One early morning, a man walked into the medical clinic at which I work as a receptionist. His shirtsleeve was in tatters and his upper arm was bleeding profusely. When I asked him what had happened, he explained that he had gotten into an argument with his (female) neighbor, and that she bit his arm. He was soft-spoken and polite, and asked if he could see a doctor.

Now you should understand, this sort of thing doesn't happen around here very often. Ours is a small clinic in a sleepy suburb.

Trying to keep the amusement off my face, since everyone knows that receptionists are supposed to be cool and impassive, I sent him into the doctor's office. Even through the closed door, I could hear the doctor muttering, mostly to herself, "What the hell am I supposed to write in your file? 'human bite'?"

After examining him, the doctor told him to go to the nurse to get the wound cleaned and disinfected. While he was waiting in the lobby for the nurse to see him, another patient came into the waiting room. Seeing the man with the bloody shirt, he did a double take.

"What happened to you? Did a dog bite you?" he asked, staring.

"No," the man with the bloody shirt answered, not missing a beat, "a bitch did."