What's the Most Bizarre Thing You've Ever Had to Explain to a Third Party?

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Aug. 29 2013 1:16 PM

What's the Most Bizarre Thing You've Ever Had to Explain to a Third Party?

A week-old shire foal with its mother.
A week-old shire foal with its mother.

Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images

This question originally appeared on Quora.

Answer by Paul Michelsen, large animal veterinarian:

I had to explain to a cop that I was weaving in traffic because I was stirring my lube.


One of the things I do as a veterinarian is to diagnose pregnancy in cows and horses with my hands. Sometimes, for early pregnancies, I do this with an ultrasound machine. Usually, though, I do it by reaching into the rectum with my gloved hand, which allows me to palpate the uterus and ovaries through the wall of the rectum. The procedure is abetted by the copious application of methylcellulose lubricant to my hand and arm. Being thrifty, I make my own lube using powdered methylcellulose, which I buy from a company which supplies special effects to the movie industry: I palpate animals with Ghostbusters slime. I make it by mixing the powder with water in a blender. If I don't get the proportions exactly right, the slime will be too stiff or too thin, so I "stir" it by letting the gallon jug of thick and thin lube roll around on the floor of my truck. Once, on the way to a pregnancy-checking appointment, I realized that the road hadn't been twisty enough to stir the lube, so I veered back and forth (in a very safe manner) on a straight section to roll the gallon jug.

The cop who pulled me over for weaving was a horse-owner who understood my explanation, but advised me to stir my lube in a non-vehicular manner.

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