Catching the bus at Third and Pike has always been interesting. I mean, pretty much any place where untreated mental illness meets drugs and alcohol is going to provide some gloomy theater to a guy waiting for his ride to the suburbs every weeknight. But the past couple of nights have been a bit—interestinger.
Two straight nights, someone has fallen to the ground directly in front of me.
Wednesday, when a woman toppled into the street while stepping off the curb, two other bystanders and I converged on her. Reaching her last, I immediately became odd man out as each of the tripper’s arms had already been claimed in this odd game of musical limbs. Unsure what to do and already invested in the scene, I sheepishly patted her on the shoulder and retreated to the shadows.
Then on Thursday, while staring glazy-eyed into the murky twilight, I heard the icky sound of cloth-wrapped meat spanking concrete. If I had to onomatopoeviate the sound, it was something like, “thwarckshhhlip.” It was a woman again, and this time I made it to her first. “Need a hand?” I asked. She looked shaken and embarrassed as I helped her off the sidewalk, hobbling away and rubbing her shoulder.
So yeah, two falls in two days, which made me realize that people, even able-bodied adults, wipe out a lot. I know I do, and since I’m kind of a freak of nature athletically, the rest of you must have serious challenges staying vertical.
Kidding, of course. How often have I hit the pavement? Put it this way: I’ve left more skin on the streets than a blind skateboarder with dandruff. And it doesn’t bode well for my golden years. Sprinkled in with all the head smackings and toe jammings are several more alarming occurrences each year where my feet have rescinded their citizenship.
So, in keeping with the holiday spirit, I’ve worked up a little ditty to summarize my travails. It’s sung to the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas, and we’ll just start at the end and work backwards.
During five decades of clumsy,
I’ve wiped out constantly,
Twelve feet from a treehouse,
Eleven people saw me,
Ten times at Target,
Nine stairs down in jammies,
Eight achy ankles,
Seven feet off a truck ramp,
Six puzzling grass stains,
Fiiiiiive pulled hamstriiiiings.
Four times last month,
Three people gasped,
Two friends laughed hard,
And that time last month when I skinned both my knees.
While we’re on the subject, here’s to a speedy recovery for my papa. He tweaked a couple ribs, so he’s gonna wear sweats on the sideline this weekend and hopefully be ready for the Cardinals game.