In The Shape of An L on His Forehead.

Dog with a first aid kit. Isolated on white.

Q: What do you call a doctor who does not have a first aid kit at home?

A: You call him an ambulance. Like now. Please?!

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So I was out walking the dogs today while the house was being cleaned so that we wouldn’t have little tracking pawprints on a freshly mopped floor.

I was starting to hit my stride walking these dogs, starting to believe that I am, indeed the Professional Insane Dog Walker. It now takes me 4:28 to assemble the food for the walk, another 1:24 to slip their harnesses on, 0:12 to place two empty doggy litter bags into my right pocket, 0:10 to get the house key into my left one and then a quick snap of my left wrist to shorten the leashes and I’m out of the house.

6:14 flat.

I don’t want to brag, but I am indeed a well-oiled dog-walking machine.

Bicycles don’t figure on my worry list no more, other dogs *shrug* yeah so maybe there’ll be one or two lunges with wild barking from the Toots. Nothin’ I can’t handle. One quick snap of my wrist and we are around a corner or a car, out of sight. Barking Tootsie. Food. Barking Tootsie. Food. Quiet Tootsie. Walk. Pity treat for well-behaved Toby. No flippin’ worries, mate. The suburb I now know like the back of my hand, and I walk with the confident strut of a determined Prancerciser.

80's Fashion woman exercising

We cross the road, no problems. One shout of ‘Quick’ and the dogs bolt across the street, pulling me with them. I’m in control. It looks like I’m out of control. I’m in control.

And then Tootsie suddenly crosses in front of me, pulling the leash in front of me. ‘Hey Tootsie!’ I bark, ‘cos I’m the boss of her. ‘You watch where you’re go-‘

TWANGggggggggg!!!

I had slapped my head against a road sign. A big yellow metallic 20 km/hr sign with a bump on top of it. The same bump that was forming on my forehead now. No, actually it wasn’t a bump. It was more like a slow sickening scratch of my tender forehead against a rough metallic edge. Like someone was trying to John Woo’s Face/Off me.

I started seeing stars. Alanis Morissette, to be precise.

and isn’t it ironic, don’t you think? a little too-ooo ironic, well I really do think.‘ she coos in my ear.

‘IT’S LIKE RAEE-AIN ON YOUR WEDDING DAY!’
‘IT’S A FREE RIDE WHEN YOU’VE ALREADY PAID!’
‘IT’S THE GOOD ADVICE, THAT YOU JUST DIDN’T TAKE!’
‘AND WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT IT FEEEGURES!’  Alanis yells in my head.

Shh, I plead. Miss Morissette, I am trying to walk the dogs here. Just. Quiet.

I stagger a bit and walk on, trying not to trip over the dogs. The skin burns on my forehead. Uh oh. I feel my forehead with my left hand. Surprisingly, there is no blood. I look at me looking back at me as we pass some parked car windows. Strangers walk past and judge the most vain dogparent they have ever come across.

I somehow complete the walk but the burning doesn’t go away. I look into the mirror and there it is – two bleeding lines running across my forehead. I am surprised it is not in the shape of an L.

They say children add to your worry lines. I didn’t know it’d be this violently.

How’d you get the scar Heng? they’ll ask. Gang fight, I’ll say. You should see the other guys, I’ll boast.

I look around the house for an antiseptic to treat the cut. I can’t find any. I am a doctor, and I cannot find an antiseptic in my own house.

Alanis steps up, takes a deep breath and grabs the mic again.

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