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The Problems with Skype

I've been using Skype for nearly three years, even before we moved down to Indianapolis. It's a computer-based Voice Over I.P. phone system that lets you treat your computer like a phone. You purchase a phone number, a basic calling plan, and you're all set. The caller's voice comes from the speakers, and your internal mic picks up your voice.

So I've been on a number of phone calls on my laptop, using earbuds and a microphone to have a private conversation. And sometimes, if I don't use them, a not-so-private conversation.

I was sitting in the conference room at my employer's office yesterday when the phone on my computer rang. It was the vet's office, asking me about my dog, which my wife had brought in for some persistent diarrhea.

Since I was alone, I hit the button to answer the call.

"Hello?" I said.

The vet introduced himself, said my wife had brought our dog in that morning, and could he ask a few questions. No one was around, and I didn't have the buds handy, so I said sure.

"Did you see your dog's last bowel movement?" his voice boomed over my little MacBook speakers, suddenly louder than ever before.

"Uh, sure?"

"I'M SORRY?!" The speakers had gotten concert loud, like they were a set of Peavey's.

"Yes, I did," I said a little louder.

"What color was the bowel movement?" I hesitated. Could people hear us out in the main part of the office? Was I really just having a conversation about my dog's poo? And why couldn't he just say "poo" like everyone else?

"Was it light or dark?" he added.

"Light," I said.

"What consistency was it?"

"Huh?" Ewwwww. This wasn't something I went around considering.

"Was it like a cow patty, or was it pretty loose."

"Loose," I said, fairly quietly.


"I said it was loose."

"Well, we're probably going to want to do a fecal smear today."

"You'll need to talk to my wife about that," I said, and gave him her cell phone number. I wasn't about to have a half-shouted discussion of fecal smears with my dog's vet.

I clicked the button and disconnected the call. I poked my head to see if anyone had heard the conversation. Luck was with me, and no one had heard me. At least no one I could see. I was only thankful I wasn't in a coffee shop.

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