I Am Rabid

by pjmcbride

…So everyone wants to know, “World Leader, how did you get bitten by a dog?” Actually, not even Nick wants to know this, but I will FORGE BRAVELY AHEAD because I have had 2 cans of mango ale, and I am a cheap drunk. It doesn’t take much, obviously. OK, I guess that’s what “cheap drunk” means, so now I’m committing the sin of redundancy.



I headed for Mass on Palm Sunday (DISCLAIMER: I am drunk enough to make lots of typos, but {hopefully} sober enough to discover and correct them) at St. Agnes, in the heart of Howell, on the wrong side of the tracks, if you live on Reitz Hill. As I do. As luck (or lack of luck) (I guess that’s what we call “bad luck”) would have it, I got the Evil Bus Driver (the one who won’t let you take drinks on board). But I had no drink and didn’t care (actually, I did care, having discarded my drink prematurely when I thought the bus was coming, BUT IT WASN’T, which was a bad omen showing my bad luck coming up, but ANYWAY…)

After we’d been on the way for awhile, the bus pulled over to let someone on, but the old lady being  let on tripped over the bus step and fell. The driver, being obsessed with doing things By the Book (reminiscent of a certain supervisor I once had–some of you who served with me will know whereof I speak) (or whom-of) said, “Let me pull the bus over so I can call an ambulance.” “Oh no, I don’t need an ambulance,” the poor soul said. And indeed, she seemed to need no ambulance, having only bruised her knee, if that. “Give me your name, address and phone number, anyway,” the driver said, and so she did. I looked on, disapproving of the delay, LITTLE KNOWING THAT I WOULD SOON BE DOING SOMETHING SIMILAR.

Finally, we got underway, and finally, I got off at my stop. I proceeded confidently on Glendale Ave., but my confidence was soon undermined by a pair of black dogs, one of whom (the larger and more Lab-like of the two) stared at me challengingly. (Spellcheck informs me that is not a word, but I DEFY SPELL CHECK! DO YOU HEAR ME? I DEFY IT!) I refrained from staring back at it and proceeded on my merry way, and then felt a CHOMP! on the back of my right calf. “I’VE BEEN BITTEN BY A DOG!!” I realized, in my usual perceptive manner, and screamed, which sent the dogs off down the street in a we-were-just-leaving-anyway sort of way.


But I’m drinking again, so you don’t need to worry.

Did you know I can consume a can of ale in only half an hour? Did you also know that Redd’s makes its cartons hard for drunks to get into, WHY WOULD THEY DO SUCH A THING?

I was sober when Rom left. Won’t he be surprised?

Oh no, he just came in. I better drink quick, or dinner will be served.


I hobbled to church (only a block away). You know when you have to look at an injury, but you’re afraid? Well, maybe Nick and similar tough soldierly types aren’t afraid (unless the bite should be from a spider), but I was. I had three (3) bloody tooth marks, and bruising/swelling already underway. It looked, not terrible, but not great either. I called 911, excited at the prospect of being my Very Own Emergency in the eyes of my co-workers. (Especially since my phone makes a special sound when you call 911, as if to remind you of the importance of your situation.) I tried to guess which co-worker answered the phone, but I came up clueless, and I apologize if she is reading this. I got a rare look at what it’s like being on the Other Side of the Phone–I was annoyed that she was making me decide whether I needed an ambulance or not–how can decide? I’ve just had a stressful experience! You hardly need to be reminded that I am annoyed when someone who calls 911 can’t tell me if they need an ambulance or not. At least I didn’t say “No lights or sirens.”

I then called Rom (there’s another thing–call 911 first, not your Emergency Contact) and informed him of my misadventure. He and I could both hear the siren of my ambulance, which was exciting, in a weird way. You know, all of this story is In a Weird Way. In retrospect, it’s like I was on drugs.

The ambulance arrived with commendable promptness, and Animal Control showed up a few minutes later. I had to tell him that the suspect was no longer on scene, but he left to see if he could locate said dog.

I was surprised to learn that an ambulance crew is kind of like your school nurse–they can’t do much other than Stabilize Your Situation until they get you to the hospital. It seemed unto me that I didn’t need the hospital, just some first aid, but they had not even Neosporin to offer me, although they did recommend I get my own, and I later did so. (Doesn’t Neosporin sound creepy? Like it’s full of spores.) So they just wiped me down with alcohol (unpleasant, but I am nothing if not stoic) and bandaged me up. I commend the guy who did so on his perfect touch–tight enough to stay in place, not tight enough to make swelling really get out of hand.

The Animal Control guy then returned, unable to find the dog, and we went into the crying room at church (although I was not crying), and sat in chairs designed for mothers to sit in and comfort their fractious infants, and he took my information for his report, and informed me that he’d only been on the job for 6 weeks. I assume the dog was never found, since they haven’t called me back. I also assume I’ll find out that ambulances are really expensive, even if they don’t take you to the hospital.

I then went in to church, and was amused to find that the psalm for Palm Sunday (Psalm 22, for those reading along at home) said, “A pack of dogs surrounds me; many evildoers close in upon me.”