Saturday, March 15, 2008

Human Pogo Stick

Last week, as I was walking downstairs to my car in a San Francisco parking garage, I missed a step. What immediately followed was a series of cracking sounds. The sounds came from my left ankle.

I had to drive all the way home to Los Angeles with what might’ve been a fractured ankle. Good thing I don’t drive a car with a manual transmission anymore -- the clutch would’ve killed me.

The next morning I woke up and couldn’t even stand on my left foot. I resorted to hopping around the house on my right foot, which made getting dressed and getting my son ready for school quite the challenge.

In the bathroom, I used a tissue to blow my nose -- the allergens and smoke in the air have been causing some serious headaches -- but instead of leaning down to throw the tissue in the bathroom trash -- mainly because it hurt to bend down -- I threw the tissue, and it missed the can. So I had to bend down anyway. It hurt my ankle like you wouldn’t believe to pick up that tissue and throw it out.

Then, on my way back up from the trashcan, I slammed my already aching head into the bathroom wall cabinet. There’s nothing like a head-on crash to start the day.

To make matters worse, my wife and I recently put our house on the market -- we’re looking to buy something a little bigger in the same area. How does this make matters worse? Keeping the house spotless in case there’s a potential buyer’s walkthrough is now a daily routine. So, since my wife had already left for work, I had to clean the house on my right foot.

Hopping back and forth made me sweat so much I looked like Patrick Ewing in the fourth quarter of an NBA playoff game. And my son had dumped his bowl of cereal on the new carpet, which wasn’t helpful: Try to picture someone on a pogo stick vacuuming a carpet.

I couldn’t even walk my son to class, a walk that’s only about the distance of a football field from the school’s parking lot with a little maze in between. I had to have a school official collect my son at the car. That was embarrassing. The official asked what had happened to my foot, and I told the truth.

“I was wrestling a rhinoceros, and when I took him down to the ground, his massive body fell on my ankle.”
Over the weekend, I had to mow the lawn. My wife said she could do it. My response: “No way.”

You probably think I’m just a stubborn man, but that’s not the case at all. I’m no dummy. I’m not gonna lose job security in my relationship with my wife.

I mowed about 6 inches of the lawn and then had to relinquish my duty. My wife ended up mowing the rest of the lawn. I at least got to weed-whack the grass. My wife just wasn’t doing it right, or anyway that’s what I told her, so, as I pointed out earlier, I could retain some job security.

Today my ankle is much better. I eventually went to the doctor (a few days after the injury) and found out that I had severely sprained my ankle. I’m supposed to keep my foot elevated.

I have to admit that I’m struggling to sit in front of my computer and write this story with my foot elevated. It’s very uncomfortable, and my back isn’t in the best condition anyway (boy, I’m a mess).

In fact, I’m not even writing this column, my wife is writing it. (She’s the greatest living individual on Earth.)

Geez, I’m losing job security right and left. I hope my next column won’t detail a sad story about my wife leaving me because she didn’t need me anymore. I better hop out and buy her some flowers or jewelry.

-August 2007

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