Saturday, August 15, 2009

Pet Store Antics #1: I really don't hate birds.

I mentioned in an previous post that I worked for a pet store for a couple years during college. Until the past year or so I had almost completely forgotten painful hamster bites, overpriced mutts and the stench of aquarium water changes those warm cuddly creatures. Recent family excursions to the poor man's zoo our local pet stores have stirred memories filled with long hours of snagging five cent feeder fish with a freakin' holey netcustomer service with a perpetual smile.

OK, the kids want a living breathing animal and I'm trying desperately to delay the inevitable as it's common knowledge around here that R.E. Dad will feed, bathe, and pickup the shit I will be the primary caregiver. Yeah, the hermit crab has it's limits....

Enough about the present. Let's fall back into the late 80's before the big-box retailers had a strangle hold on America. I worked for a mom and pop company...we'll actually no mom just pop due to a recent divorce. This fairly young hipster dufus with zero knowledge of pet care budding entrepreneur actually owned two stores and I often found myself at the smaller store closer to campus. Now, there was a "GM" who was actually quite "petwise", but after the owner gave him a truck he seemed to spend most of his time driving to the big city to retrieve tropical fish and marijuana supplies.

Almost overnight I became the king of the dipshits unofficial assistant manager who still made about a nickel about the minimum wage. Don't get me wrong, I was NO animal expert in any sense of the imagination. In fact, I pretty much deferred questions to my fellow oppressed pet store co-workers who each seemed to specialize in a certain type of animal. Let's talk about "Bird Girl."

Bird Girl - She loved all types of birds. She hand fed birds. She trained birds. She called me at home from the store to tell me about depressed birds, lonely birds and birds under the weather. One summer evening she called to tell me about a very sick bird that had to be euthanized. I said OK, I'll snap his little neck in the morning okie dokie, tomorrow I'll shove him out the back door and hope he survives the mean streets of Chico. She said "Oh, no - you must come right now and take care of him the most humane way possible...he's in a great deal of pain."

"Uh, come do you waste a bird?" *Disclaimer to all those who know this subject better than I.........this was what she told me to do......she was the bird expert, not me. Don't contact some bird rescue society, please*

So how did I do it? Well, she said to place the bird in a plastic bag, walk out to my car, turn on the engine and place the bag over the tailpipe. So I did .... and it worked bye bye birdy. Long before Jack Kevorkian became a household name, there existed a pet store employee who hoped he ended a bird's life the most humane way possible. At the very least, he earned the respect of "Bird Girl."

This was Pet Store Antics #1.............just one story of many.


Employee No. 3699 said...

I guess I'm wondering why she made you come in and didn't just do it herself? Bird Girl was a chicken!

Reinvent Dad said...

I found out later Bird Girl had a crush on me, but before anyone suggests that guys can't detect subtleties from the opposite sex......I HAD a girlfriend and she had a my radar was completely turned off.

Badass Geek said...

I hit a morning dove coming in for a landing with a shovel once. It killed itself for me.

Petterritory said...

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A Free Man said...

You're a better man than I.

Ah, and 'the poor man's zoo' is exactly right. That's what we use it for as well.

Aunt Juicebox said...

I've owned a countless number of birds, and they always just keeled over and hit the bottom of the cage. I never had to "take them out". lol