Carnival Farm (Excerpt from today’s writing)

Moose seemed to like classic rock, so switched the stations, gaining and losing them as they moved through zones. Seagn missed satellite radio, where she could listen to No Shoes Radio, modern and some classic country.
“Where are you from, anyway?” asked Seagn about ten miles out.
“Manville,” he said. “Rhode Island.”
“Is that where you went to school?”
“Went to school in Lincoln. Special classes.”
“Oh?”
“Vocational training. I learned how to fix engines.” He glanced at her. “What about you? Lived in Salem all your life?”
“My parents were from upstate New York. I moved to Salem after getting a job at the clinic.”
“They didn’t need vets in upstate New York?”
“No, not that. I went to school in Boston and they were advertising.”
“Your parents died?”
“Yeah. During the Pandemic.”
“Oh, sorry.”
“It’s okay. Thank you.”
He nodded. “Nasty bug, that. Put us out of business for a year.”
She never had it, and got the vaccine every year to make sure she didn’t. She remembered her mother’s face when they Facetimed goodbye, and she resolved to never put her brother through that situation again.
“Did you get it?”
“Nope. Couldn’t work that year so I was living with my step-sister. Had to do shit around the house. My nieces got it though. They’re okay.”
“That’s good.”
“What’s veterinary school like?”
“You’re very busy. You have to examine and memorize all kinds of animals’ physiology. But they never taught us to deal with pet parents.”
“You mean the owners?”
Seagn chuckled. “Yeah. They should have a class on human psychology and dealing with people.”
“It’s on the job training. Like here. You gotta deal with some crazy people. I was running the motorcycle ride and some father wanted to put their six month old on the bike. They can’t even sit up straight, nevermind hold the handlebars. I had to tell him no, and he got Webby, who told him he had to sign a waiver in case his kid fell off.” Moose shook his head. “Webby never says no. Customer is always right.”
“Did he put the kid on it?”
“Yeah, with the father on the bike, too. Looked fucking stupid. I cut it short. You seen the bike ride? They’re little bikes, for kids. When you hit 16 you shouldn’t ride it. You’re too big. But we get some people who are just fucking stupid.”
“Maybe they never rode a motorcycle.”
“Or they’re too scared. Hey, if I’m on the ride, I’d let you go on it.”
Seagn laughed. “Gee, thanks.”

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