March 13, 2009 5:00 am
This week’s Spin Cycle topic is survival. I thought long and hard about what to write about since I don’t have any momentous survival stories that haven’t already been told on the blog. I started looking through old pictures to jog my memory and it was there I remembered my brush with death.
Several years ago, I attended a luau with my brother. The party was hosted by friends of his and I only tagged along for lack of anything better to do. Earlier that day, I went to the party supply store and picked up the necessary luau attire, a hula skirt and a straw hat. I also donned my coolest Hawaiian shirt to complete the outfit.
When we got to the party, there was plenty of beer to be consumed. My brother lived a block away and I planned on crashing on his couch so I drank it up. And kept drinking. I was having a great time and the more I drank, the better it got. My potty-mouthed storytelling self came out in full swing and the audience was eating it up. There’s a reason I rarely drink anymore and that reason is that I make a complete ass of myself whenever I drink. That, and the fact that waking up hungover with a toddler in your face is less than fun.
Halfway though the night, I went inside to use the bathroom. As I was walking through the living room, I noticed a small dog sitting on an overstuffed chair. Being my drunk and intelligent self, I decided to approach the tiny dog and say hello. I sat on the ottoman and leaned in to pet him. At this point in the story, I should probably mention that I wasn’t yet a dog owner and didn’t really know that proper dog etiquette meant that you shouldn’t approach a strange dog when you’re drunk off your ass and dressed in a hula skirt and straw hat.
As I leaned in to pet the small dog, time slowed down to a crawl. The dog looked at me with an evil glint in his eye and then calmly leaned forward and BIT MY FUCKING NOSE OFF. Ok, not my entire nose but he managed to split my nostril wide open, leaving blood gushing out and a flap of skin in its place. The whole thing actually happened in one long slow motion moment. If my reflexes had been better, I might have been able to avoid getting bit instead, I sat there as my mind was screaming “NNnnnnnnnnnooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!” This is what I saw coming at me:
I ran to the bathroom and inspected the damage. Yes, my nose really was split open and bleeding. Yes, I still looked ridiculous in the straw hat and hula skirt. I held pressure on my nose as I ran to find my brother and tell him what happened. The homeowners were extremely apologetic and everyone formed a sympathy circle around me. I was trying to keep it together but my emotions (and the several Bud Lights I had consumed) got the best of me and my eyes were welling up with drunken-I-miss-my-nose tears. We called it a night and my brother and I went home.
We decided that I could probably live without stitches. My brother’s friends wanted to go back out so they left me there, drunken and chewed on and headed out to a club (man, times were different back then). I sat there in my pity party and called my friends who (from hearing my drunken side of the story), thought my entire face had been bitten off. The three of them hopped in their car and rushed to my brother’s apartment to inspect the damage and offer moral support. It’s nice to have friends run to your side at your time of need and being mauled by Kujo definitely warranted the need for friends. We finished up the night (and the rest of the beer) with some good times and laughs and all ended up crashing on the floor at my brother’s apartment. I had survived my first dog attack and later went on to become a willing dog owner to two dumb, slobbery mutts.
*Note: My nose eventually healed up and eight years later, the scar is barely visible. Kujo happily lived out the rest of his years with his family, except when my brother went to visit. My brother gave Kujo several (size 13) reminders of what he did to me that night. Although I can approach the biggest dogs calmly and without fear, small dogs still freak the shit out of me.
This shot was taken the day after the incident.