Tripping on lint

Photo by Oliver Sju00f6stru00f6m on

I think it was the late great John Denver who told the story about a friend of his who cut his toe on a Rice Krispee and ended up having three stitches to treat it. I also have a friend who accidentally dropped a kitchen knife, which ended up perfectly, point down, stuck in one of her own toes. I was reminded of these people this weekend as I was dancing around my house, dragging out every curse word I knew, waving my finger in the air after I had managed to perfectly smash the tip of it in the door.

I didn’t end up needing medical attention for the finger, but I was fairly convinced for a while that I had broken it. And this is how life goes for me, because I am a card-carrying, lint-tripping, shower-slipping klutz. When I say that, I mean that whatever you might think is clumsy and self-hurting, I can ace it with imagination and creativity.

I’ve known this about myself since I was very young. In college, I once slammed a drawer, somehow catching the end of a scarf I was wearing around my neck. The scarf was wedged in just enough to prevent the drawer from opening. I was beginning to panic, fearing that I would choke to death and everyone would wonder what weird college ritual-gone-wrong I was performing when I died. At that moment, my roommate came along, saw my predicament and quickly untied the scarf from the other end, thus releasing me using a method I should have thought of myself, but I was too busy choking for rational consideration!

It didn’t improve as the years went on. I slipped on kitty litter (long story) and cracked a wrist. I tripped coming out of a shower and smacked my face so hard on the ceramic bathroom tile that I had to sip my meals through a straw for a week and a half. I once burned the back of my shoulder by getting up underneath a lit outdoor grill (another long story) and tipping it over. My fingers have been burned so many times in so many ways that they are actually more deep-fried than a McDonald’s McNugget.

I have a standard apology I give to people when I swing my arms and hit someone. I am the only person I know who can walk down the halls at my job and trip over the polish on the floor. I frequently fall up steps and the number of times I have hit my head on the corner of a kitchen cabinet would defy the limits of counting.

Clumsiness is not a pretty sight either because I frequently sport so many black and blue marks, I can’t remember where they all originated. I chased down a dog once, who was far smarter than I and then ended up in the emergency room having the edge of an eye stitched up and being questioned closely about whether I felt I was “safe at home.” Whether that was a suspicion about my husband’s behavior or just a comment on my own klutziness, I never did figure out.

Usually, I would prefer that my moments of clumsiness were unobserved, but the height of my traumatic actions is one I wish someone had seen, so they could explain how it was even possible. I was once drinking an iced drink, while walking through the dining room. A piece of ice missed my mouth, flipped out onto the floor, I slipped on it and when I stopped sliding, I was sprawled over the dishes, glassware and food that had been supper. I’m not certain, but I believe that may have defied the laws of physics, but I have no proof!

I could probably go on forever with this tale of “trip-itis” but to tell the truth, the finger that I smashed in the door is beginning to hurt from the typing, so I’d better quit. I do have a lot of paperwork to get done today, so I’ve probably got some papercuts to acquire and maybe I can manage to stick a pencil in my eye. However, I wish all of you an accident-free day and a wonderful week. Stay safe and…ouch! I think I just sprained my pinkie!

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