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Chicken or beef?

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Runner-up — Practitioner category

The spirit of adventure came upon me one Tuesday morning. I was battling to stay awake during a particularly tedious preamble. I knew my patient would get to the point eventually — she usually did, but experience had taught me that resistance was futile. By focusing my attention on the wall calendar hanging strategically behind her head, I could feign undivided attention while dreaming of an escape to this month’s exotic location. It was March. The Andes.

By August — at an age when convention would have me taking up golf or bridge instead — I found myself wedged between a bull-necked businessman and a tattooed hipster with a bushy beard. The monotonous tshh-tshh-tshh of the bass-line from his headphones rendered fresh insight into the misery of my chronic tinnitus patients. I was trapped, with ready access neither to the stunning view of the mountains below nor to the toilets. I wasn’t sure which worried me more. The static from the nylon airline blanket had sent my hair into a silver halo and the neck pillow was already aggravating my psoriasis. It was going to be a long flight. Luckily, I was prepared and reached for the white pill bottle in my bag.

I kicked my brand new hiking boots off under the seat in front and pulled down my tray table in anticipation. A glass of Sauvignon Blanc would be an excellent…

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