pretty funny. It all came flooding back at that point—well, the memory of falling asleep anyway—but it must have been a light enough doze that my subconscious was aware of what was happening in at least SOME parts of the film. I was a little embarrassed, but then I got really worried, because it had been a long day, we were drinking wine, and now we were going to see ANOTHER action movie. I determined that I was NOT going to fall asleep this time. The previews came on, then the movie started. Everybody was pissed off at Superman, including Batman, for a reason I have yet to comprehend. And then I was like, “Since when is Gotham right across the bay from Metropolis, but Superman and Batman have never met?” Next thing, a crazy Mark Zuckerberg was talking about some painting being hung upside down, and a bunch of other random things happened. But then suddenly, the world was being attacked by space harpies, and Superman’s evil twin was trying to pull Ben Affleck’s heart out through his chest, and then he woke up and realized he was sleeping, and I was like, “What the F*CK is going on here?!” And I realized that yes, I’d also been asleep, yet again, for an indeterminate amount of time, and now I had no idea what was happening. Now, in my opinion, there’s NO WAY that missing 30 minutes of a six hour film (well, it felt like six hours) should make it incomprehensible, but maybe it was that way to begin with. The only good thing was that it was really dark and my eyes were hidden behind 3D glasses, so I’m pretty sure my brother, despite his PhD, had no clue that I was yet again taking a nap. But the problem was that by the end of the movie, I had more questions than answers. Like, why was Batman so pissed off at Superman? Why did the angry Facebook guy want to kill Superman? What was the point of two superheroes, both of whom are impervious to physical damage from the other, insisting on trying to beat the sh*t out of each other for three hours when it’s obvious that NO ONE is going to win? What was with the gratuitous 15 minute scene of a shirtless Ben Affleck doing pull-ups and hitting a tractor tire with a sledgehammer? (Sure, he was very muscular, but also a little hairy and sweaty, and not in that GOOD way). What kind of coincidence is it that Superman and Batman both have moms with the same name, and that once Batman finds out, they immediately become best friends instead of two guys trying to destroy each other? Did they have the SAME mom? Are they actually half-brothers or something? How does an underground lake turn a normal, dead guy into a gigantic, disgustingly slimy superhuman who can only be killed by kryptonite? Where the HELL did Wonderwoman come from and why did she look so happy to be there? And don’t even get me started on Aquaman and that weird-ass cameo where he looked like a character from Game of Thrones and came out of his little cave looking all sleepy and blinky, then stabbed the camera and swam away. But the biggest question I had of all was this: Why did no one, in the entire movie, punch Jessie Eisenberg in the face? Because I sure as hell wanted to, mostly because of his bad acting (dude, you will NEVER be Heath Ledger, so don’t even try), but also because he’s just so f*cking annoying in everything he’s ever been in. At the end, Batman goes to see him in the “lunatic asylum” and he’s got his Batman brand all ready (by the way, when did Batman start branding people like cattle?), and I was like, “Please, god, just do this one thing for me,” but instead, Batman punched the wall and left. And then the last scene of the movie was a zoom-in on the same bizarre painting of the same space harpies from an earlier scene, only now it was hung the other way, like it was an omen, or maybe a flashback, or maybe foreshadowing, only I was like, “I’m done. I can’t even.” And then we left the theatre:

Brother: That was great! Did you like it?
Me: Yeah, I guess. It was a little long. I was kind of bored by the end.
Brother: Bored? Really? What about the scene where…
Me: Oh yeah! That was a great scene!
Brother: And the scene when…
Me: I know, right? Talk about crazy!
Brother: I loved the part where…
Me: Me too. What a moment!

The best part was that he seemed to have no idea that I’d been asleep for any length of time. Of course, if he reads this, he’ll know, but at least then I can get some of my questions answered. (Actually, the real best part of the night happened when we were leaving. The ushers asked everyone to return their 3D glasses to the bins outside the theatre, and on the way out, my brother spotted a receptacle that said ‘Thank You’ on it. He turned to me and said, “Here’s where we’re supposed to leave our glasses”, and he tossed them in. I went to do the same, but looked in first and said, “Dude, that’s the garbage.” Then we both said, “Oh sh*t!” and the people behind us started laughing hysterically.) Ultimately, I should try harder to stay awake during movies, but honestly, in this case, I don’t think it would have helped.

Thursday: I rent a car for the Queen

Starting on Sunday, I’ll be working away from the office at a different site for about three weeks. And because I’ll be transporting a couple of coworkers, I was told that I should rent a car, and that my company would reimburse me. The only qualifier was this: “When you rent the car, you have to list Her Majesty The Queen as the lessee. The car will be in her name, and you’ll be listed as the driver.” This might sound strange, but I work for a government agency, and I was assured that this was common practice and had something to do with liability. Actually, that doesn’t make it sound any LESS strange, but remember, I also had to take an oath to her in order to work at my new job. I definitely had some questions though. Like, what if the Queen suddenly came to Canada? Would I have to drive her around? Or was she one of those people who would insist on taking the wheel herself? I hear she still likes to bomb around in her Land Rover when she’s at Balmoral. And what if she got caught drinking and was charged with a DUI? Could I still rent the car? Or would they be like, “I’m sorry, but the person whose name the car is in has to have a valid licence.”? Even worse, she’s pretty old—what if she suddenly died in the next three weeks? Aside from the world mourning the loss of a great monarch, would I also have to mourn the loss of my rental car or would Prince William just inherit it along with everything else? Questions aside though, on Thursday night, I called a local car rental company, Enterprise. A woman answered and I told her that I needed to reserve a car for a certain number of days.

Woman: Whose name will the car be leased under?
Me: The Queen.
Woman: What queen?
Me: The Queen of England.
Woman: The Queen of England?
Me: Yes, that one. I’ll be the primary driver though.
Woman: Um…
Me: No, seriously, I work for a government agency.
Woman: Right…sure you do.
Me: Is this the Woodstock location?
Woman: No—this is the central call centre. In Nevada.
Me: Oh. I should probably just go to the Woodstock branch.
Woman: They’re closed. Indefinitely.
Me: But I just drove by there the other day…
Woman: No, they’re definitely closed.

The next day, I called the Woodstock location. A man answered, and when I expressed surprise that they were open, he said, “No, we’re not closed down. That’s weird.” And then I realized that maybe the woman in the States thought I was pranking her or something. I told the man how many days I needed the car for, and gave him my name. “No worries—you’re already in our system from the last time you rented from us. I can get the paperwork all ready for you. The total will be–” But then I had to tell HIM about the queen and I got concerned that maybe he would think I was making a crank call too.

Me: Um, there’s one other thing…
Man: Sure, what?
Me: I have to rent the car in the name of Her Majesty The Queen.
Man: Oh. That changes everything.
Me: You sound really ominous. Seriously, I’m not joking!
Man (laughs): No, I know. It just means that you get a better rate.
Me: What, like the Seniors’ Discount? She IS around 90, I think.
Man: No, there’s just a special corporate rate. I’ll give you the new total.

I went there today to pick up the car, and the first thing he asked me was, “So how’s the Queen doing anyway?” I replied, “Oh you know—holding her own.” I hope she likes Nissans, because they didn’t have any Land Rovers.

keep calm