3/23/2008

Walking Tall

Pride comes before a fall - how many times have I heard that? While I'm not trying to debunk the words of the Hebrews or the rock band Sweet, sometimes there are other forces, like gravity, that come into play.

While it would be easy to say I was a deep thinker as a child and unaware of my surroundings, the truth is, I was plain old clumsy. Slipping, tripping and falling helped me decorate my early life in shades of black and blue.

When the gang would be riding bikes down a hill or over a ramp, I'd be the one that ended up going over the handlebars; when we were pushing each other into the deep end of the pool, I was the one who instead of hitting the water, hit my front teeth on the cement border surrounding it. I could go on but let's just say steady as he goes is not how anyone would have described me.

It was fun for a while using the old "I fell off the swing" defense when someone asked what had happened to me but when the social workers started showing up, I knew I needed a new tack.

I decided to make an effort to think before I walked, ran, leapt or dove. It worked to an extent except when I forgot myself and did something boneheaded like running out from between parked cars.

I'm forever indebted to Pong for helping me achieve a little better hand eye coordination but I still have to think about the simplest motor movements to keep myself from ending up splayed across the universe.

On my way down the stairs from the train to the concourse on my way to work, I always step carefully knowing well that one false move could start a chain reaction injuring dozens. A few days ago, I'd just I started my in-head mantra (left, right, left, right) when the man ahead of me lost his footing and slipped down three stairs. He nearly took out the girl in front of him eliciting gasps and are you alrights from the people around him.

Me? I had to quell the urge to burst out laughing. I mean really, is there anything funnier than hands and arms flailing like that? Loser.

30 comments:

Distributorcap said...

i suggest Lifeline, a powerful new product on the market

"I've fallen... and I can't get up!"

8-)

signed
marketing rep for Lifeline and the old lady's agent

FranIAm said...

Oh Dale... what writing. First - my heart was all stirred with your clumsy memories and then, kaboom... LOSER!

That is funny. And good.

Tanya Espanya said...

yeah, takes one to know one...

Tenacious S said...

First of all, God bless you for the reference to Sweet, one of my most favorite bands from the 70's. Second of all, you have just described every member of my family. Apparently, we have not only attracted each other, but have created offspring with the same tragic issue.

SkylersDad said...

I thought you were going to tell the tale of sitting outside the monastery in the rain until master Po let you in and now you are all Ninja-like...

Dale said...

Trouble is, I always got up Distributor Cap. Sell me something else.

Glad you thought so Fran, I still wouldn't walk down the stairs in front of me though.

You said it Ms. Espanya.

I'm all about the Desolation Blvd Tenacious S. My brothers liked Sweet and they actually got some radio play in Tiny Town where I grew up. I'm glad that you're raising kids who will have something to fall back on, namely that Donner Party Peeps Diorama!

Imagine Peter Griffin as a ninja and I've got the same kind of power Skyler's Dad.

BeckEye said...

I love slapstick. I don't care who it is - if I see someone fall I can't help but laugh. And if it was YOU, well, I would be in hysterics.

By the way, I wasn't working yesterday. You misunderstood my post. You and EVERYONE ELSE who left a comment, so I obviously didn't execute that whole "let's make fun of the Easter bunny" thing too well.

Old Lady said...

No! Maybe me when I was a little girl rolling down the stair every chance I got. I think that's what is wrong with my head.

katrocket said...

Wow, Dale, it's hard to believe you're still alive. Congratulations on beating the odds!

Falwless said...

Magical story. I, like Beckeye, laugh at anyone who falls. It's just doggone funny, no matter how you slice the bread.

As the fine Mel Brooks once said, "Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die."

Barbara Bruederlin said...

It's always great when it happens to someone else! I would have laughed my ass off if it had been you flailing down those stairs.

pistols at dawn said...

Who knew the gravity was so much stronger in Canada?

Blowing Shit Up With Gas said...

You really DO have an in-head mantra for negotiating stairs, don't you?! Well, at least it keeps you from getting hurt.

ps Your reference to that Sweet tune gave me an idea... Maybe I'll post it later.

Cap'n Ergo Jinglebollocks said...

ahhh, like watching your cousin throw up at the Thanksgiving dinner table, ain't it grand when someone does something wretched like that and IT AIN'T YEW??

VE said...

It's like in the Road Warrier movie when that guy tries to catch the boomerang and it cuts all his fingers off and everyone howls with laughter. Gad self inflicted human suffering is hillarious...

Chris said...

Riiiiight. We know you pushed him!

Pezda's Ghost said...

There is something encoded in the human brain that finds other peoples misfortune amusing. This is why the Darwin Awards are so damn funny.

Chance said...

Sure, laugh now while you can. It's only a matter of time...

Dale said...

I'd laugh too Beckeye but only after medical attention. Sorry your Easter Bunny execution didn't go well, he's wily.

Old Lady came tumbling after? You're name's not Jill is it?

I made it through the wilderness Katrocket, somehow I made it through.

I'm especially careful around sewers Falwless, I like to make people laugh but not that hard.

Barbara, thank you for your support, I expect no less.

So's our beer Pistols at Dawn.

Sweet F.A., never gonna make it starts playing BSUWG but the mantra kicks in and I'm usually fine. Post away!

Always glad it's not me Cap'n EJ. How bad was the cooking that your cousin'd throw up?

The boomerang effect is something I try to stay away from VE, I need my fingers for flailing.

My reaction Chris was to stop dead and hold my arms out so the people behind me would know I had nothing to do with it. It may have caused a pile up behind me but I practically looked like a crossing guard there for a few seconds.

Someday I'm sure I'll be featured in the Darwin Awards but I work at not making it every year Pezda's Ghost.

We all know it's coming Chance and I'll be sure to post about it as soon as they unhook all the IVs and life support equipment.

genn6 said...

Wait till you have body parts that don't work to add to the clumsiness, like a bum knee. Now try to not slip down those stairs.....

Writeprocrastinator said...

It's not your fault Dale.

Somewhere Emma Thompson is holed up in a sparse office, writing out everything you do and taking particular glee in your pratfalls.

Dale said...

Sounds like heady days ahead Genn, can't wait!

She's always had it in for me. I should really finish watching that movie though shouldn't I?

Holly said...

You should have used the explanation I employed as a child when people asked me about my bruises: "Oh, my vicious older sister did this to me. And the bruises that show? They're nothing. You should see the ones under my clothes, the ones she thought no one would see."

OK, it was a lie, but telling it was sure fun!

Gifted Typist said...

Ah Pong
Ah Sweet
Ah Dale

X. Dell said...

I'm sure you've been laughed at enough for your spills, chills and thrills. Perhaps the laughter of others still rings in your ear, prompting you to delight in the flailing arms descent of a man down stairs of death.

That's okay, so long as the laughter doesn't prompt you to push the man down he stairs.

And I've always felt that truck blindsided you. In a fair fight, I could at least get 5:1 odds.

Coaster Punchman said...

Wasn't there some incident with a large man with a cane in the Algonquin Room? In addition to being clumsy like you, my brain has decided it's taken in all the information it can hold so for every new thing that comes in, something has to go away.

All I can say is, you're in excellent company. The best.

Valerie said...

"I started my in-head mantra (left, right, left, right)..."

I plan to use this...I am also a Klutz.

A thought just came to me...maybe it's like that movie, Final Destination, which teaches you can't cheat death...maybe you can't cheat falling down those stairs...so just keep up with the in-head mantra.

Good luck!

Dale said...

That's my kind of childhood evil right there Holly. Actually, my younger sister often employed a similar strategy. She and I would be quietly watching television and she would look at me, smirk, and call up to my brother's "Dale's hitting me" and they'd all tromp downstairs and slap me around.

Ah you Gifted Typist!

I've been laughed and started the laughing X. Dell and while I might drown a bag of kittens, I'd never push someone, that would be wrong!

The company is excellent I'll agree CP. And yes, the falling man at the Algonquin, we'll always have that!

Feel free to adopt any one of my many mantras Valerie, should I start a series? I'm going to keep on keeping on and continuing to not watch the Final Destination movies just to be sure.

Writeprocrastinator said...

"She's always had it in for me. I should really finish watching that movie though shouldn't I?"

Yeah, I understand that she blames you for talking Kenneth into casting Keanu in "Much Ado About Nothing."

Dale said...

I really must be stopped WP and I think Emma's the one to do it.