Wednesday, 27 July 2011

The Tree Surgeon

I suppose that some people might say I’m not a proper doctor.

Probably the same sort of people who say that a home economist isn’t a proper economist, table tennis isn’t proper tennis, and caterpillars aren’t actual pillars. But it hurts, nevertheless.

I mean, vets never get that sort of abuse. It’s never ‘Oh, you’re not a real medic because your patients have four legs’. Just because my patients are made of cellulose and don’t move doesn’t mean that I have it easy.

Admittedly, I don’t have to make any complicated ethical decisions – I just have to check whether my patient has a preservation order - and nobody minds if I leave my watch inside a patient. But aboriculture is a skill and art, just like neurosurgery. Or engineering. Or texting while walking.

I mean, every artist has his tools. Since mine is a chainsaw and I operate without anaesthetic, you’d think people would be relieved that I don’t work on humans!

What really gets to me is the small talk.

“So, what do you do?”

“I’m a tree surgeon”.

“Oh, and how did you get into the business?”

“I got the key out of my pocket, inserted it into the lock, turn-- ”

“So you failed medical school?”

I didn’t fail. The tutors and I reached an agreement that it would be mutually beneficial if I were to leave.

“So why were you thrown out?”

It was an easy mistake. Anyone could have made it.

“Did you kill someone?

No. I’ve never done that. Not knowingly.
I don’t want to go into the specifics of the incident, but suffice to say that it would be impossible to recreate without a monopoly dog, twelve rubber bands, a suspect radiologist and a rather elderly patient.

“As one door closes, another opens.”

You should complain to your landlord about that.


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    1. Thanks for reading, and thank you very much for the comment. I didn't genuinely expect a tree surgeon to read it.