And I Don’t Think It Is Funny
Yesterday, I pulled into a gas station to get gas. As I waited, I saw in my rear view mirror, an attendant trip on something and start to fall. I instantly had a knot in my stomach and felt my muscles tightening. Fortunately, he caught himself and was fine.
When I was young, I was quite agile and confident in situations where the possibility of falling existed. I could cross logs with ease, walk up rocky trails, stand on the end of cliffs, and walk without fear.
When I was getting to know Barbara, we attended a conference for young single adult Latter-day Saints at Lewis and Clark College. Near the campus, perhaps on it, was a wooded area with a deep stream and a fallen log across it. I walked across the log with barely a thought until Barbara started to fret about it. She said that I reminded her of a mountain goat. I was filled with confidence.
When I was a Scoutmaster, I used to have matches with some of the Scouts where we’d stand facing each other on a log and see who could push the other off-balance. I usually won, even against the bigger Scouts. I was the epitome of balance and agility. Things have changed.
A few years ago, I was working at a residential facility for adolescent sex offenders. One day, I joined in on the school yard for a game of foursquare. One of the boys spiked the ball at me, and not stopping to think about how much of that old confidence I’d lost, I lunged for it. It put me off balance and I started to fall forward. I instinctively try to run to get my legs back under me, but to no avail.
Everything slowed down. I saw in front of me a glass window on the side the building. My head was positioned to slam right into it. It would have been bloody and maybe even fatal. So, I quickly decided I had to fall right then and leaned downward and slammed, hands first, into the concrete.
My running action had increased my momentum and I broken my wrist in two places. It could not be set, so I had to have my wrist clamped in surgery. I was in a cast for many weeks, which did not bode well for the class I was taking in American Sign Language.
That was the beginning of my fears about falling. Since then I’ve had eight stumbling accidents where I broken the skin and one where I flew over the handlebars of an ATV. In each case, I developed a serious bacterial infection called, cellulitis. With each accident, my confidence on my feet is seriously weakened.
It’s not only when I am falling. I cringe whenever anyone else looks like they are about to fall. It just plain scares me.
Lunged for a ball playing foursquare. Broken wrist and finger.
Carrying a bin full of camping equipment and tripped over a cement parking barrier. Bad scrape resulting in cellulitis.
Playing miniature golf, tripped on a fixture. Scraped a huge patch off of my right shin, resulting cellulitis.
Flew over the handlebars of an ATV. Scraped legs and a few other injuries, resulting in cellulitis.
Fell across a stack of cinder blocks and scraped right shin. Cellulitis.
It really bothers me that some people think it is funny. The initial reaction I’ve had when I’ve fallen in front of people is that they laugh. Nothing more hilarious than a person falling and hurting themselves, I suppose.
To me, the worst offender is the television show, America’s Funniest Home Videos. People are rolling in the aisles while they see people getting genuinely hurt. I just can’t handle it anymore. Even though there are plenty of videos on the show that are enormously funny, I don’t want to see people getting hurt. It don’t think it is funny.