I wouldn’t consider myself accident-prone, but the contents of my medicine cabinet and bathroom vanity seem to tell a different story. The generous supply of adhesive bandages, support bandages, patches, gauze, antiseptics, antibiotic creams, ointments, drops and analgesics are evidence that this household is relatively well-prepared for when slapstick and life collide.
I have been very fortunate in that I have never broken a bone, but when it comes to bumps, sprains, scrapes and very minor accidents, I have experienced more than my fair share. Shoppers Drug Mart and Rexall shareholders, you are welcome!
I take inspiration from Elizabeth Barrett Browning when I ask: “How am I klutzy? Let me count the ways…”
– When I was very young, I was fascinated with automatic opening doors. When I was 4, I was “testing” the doors at a nearby mall and unfortunately missed my cue and crashed into a closing door.
– I am told that at a school concert in kindergarten, where I played the conductor at our school band’s brilliant rendition of “Pop Goes the Weasel” apparently I fell off my podium in rehearsals. I have no recollection of this incident and will continue to deny it, but without video evidence, I admit that anything is possible.
– When I was 8 or 9, I remember a wobbly tooth that wouldn’t come out. Dad suggested I tie dental floss around it and attach the other end to a door, and to close it. I was never a master of physics, but I probably should have asked someone to check my work before proceeding with the experiment. When I slammed the door, the tooth didn’t come out… and the door bounced back into my face causing a bloody nose.
– Probably that same summer, I was playing Frisbee with a friend who had amazing aim and coordination. Either her aim was too good or my catching skills were too bad (most likely the latter), but I missed and the Frisbee hit me in the upper lip, leaving me with a swelled heart-shaped upper lip for a week. I wonder if that’s how the idea for Botox was born.
– One winter, I did a “Six Million Dollar Man” jump off a mountain of snow that the plow left in the schoolyard. That sprain took until spring to fully heal.
– I like to think I am the reason that parents tell their kids to tie their shoelaces or else risk tripping on them. It probably explains my preference for boots now.
– Could dodgeball have been a bigger ongoing disaster for an uncoordinated kid like me? Body armour should have been handed out before every recess.
– In the mid 1990’s, I brought home a notebook computer to catch up on some work. Again, the laws of physics were truly not on my side that day as it was stormy and windy with a great deal of snowy slush on the ground. I was trying to lean forward into the storm, as I was walking up the hill to my apartment, hauling an old computer that seemingly weighed a ton. The wind was pushing me back, the slush was sliding me back, and gravity was obviously pointing down the hill. The opposing forces were the perfect recipe for my back to make a popping sound and that was it, my first really bad backache.
– Then there was the time I was deep in thought about work and accidentally slammed the car door on my middle finger. It left my middle finger pointing straight up in a splint for weeks. Lesson learned: pay attention!
– While we are on the topic of cars, how can I own the same car for years, yet still succeed in bumping my head or knocking my shin while getting in the car?
– Shortly after becoming a first time homeowner, I applied a quick preventative spray of insecticide at the bottom of the three outer walls or my garage to keep the earwigs and ants from considering coming in to the house. I wasn’t completely familiar with the configuration of my garage yet, but when I finished, I got up quickly (as I was still holding my breath from the operation) and banged my head on the sharp corner of a floating shelf on the garage wall. The result was a page from a bad horror flick: blood, pain, a gash, a bruise that lasted for days, then a crusty scab that I am certain grossed out many people in office meetings. What an indoctrination into the joys of home ownership!
– If there is a way to get an article of clothing caught on something, leave it to me to find it, especially since doorknobs are at the right level for me to catch a pocket or a belt from a long coat. Dramatic entrances or exits have been spoiled by bursts of laughter.
– I love the health benefits of running but not so much the hazards of running like knee, hip or shin issues, bloody nipples or lost toenails. I have experienced all of these along my journey. Yes, running is fun!
– Glasses have been a source of constant “amusement” as I have been known to poke myself in the eye with the arm of the glasses from time to time in trying to put them on, or to pull them off in a dramatic flourish (in the style of a 1980’s prime time soap) only to see them slowly slip out of my hand and into a garbage can, a mud puddle or a snow bank. This would have never happened to Joan Collins.
– A few months ago, I was in bed reading something on the iPad and took off my glasses as I tend to not need my specs for reading. I must have been completely captivated in what I was reading as I had not noticed or heard the glasses slip off the bed. When I got up to go turn the bathroom light out, I accidentally stepped on my glasses. The lenses were intact but the frame was broken beyond repair.
Of course, it isn’t fun nursing a wound after a mishap or shelling out good money to restore something that accidentally broke. However when those extremely unlikely minor accidents happen, one can’t help but laugh (as soon as the pain subsides).
With a lifetime of little “oops” moments to draw from, I am certain those unplanned mishaps will continue keeping me in stitches… and hopefully not in the medical sense.
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