Every man has oddities I suppose, and one of mine has always been the curious desire to avoid death by heart attack. Yes, after long and careful thought, I decided long ago I would rather not experience a cardiovascular quake on the scale of the “biggun” or “widow-maker.” Truth be told, the thought of my heart stopping just rubbed me the wrong way.
Which is why on Saturday mornings, when all sane people are still asleep, I sometimes get up before the break of dawn and apply an anti-chafing salve to my inner thighs. Called Thigh Glide, it’s quite effective at ameliorating that slightly irritating feeling that you’re running with sandpaper between your legs. It’s only downside is it smells like lard, which is apparently very appealing to creatures with a strong sense of smell.
Admittedly, running mile upon mile when nothing is chasing me is a strange activity to prefer to sleeping in on Saturdays. But sometimes things do chase me, which I’ll soon expound upon, and the point is I prefer running to a heart attack, not sleeping–which is a point I also tried to explain to the animal control agent.
The agent looked young, like he just finished basic law enforcement school. He wore beige cargo pants, with an above average number of cargo pockets, some of them clearly filled and weighed down with tools of the animal control trade. He had pepper spray holstered on his hip. He wore one of those little flimsy, plasticky blue FBI-like jackets, but instead the back read Animal Control Department. Needless to say, the agent had the appearance of an animal control authority, and thus I hoped he would soon go hunt down and apprehend the German Shepherd so I could go about my day and get a tetanus shot at an urgent care facility. Apparently, anytime a person goes to the urgent care with a dog bite, the doctors have to call the authorities. Thus, enter the animal control agent.
ANIMAL CONTROL AGENT: “Did you do anything to provoke the dog?”
ME: “No, I was just running. It came charging at me from the front porch of a house. I tried to keep my head down and just keep moving, but it bit me.”
ACA: “Were you on the shoulder of the road or the road itself?”
ME: “I was in the middle of the road, trying to flee the dog.”
ACA: “Can you describe the dog?”
ME: “German Shepherd. Brown and black, pointy ears, vicious temperament.”
ACA: “What did you do when it bit you?”
ME: “I turned around and kicked it in the head. And then a person in a car stopped. He got out and started yelling at the dog and it ran back toward the porch. ”
ACA: “Do you know who owns the dog?”
ME: “Well, I assume, the old lady hollering from the front porch.”
ACA: “Did she say if it had its rabies shots?”
ME: “Yes, she said it had its shots.”
ACA: “Well, we still recommend you get a Tetanus shot in case of infection. And even though she said it had its shots, we’ll quarantine the dog for 14 days to verify it isn’t acting suspicious. If we notice any suspicious behavior, we’ll notify you, at which point you’ll need to get rabies shots.”
ACA: “Last thing, I’ll need to take a picture of the bite.”
It was at this point that the young animal control agent and I took our relationship to a whole new a level. I pulled down my shorts, and showed him the bloody bite marks of canine teeth on my inner upper (and I mean inner and upper) left hamstring, a region underneath bits of my anatomy that no man save a proctologist or undertaker ought to see.
I’ll spare you the picture of the bite. On a positive note, though, this happened several months ago, and the dog did not exhibit suspicious behavior, so I didn’t have to get rabies shots. Plus, I’ve nearly got all my anti-freeze saved up for a nice gourmet marinade on a expertly-selected, finely crafted dog food that smells a lot like lard.