They say bad things come in threes. If so, I'm in trouble.
It's no secret that I'm a little clumsy but I'm hardly accident prone. In fact, I consider myself a relatively well-oiled specimen of unalloyed manhood, due largely to intense cowardice my keen sense of self-preservation and a healthy diet. These last few weeks, however, I've discovered the limitations of that body...quite violently.
It turns out, for example, that the nose is actually a relatively delicate thing. The shockingly handsome nasal slope with which I was graced at birth was once given a jolt when a knee collided with it at high speed (the fact that it was my own knee is of little consequence physically, but rather difficult to explain rationally). My nose made a near flawless recovery, maintaining the majestic symmetry of my face, but gave me due warning that it would brook no further abuse.
And it was quite cross with me when, a couple weeks ago, it collided with a racquet. Hard.
I have to give my racquetball opponent credit for excellent follow-through on his backhand. From the looks of things, he'd apparently found a way to puncture my aorta via the bridge of my nose, since the court looked like it had been used to film an early Peter Jackson movie. Band-aids proved utterly useless, and although I tried to play through I was eventually forced to leave. Apparently the gym has some pretty strict rules about this since the previous caretaker left.
I spent the rest of the day with an ice-bag on my face, contemplating what I'd tell people when they inevitably asked me why I'd been sketched and inked by Frank Miller. Most of my excuses came from the school of "you should see the other guy," and I thought I could enhance my already impressive manliness with a good story. I kept overshooting the mark, though, and usually went with:
- I took a puck to the nose during our game against the Ukrainian national team
- That's the last time a that bouncer will tell me I can't get into the Copa
- If loyalties must be broken, if the lines must be crossed, do it fast...do it furious
- Ninjas. Always the damn ninjas
Sadly, no one ever bought these, so I ended up confessing that I injured myself playing a sport most gyms discontinued during the Reagan administration. But it did make me feel badass...at least for a few minutes.
Time passes, and injuries heal. My nose once again returned to its original form, and I could pick it with inpunity. The shiner which came as an added bonus faded from deep violet to gangrene, and eventually disappeared entirely. Oodgie could once again stare lovingly into my puppy-dog eyes, perceiving a gateway into a world of which she desparately wants to be a part.
We were in Florida last week, compensating for a spectacular vacation we'd planned and cancelled due to unforseen circumstances. All seemed to be going well: Cheeky had amassed an impressive sandcastle real estate empire, Oodgie was working on her tennis serves, and I had two cold six packs in the fridge. Movement was largely optional. The hardest thing I needed to do was maneuver around hotel furniture.
Let me pause to ask this rhetorical question: how is it that something as small and insignificant as a little toe be the source of such an inordinate, excruciating amount of pain? I have sympathy for Ty Lawson.
The frequency and variety of my stubs is the stuff of legend. My one-legged flailing paroxysm of pain is an art form. The creativity and sheer vulgarity of the corresponding profanity would strip paint from a Chevy. I'm a professional toe-stubber, the kind employed by secret government agencies when only the most discreet and deadly toe-stubber can be used.
But never before have these stubs been accompanied by an audible *crack*
Surprisingly, there was little of the usual flying debris or pathetic sobbing I inject into such situations. I was relatively zen about it. After a couple deep breaths and some tearful muttering, I touched my toe to see if I could feel anything. Nope. Nothing. As numb and bereft of feeling as Dick Cheney's soul.
An hour later it looked something like this.
There's not much you can do about a broken toe. You can lash it to its neighbor, like a deck chair before a storm, but that's about it. Days later, I have to swagger like an early-90s rapper just to hide cover up my limp.
Now I'm worried, though. If bad things come in threes, as I've always heard they do, then my misery isn't over yet. I keep wondering what's next. Will it be a nail gun injury? Elephantitis? Cymothoa Exigua? Worse?
I'm being extra careful around the house, just in case.
UPDATE: In a delicious piece of irony, just as I was rereading this this morning before posting it, I found out EXACTLY what #3 would be. How's that for timing? Guess I can relax now. Literally.