No relationship is all roses and rock star sex. Yesterday, Kailey and I were getting ready to leave her house when one of the dogs decided it wanted to get her attention by jumping on her when she wasn’t looking. The result was a canine-human head-butt whose resounding crack filled the air. Uh oh, I thought, this is gonna be bad.

Sure enough, the skin just below Kailey’s lower lip split wide open. If she wanted a Labret piercing, she’d be all set–just stick some jewelry in there and go. It looked like she’d need some stitches, so we headed to the closest hospital. On the way, I decided to take her to urgent care instead, with the hope the wait would be shorter than at the ER. We arrived at a nondescript downtown storefront that hardly looked like the sort of place you could find any kind of medical care, let alone urgent care. But we walked inside, anyway.

Picture the scene: a receptionist wearing too-tight Broncos gear from head to toe talking to a doctor with mad-scientist hair. A young woman, waiting to be helped, wore a garish green and white floral dress, Buddy Holly glasses and patent leather Mary Janes while clutching a bright red lunchbox purse. I understood the look she was going for, but on her it was a complete miss. “Oh my god, we’re at Kmart,” Kailey groaned under her breath. I think that sight pained her more than her busted lip.

Just then, a burly man walked in with his friend and announced in a booming voice that he brought the friend in for a blood test. He then proceeded to quiz all the injured, sneezing, sniffling, gimpy waiting room occupants about what ailed them. “Didn’t he ever hear of HIPAA?” Kailey mumbled through the wad of tissues pressed against her lip. Maybe because it appeared that Kailey couldn’t speak, Geraldo Rivera‘s more obnoxious twin (thankfully) spared us.

It was all so unusual that I started to feel like the protagonist in a David Lynch film. Finally, we got in to see a nice, normal doctor who decided her wound wasn’t bad enough for stitches. He glued her together with Dermabond–which is basically superglue–and sent us on our way. We assessed the damage: one slightly chipped front tooth, a prognosis for zero scarring, and a moratorium on kissing. If the worst thing we experienced that day was horrific fashion and a surreal waiting room, I’ll gladly take it.

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