On Sunny Lane - Shop Talk

By Dorothy Knight Burchett

A while back (no pun intended—well, maybe) I went to my family doctor, because I was having trouble with my back. It was actually a muscle in my back, but it felt as hard as a rock. He felt the affected area and studied it and came to the conclusion—barring any revelations that an x-ray might uncover—that the petical (or however you spell it) had rotated and was projecting from the vertebra. Petty what? I didn’t need a pedicure and I didn’t see what that had to do with the pain in my back. Once he explained the matter to me, it made some sense, but I was beginning to wonder. From there I went to the hairdresser. It was long past time for me to get my hair cut. I decided to try a new hairdresser this time. I didn’t have an appointment, but the nice lady wasn’t busy and was glad to take me in. As we were discussing the look I was going for, she asked me if I wanted her to cut my hair at the bottom of my occipital (spelling?) bone. Ossy what? I wasn’t sure which bone that was and I hoped it wasn’t out there for everyone to see, but I trusted that she knew what she was talking about, so I said yes. Then she asked me if I wanted a wedge, so my hair would turn under at the ends. Now, wait a minute. I haven’t had a wedgie since I was in high school and I slapped the kid who gave it to me. Once again, I just needed some explanation and I was okay with it. It wasn’t more than a few days later that the dash light came on in the car. That can mean something as simple as needing to put the gas cap on right to needing a complete engine job. Well, we did need an oil change, so we took the car in. The cause of the engine light was simple, but expensive. The technician used some language that I can’t repeat—not because it was profane, but because it was spoken in automobile language. It seems that every occupation has a different language—besides English. People who work at them may understand very well, but to the uninitiated, it can cause a puzzled look. The average citizen cannot usually speak doctor, beautician, automobile and professions other than their own. A little explaining can go a long way to educating a person, though. So, in some cases, I will know what the person is trying to tell me and, in some cases, I will just ask. It can almost be like speaking a foreign language. It pays to have an open mind.

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