Every day, my mail box, inbox, front door, and crawl space are flooded with requests that I fix broken, bitten, swollen, stepped on, and horse-trodden feet.
“Please doctor, you must fix my foot,” they beg. To which I say, “Which foot?”
Their pain mixes with confusion as they process my question, sometimes while their injured foot drips blood all over my $10,000 Persian rugs. If the problem at all implicates a right foot, I throw them a pack of frozen peas and send them packing. I have no time for tomfoolery.
I am proud to be the leading and only specialist in the field of left foot podiatry.
During my third year at Harvard Medical School, I realized there were a few problems with the American medical system. Namely, there were only thousands of specialties. Faced with so little variety, I was left with no choice but to revolutionize how we see our feet.
Historically, due to left-discrimination, a lack of funding, and blatant incompetence, the left side of the body is 50 percent more likely to suffer injury than the southwest side of the body, which doesn’t technically exist because I just made it up.
At One Foot in Front of the Other Podiatry, our highly-trained team of specialists and physical therapists are uniquely attuned to the intricate needs of the left side of the body and absolutely nothing else. We don’t even know how to take your blood pressure. But is your left pinky toe experiencing jealousy issues towards your left big toe, causing you to trip on the middle part of Barnes & Noble that isn’t carpet and topple an entire display of Reese’s Book Club? You’ve come to the right place.
It may seem that I have prospered greatly off the misfortunes of the left foot, but the truth is that my path to podiatrist fame and fortune was not always easy. When I first told my advisor I was planning to specialize in the left foot, she asked if I had been “taking those stupid improv classes again.” My father broke down in tears, which we later realized stemmed less from my announcement and more from a burst appendix.
“You’re a doctor, help your father,” my mother cried.
“I don’t specialize in the appendix,” I screamed, my chin held high as I walked out of the room, leaving my teenage Eagle Scout brother to treat my father before he was rushed to the hospital. I knew at that moment they would never truly understand me.
But I soon found people who saw my true value. If there’s one thing that unites humanity, it’s that we all have left feet. Most people have a left foot and a right foot, and some people have two left feet. I have those guys to thank for the downpayment on the house in Palm Springs.
Over the years, we’ve had the privilege of expanding our practice to encompass a wide range of ailments affecting the left side of the body. We offer innovative treatment for left kidney transplants, left ear infections, treating the left spleen if the spleen ever stops doing whatever a spleen does, left scoliosis, vision exam and glasses that only cover the left eye, single-nostril allergies, left nosebleeds, sporadic and unexplained bleeding anywhere on the left side of the body between the left armpit and knee, upper-left migraines, and left chlamydia.
If you have a left problem, we have the right answer. Cash only.
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Bobbie Armstrong is a former child, current writer and student. Her work has appeared on McSweeney’s, Slackjaw, Belladonna Comedy, Little Old Lady, and her parents’ fridge. Follow her existential crisis @bobbien_