It’s no secret that I’m a klutz but I exceeded myself this weekend. I kicked over a can of soda, stubbed my toe on J.’s textbooks, dropped his laptop (luckily on a sofa!), fell down the stairs at our flat, burned my hand making a (spectacular) sweet potato and brie flatbread, and somehow our HDMI cable isn’t working. I’m suspected, although I don’t know how this one could possibly be on me. Although the suspicion is justified. When visiting parents over Thanksgiving break, I picked up my mother’s laptop to check my email and the whole thing froze. I hadn’t even opened anything!
However, even I am not the supreme wrecker in our clan! That title belongs to Buddy. It was forever cemented when we were living in Brussels and about to move to the UK. Dad and Mum had gone over the Channel to look for housing and I was left in charge of the three younger kids for a few days. It passed largely without incident until the last day we were on our own.
Buddy wanted to watch a film on VHS (remember? Remember those days?) and had turned it on and inserted a tape when suddenly,
I was in the kitchen and ran out to find Buddy and Snickers staring opened mouth as a thick gray smoke poured from the machine’s tape flap. But this was no ordinary smoke! Instead of rising it sank heavily like stage fog and smelled vile.
Images of our parents returning to a burned out shell of a home catapulted me across the room. I yanked the plug from the wall, stumbled outside carrying the whole machine, and put in on our stone patio where all four of us hovered at a safe distance and watched smoke trickle from it. After the panic subsided and the trance ended, we rounded on the hapless Buddy.
“What did you do?”
“We could have died!”
“Mum’s going to murder you!”
“I didn’t do anything! I just put a tape in! I’m sorry!”
Luckily an hour later the whole thing was extremely funny and when the parents returned we reenacted the whole thing with a great deal of flair. Nobody could explain the physics, electronics, or mechanics of the affair, so we just chalked it up to good old genetics.
“I’m at my best in a messy, middle-of-the-road muddle.” – Harold Wilson quotes
If I were a superhero, pumpkins, my skill would be earthquake-causing klutziness coupled with a magnetic attraction to things that stain.
Yesterday I barely left my desk due to working on a particularly patience-shattering project (Susie, Hennessy, Wise, and I all tried several times, but Mail Merge simply would not work for over an hour), which meant I took breaks at my desk. In a four hour period I spilled salad dressing, orange juice, copious amounts of water, and an open ink pad on my newish trousers. The true miracle is that nothing stained it!
“The pain of the mind is worse than the pain of the body.” – Publius Syrus (a chap who clearly didn’t know me)
You may have noticed, my gingerbread darlings, that I’ve not shared any good work stories with you of late. There is a reason for that.
At this festive time of year on a university campus, the population is so collectively panicked about exams, projects, end of term presentations, and juggling the upcoming holiday that they are too harried to commit crimes. Ergo, life at the police department is fairly mundane. Wait until the week of Christmas itself when Hennessy and I will likely be the only ones here…you may be hearing from me hourly to alleviate boredom.
However, you will be happy to know that even though the human race is letting you down by not acting like its usual silly self, your faithful Small Dog still plugging away for your entertainment. While work is full of disappointingly well behaved people, I am as klutzy as ever.
J. has been staying up until 3 every morning finishing those crisis inducing assignments we just discussed and I haven’t been feeling well so last night we grabbed some takeaway dinner. Charged with guarding this precious bundle I stooped to swing myself into the car…and promptly saw stars as my head collided with doorway.
In my defense, high heels throw me off; I always wear very high ones to counteract my, ah, non-height, and I don’t always calculate things like car doors (or stairs, or how much further I have to fall after tripping, etc.) very well. Yes, even after nearly a decade wearing them, shut up. All told, I have a dirty great whacking lump on my head this morning and a bit of a headache.
“Who can hope to be safe? Who sufficiently cautious?
Guard himself as he may, every moment is an ambush.”
For the past almost-two years that I’ve worked here, there has been a large plastic mat residing beneath my chair and the corners of various desks and cabinets. This mat is clear, studded on the bottom, a quarter of and inch thick, sharp edged, and slippery. As you may imagine, this mat has been a sore trial for many office staff, but myself in particular as I am A) a sadklutz, and B) the person who practically lives on top of this thing.
We, meaning mostly I, have slipped, tripped, slid, glided, skidded, twisted ankles, and face planted because of this contraption without complaint or word until today.
Hennessy and I were walking back from the Administration Building when a perfect storm of un-coordination happened. First her heel caught the edge of the mat. Then she started to fall forward which both lifted the mat and tore her shoe off. Then behind her I stuttered my step trying not to collide with my flailing friend. And THEN the sharp corner of the plastic peril bit into my foot. When we managed to right ourselves and glance down to survey damages, I was bleeding.
That was it! We grabbed Susie, one of the officers to move heavy furniture, and dragged the whole thing back to the custodians closet (it weighed about as much as Brazil, was filthy underneath, and smelled horrid to boot). Good riddance.
“I am the only person I know who can miss the ground with both feet. While walking!”
At 4:32:05, yesterday afternoon, I tripped while carrying the laundry bags to the car to drop them off at the cleaners.
At 4:32:05:02, suddenly the earth dropped away. That’s the only explanation. I was walking merrily along, and then somehow neither of my feet managed to touch bottom.
At 4:32:05:22, the inexorable tug of gravity made its presence known.
At 4:32:05:46, due to the many years of experience I’ve had with this sort of thing, my only working thought was, “Oh, bother.”
At 4:32:05:59, also due to experience, I tried to twist my body such that I would land squarely on my knees without skidding (not that they mind. As far as I can tell, my knees are used to this sort of abuse).
At 4:32:05:87, with impact approaching, I suddenly realized I was wearing my best trousers.
At 4:32:05:96, thunk!
At 4:32:06:63, I managed to scramble up, assure various passing persons that the only thing damaged is my dignity, and brush myself off when…
At 4:32:06:94, it became very clear that the right knee of my trousers had been shredded.