Dr. Smock and the Bad Trade
"WHEW! WHAT A week!" said Dr. Smock as he put the finishing touches on a Shine
and Buff job for a sweet little Bloop named Whitey. The Smock Petpet Clinic
had expanded to include Petpet Grooming and the Canino Real, a boarding house
for Petpets whose owners were going on vacation. This expansion meant more work
for Dr. Smock, but he really enjoyed the new tasks. He was becoming quite an
artist at coifing Noils.
The owner arrived to take Whitey home, and Dr.
Smock went back into the clinic. He gave a final dose of baby aspirin to a Cloud
Gruslen who had been under his care for an impacted tooth. Then he stopped to
play with the four abandoned Christmas Doglefoxes that were staying at the clinic,
waiting to be adopted. It was a shame, really; Petpets are for a lifetime, not
just for Christmas. But eventually they would be taken into loving homes since
Dr. Smock had lots of clients who just couldn't resist one more Petpet.
Turning the TV to a brand new episode of Better
Than You, Dr. Smock dropped into his easy chair. "How nice to finally relax,"
he said to himself. Soon, he would get up and fix a nice dinner of Duck Neck
and Chokato, but for now, he was just too comfortable.
Dr. Smock jumped at the sound of the phone,
waking from a light doze. Was that the phone? Surely not. He must have been
Oh, but the chair was so comfy. Surely no one
could need a Petpet Surgeon this late at night. It had to be a wrong number.
The phone was insisting! So Dr. Smock rubbed
his eyes and groaned, and got out of his chair. He picked up the phone.
"Dr. Smock? Is that you?" said a nervous sounding
voice on the phone.
"Yes, is there some sort of emergency?" asked
Dr. with great patience.
"Doctor, this is BobbyChia. I've got a real
sad case here. I know it's late... and you're probably thinking about your dinner
and going to bed, but I really think that you need to look at this Searex that
I just got."
"What seems to be the problem?"
"I'm so ashamed," said BobbyChia. "It's a very
tawdry story. My owner (who shall remain nameless) was trading in the Trading
Post. He saw a Gooseberry Chia Pop, and we've both wanted one for so long. He
couldn't really afford it though. There it was in the Trading Post, and my owner
just got excited and hoped against hope that the other owner would trade the
Gooseberry Chia Pop for the Searex that my owner won from the Wheel of Mediocrity."
"Go on," said Dr. Smock.
"Well, as you might guess, the poor Searex was
'left to rot.' Can you believe the cruelty?"
"Oh, no!" said Dr. Smock. "How rotten is the
BobbyChia shuddered. "I'm not a Petpet surgeon,
but I would have to say that the Searex is about ¾ completely and totally rotten.
His scales are beige and he smells like the dumpster behind the Golden Dubloon
after All-You-Can-Eat Bilge Rat Madeira Night."
That thought suddenly killed Dr. Smock's appetite,
and since he wouldn't be eating supper, he would have time to attend one more
patient. "Bring him right in!" he said.
Several minutes later, BobbyChia knocked at
the door. Dr. Smock was about to open it when he caught a whiff of a decidedly
foul stench. "Eeeeeeeeeeewwww," he shouted as he quickly tied a surgical mask
around his beak.
He opened the door for BobbyChia, who had his
face covered with a Scarf. "I told you it was bad, Doc."
They hustled the little Searex into the operating
room. A quick baking soda and vinegar fuzz bath helped kill some of the smell.
Then the doctor began to scrape away the gunk with an Ultra Shovel. The Searex
quickly began to perk up.
"He's looking better Doc!" shouted BobbyChia.
"Let's get him into the bath."
The two scrubbed him well with Peophin Shampoo,
and dried him with a nice Towel. By now the Searex had recovered his healthy
olive green tone, and was making friendly noises. Dr. Smock finished by teasing
his ear fins into a nice bouffant.
"Wow, that's really pretty," said BobbyChia.
"I think that now we might be able to trade him for something, if my owner can
learn to make reasonable trades."
"Yes," said Dr. Smock, "just tell your owner
to trade him for something of equal value, so he won't get left to rot again."
"We will," said BobbyChia sheepishly.
"Oh, and if you're looking for a Gooseberry
Chia Pop, you might have better luck at the Wishing Well."
To be continued... in
the short story section of issue #51.