October 16, 2010
Fitzgerald Theater

Saint Paul, MN

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Wildlife

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TR (ANNC): And now, Rainbow Motor Oil and the Rainbow family of automotive products brings you: Bjorn Whipple, Wildlife Otolaryngologist.

(ORGAN)

(FOOTSTEPS THROUGH WOODS)

SS: It's getting dark, and the temperature is plummeting, Dr. Whipple. (OWL HOOTS) And I think that owl is trying to warn us of something.

GK: We have work to do out here, Maureen. An epidemic of bacterial infections among beavers and muskrats. Aquatic mammals who ingest birchbark that's infested with tiny tree mites that carry a rare transmogrified bacteria that causes tinnitus, or ringing in the ears. 

SS: How can you be so sure, Dr. Whipple?

GK: Forest rangers have observed the animals shaking their heads, somethings banging their heads against trees, Maureen. That points toward tinnitus. And according to my GPS, there's a lot of beaver activity around the pond up there.

SS: Oh------ a pond. What a wonderful day for a swim.

GK: I can sense beaver activity around us, Maureen. Keep your eyes open for head-shaking and head-banging. Then we'll move in and do an examination.

SS: You wouldn't mind if I took a quick skinny dip in the pond, would you? Doctor?

GK: A simple antibiotic administered orally or rectally should clear up the infection but first I'd have to do an ear examination to ascertain the extent of the nerve damage. So we'll need a mild anesthetic.

SS: I mean, you're a doctor. You've seen naked women before. Surely. Or have you only looked into their ears and noses?

(TREE STARTS TO FALL) Look out Maureen--(TREE CRASHES TO THE GROUND, SS CRY)

SS: Are you okay Dr. Whipple?

GK: I may be wrong but there seemed to be something intentional about that tree fall. Beavers are very territorial. I'm quite certain our presence has raised their alertness to fever pitch.

SS: Speaking of alertness, Doctor-----

GK: Let's follow this creekbed here.  (FOOTSTEPS)

SS: Did you hear what I said about swimming?

GK: Look. There he is, Maureen. See him? Standing by the birch tree. It's the muskrat we've been tracking.

SS: I don't see him.

GK: The little weaslish mammal with the beady eyes---- see how he's shaking his head back and forth-----

SS: He looks like he's listening to something on headphones.

GK: It's ringing in the ears. Tinnitus, Maureen. Can be caused by a buildup of earwax but in this case, an infection by tiny tree mites.

SS: Oh dear. Could a person catch this infection by swimming in the pond?

GK: Swimming where?

SS: In the pond.

GK: Why would a person want to do that?

SS: Never mind.

GK: We're here to rescue mammals, sensate beings, from the torture of tinnitus, Maureen. Blow dart, please.
SS: Isn't that pronounced Tin-EYE-tis, Dr. Whipple?

GK: No, it's pronounced tinnitus.

SS: You're sure...

GK: Blow dart, Maureen.

SS: Here you go doctor. (BLOW DART, THUK, MUSKRAT FALLS) 

GK: Got him. Hurry, Maureen. (RUNNING THROUGH LEAVES) Lift him up and turn him on his side. There we go. Start with the left ear. Speculum please. (SFX) Thank you. And examining microscope. Just put that on my head, please.

SS: Your cheek is very warm, Dr. Whipple. Are you feverish?

GK: Don't touch my face, Maureen. I'm looking into the muskrat's ear canal.

SS: You just seem flushed and ---- rather hot.  

GK: Suction, please?

SS: Beg your pardon?

GK: Suction, Maureen. Focus.

SS: You dont just want a Q-tip?

GK: Q-tips are terribly dangerous, Maureen. Never ever use a Q-tip Maureen. Never.

SS: Sorry.

GK: Just turn on the generator please.

SS: Yes doctor. Turning on the generator (SFX) There.

GK: And suction tool please—(CLICK, SUCTION) There we go. EARWAX SUCTION, MUSKRAT MOANS)

SS: Oh my goodness. There's a lot of earwax in there.

GK: All because of the tiny tree mite infection. (SUCTION, MUSKRAT MOAN) This is why I became a veterinary ear, nose and throat man, Maureen. The chance to make a difference. And then private practice was so repetitive. The allergy problems of cats and dogs. So I came to the woods to work with wildlife-----

SS: I can see how it excites you. It makes you flushed and alive! (MUSKRAT MOAN) But don't you feel lonely? Working with muskrats and beavers? (SUCTION)

GK: There. I think we got it. (MUSKRAT MOVES) He's waking up. Hand me the antibiotic.

SS: There. 

GK: Is this the right one? 

SS: This is the rectal capsule. This is all we have.

GK: We don't have the oral capsule?

SS: No.

GK: Why not, Maureen? 

SS: The rectal capsule is faster acting.

GK: Yes, but with the anesthesia wearing off-----

SS: Just do it, doctor.

GK: I'll hold him, Maureen. (MUSKRAT)

SS: You want me to insert it?

GK: You have it in your hand.

SS: Shouldn't a doctor do this?

GK: You're a nurse, Maureen. This is a nursing procedure. Inserting a rectal capsule into a muskrat.

SS: You're so much more practiced at it than I.

GK: I'm not. Just do it, Maureen. Why the big discussion?

SS: Yes, but it's a gelatin capsule----- and it's starting to get soft.

GK: All the more reason not to delay. Just shove it in, Maureen.

SS: Are you sure?

GK: Yes, of course.

SS: You holding him tight?

GK: Do it. Do it. (POP, MUSKRAT MOAN)

SS: There.

GK: Got it all in?

SS: Man, that was weird.

GK: I'm going to have to suction the other ear.
(MUSKRAT WRIGGLING) I'm going to have to reanesthetize him, Maureen. Hold him steady—(MUSKRAT SQUEALS) I'll just take this hypodermic and----- stick him. Hold him. (MUSKRAT GRUNT) There. Got him! (MUSKRAT ESCAPE)

SS (SLOW): No Dr. Whipple. You got me. 

GK: Oh dear. I see it. Right in your thigh. Sorry.

SS (SLOW): The muskrat wriggled away.

GK: I'm sorry. Let's get this dart out of you (REMOVING DART). There.

SS (SLOW): Doctor Whipple?

GK: Yes Maureen-----

SS (SLOW): Look over there.

GK: Where? (HYPODERMIC, THUK, GK ouch)

GK: Why Maureen—you stuck me with a blow dart.

SS (SLOW): Yes. I don't know why I did that. (BEAVER CHEWS TREE) I guess I'm not thinking straight.

GK: You're not certified to do anesthesiology, Maureen. You stuck it in rather deep. (PULL OUT NEEDLE) There. I can feel my judgement already is impaired. 

SS (SLOW): So is mine. Maybe we should rest on these leaves for a while.

(LAYS DOWN IN LEAVES)

GK: (SLOW) We'll have to sleep it off, Maureen. A wasted night.

SS: Not necessarily...wasted.

GK: You seem to have an impulse control problem, Maureen. 

(BEAVER CHEWS TREE)

SS (SLOW): I feel very warm, and relaxed.

GK (SLOW): There is a beaver who is chewing on that rather large tree, Maureen. I don't imagine he can chew through it in less than three or four hours, but nonetheless if it falls in the direction it appears to me it would fall, it would almost certainly kill both of us.

SS (SLOW): But we have three or four hours?

GK: I believe so, Maureen. Hard to tell.

SS (SLOW): I think three or four hours is all we need, Dr. Whipple.

GK: You mean to sleep?

SS (SLOW): Sort of.

GK: I don't know what you want, Maureen.

SS (SLOW): I'm a mammal too, Dr. Whipple. Aren't you?

(BEAVER CHEWS TREE)

(ORGAN)

TR (ANNC): This has been Bjorn Whipple, Wildlife Otolaryngologist.

Brought to you by Rainbow Motor Oil and the Rainbow family of automotive products.

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