There are klutzes and then there are serious klutzes. I am a KLUTZ extraordinaire. I can’t walk through a doorway without hitting one side or the other. I can’t take a pan out of the oven without burning myself. Every time I take the lid off a pill bottle, I drop the lid on the floor. I fell out of the pantry one day (one step) and sprained my ankle. Basically, if there’s anything to bump, walk or crash into – I will. Bruises, scars and scabs are some of my best friends. I take them everywhere I go.
So, I got thinking about some of my many falls. At Monk Funeral Home, we lived upstairs and worked downstairs. I climbed a full flight of stairs numerous times each day. How is your math? Ten years, or 3650 days, 16 steps, ten times up and down each day. The stair railing ended four steps before the bottom of the stairs. One day I was running mindlessly down the stair. I wasn’t thinking about where the railing stopped. One moment I was descending the stairs and a moment later I was lying in the middle of a ceramic floor at the bottom of the stairs. As soon as I tried to get up, a sharp pain shot up my leg. I was there alone so my only option was to crawl to the office and call Glenn.
Off we went to the ER at Ross Memorial Hospital. It didn’t appear to be broken, until the orthopedic doctor examined the x-rays. I had broken some small bones on the side of one foot. Would I like a plaster cast, a fiberglass cast or an air cast? I opted for the air cast because I could remove it if I was sitting with my foot up. As well, it could be adjusted as the swelling in my foot diminished and I could manage without a crutch. A crutch was just a more serious accident waiting to happen, like pitch-poling head first down the stairs.
The next fall happened while Allison and I were walking down the sidewalk swinging Isaac between us. In a split second I turned my ankle even though I was wearing flat, sensible orthopedic sandals. I felt myself falling, and I tried to outrun it, but I kept getting closer and closer to the cement sidewalk. I landed with a thud that must have registered on the Richter Scale as a minor earthquake. And what did I do? I jumped up quickly and looked around to see if anyone was watching. We walked the short distance home and I sat in the La-Z-Boy with my leg up and a bag of ice on it.
It was somewhat like watching a time-release flower bloom. My knee puffed up before my eyes and the next day it was one gigantic, ugly bruise. It continued to swell over the next few days and I had to see my doctor. The verdict? A huge pocket of fluid had developed and it would take forever for the body to absorb it. He got out a needle that seemed better suited for an elephant than me and poked it in my knee, removing more than a cup of bloody fluid. It took many weeks for my knee to return to normal.
My most recent unladylike fall happened just a couple of days before we left West Head to return to Bobcaygeon. I awoke before daylight to go downstairs to the bathroom. In a nanosecond, I slipped on the newly varnished stairs and fell down. There was nothing I could do to stop it so I bumped heavily down each step as if on a toboggan bouncing off big rocks. Everyone in the house, except baby Maddie, came running. Maybe they thought it really was an earthquake. They looked at me with eyes bugging out of their heads. Nothing broken. No serious damage done, or so I thought.
The day after it felt okay, but on the third day the damage I had done became obvious. Now I am sporting some dandy bruises from my left shoulder right down to my left thigh. My thigh is especially sore and contains very hard pockets of something. I usually sleep on my left side, but not since that fall, because those hard areas hurt like the dickens.
Have no fear; I’m not going to show anybody what it looks like, especially over the internet. I might if I were 18 instead of almost 58. Oh, the ravages of time, cellulite, too much time in my La-Z-Boy recliner, too many visits to Kawartha Dairy for ice cream and a whole bunch of things I’m not willing to share with everybody in Blog Land.
I take comfort in knowing I am not alone. The world is full of klutzes. I once witnessed a fall that occurred during a Sunday morning church service. The Reverend was preaching a lively sermon and wasn’t paying attention to anything else. Without warning we heard crash, slam, bang and he disappeared. He had fallen off the platform and crumpled into a heap behind the piano. Was he still alive? Was he conscious? Had he cut himself? Had he sustained a concussion? Had he broken any bones? The congregation burst out laughing until they realized the severity of what had happened. He picked himself up, shook himself off and slowly limped back to the pulpit. By that time, the point he had been trying to make in his sermon was lost forever. I bet he had sore muscles and sported some nasty bruises for more than a day or two.
I observed another embarrassing fall many years ago as I watched a young man walk across the stage during his high school graduation at Lockeport Regional High School. He didn’t notice an electrical cord running across the floor. He caught his toe in it, tripped and fell, landing with a thud. Once again, what was the initial reaction of those in the auditorium? Laughter. The red-faced graduate picked himself up and continued across the stage to accept his high diploma. He has probably never forgotten the humiliation of that moment.
I decided to ask Dr. Google why we laugh when someone falls. I was expecting a short and simple answer. Boy, was I wrong. One would require the services of a Philadelphia lawyer to decipher it. After reading a kazillion explanations, this is the one that made the most sense to me.
“I think that it is an automatic response. We are surprised so we laugh. It is not that we think it is funny but that we are startled. “
I have been accident-free for almost two weeks. That must be a record. I have a strong premonition that my inner klutz will rear her head real soon. So don’t be surprised if you see me sporting a bandage, a sling, a crutch, a cast and riding in a wheelchair.
What about you? Have you had an embarrassing fall? Are you willing to share it with us? It would mean a lot to those of us who carry the klutz gene. After all, there is kinship among klutzes.
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