Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Well Well

I made it, I'm safe, I'm in Bethel. I don't really want to talk about Bethel just yet. I want to talk about a phenomenon that I have named "Phantom Puddles." This little buggers are evil. I would like to re live a horrible encounter with a phantom puddle I had on Tuesday right before I left for Bethel. A Phantom Puddle come about after a puddle suddenly freezes solid from a quick snap in arctic temperature. Not only does a puddle need to freeze it needs to be covered with just enough fresh snow (1/2 inch or more) to hide its eminent doom. Then as you walk onto it (like me exiting the post office happy as a clam) you slip. Now if you are like me you can't just fall, you have to fight it and in doing so enact an entire seen from a disney movie involving Goofy where you run in place super fast for a split second then fly feet first up in the air. As I stared at my legs now floating in slowmotion above me, clouds grey in the background, I almost chuckled inside that super slow moment, I chuckled a little because even in such a fraction of a second I had as I flew through the air above the Phantom Puddle I had the time to think man I hope someone is getting this on tape. The slow motion came to a crashing stop as my elbows, shoulder blades and back hit the rock hard ice. Then my neck snapped back and my head hit the ice. As this happened my glasses fell off and I watched them spin across the Phantom Puddle from my upside down perspective. I lay there for a second in a cold heap and thought about whether or not I was going to whimper, I wanted to but I thought I might get teased by an old Eskimo woman if she should hear walking by. There was no one. I got up and then the throbbing pain hit. I picked up my glasses, (This always makes me feel like a dork) and brushed the snow off of my back. I limped back to school with my shoulders, elbows, back, neck and general overall form in a crumpled painful posture.

So the next day as I sit at a table writing about it, a stiff neck, soar body, and painful day of sitting in chairs, I beg you to please share any stories that involve ice, you, your ass, and the ground making intimate, violent contact to try and make me feel like I am not a complete dork and clutz. If you don't want to share at least know that if you laughed at this story, YOU ARE NEXT!

I'll be in Bethel all week, avoiding Phantoms, I have internet access so say hello!


Anonymous said...

The fact that ice was involved annuls the possibility of clutz status. Embarrassing, maybe, hilarious, yes, your fault? Not really.
At least you weren't riding your bike in the snow, that'll get you into trouble and makes you not quite a clutz, but more of an idiot, which is worse. But IF you do choose to ride your bike in the snow, you have to fall (hard, to the left, with a little spin) if you can't stop on the ice and you are headed into oncoming traffic. You can guess who's done that one.
Hope you're enjoying some of that big city time you have...
Hear from you soon?

Anonymous said...

Sooo, last December, Chris and I take the kiddies up to one of the snow parks off of I-90 (forest service state park, I don't know, they wore ugly brown outfits and charged money...). We had a whole day planned, do a little sledding, have some yummy hot chocolate, go see family in Fall City, enjoy one another, etc. So, we take them up there. First, I don't like snow, pretty yes, other than that being from Florida I want sun, sand and warm water. I watched the kiddies enjoy themselves with their dad. Alex (9 years old then) wants to take me down the hill. Hmm, trying to not hurt his feelings, but not trusting him and his sledding skills...I quickly think of all the good deeds I may have done that will protect me, and then go with him. As we begin, Alex tells me its okay to open my eyes, he was going to go slow for me. Who on earth was the child now? We get down the hill, what a doll! He was great! So, my darling husband who I watched with the kiddo's, ask me to go with him. Why not, Alex did great, no problems-sure I'll go with Chris. Well, lets just say my son must take after me-the compassionate one...Chris and I head down the mt. (it turned into a mt. with Chris, the hell was never going to end). As fast as he could we were going down, suddenly it was bumpy. We ended up hitting a big one, I went one way he went the other. I suddenly remembered why snow was bad and the sun was good. I also recalled watching people hit this same bump and they too had gone flying, then crying off that side of the 'mt.'. As I hit my tailbone onto the hard rock and molten that was just lying there, I realized I was going to be in some serious pain. My cracked tailbone got me a lot of 'what, is he a pain in your ass jokes', some good pain relief drugs and about 6wks of wearing sweats to school everyday (and I don't even teach gym)!

Hope this helps! As of now, kids are 'itching' to go up to mt to play in the snow. I just know I'm taking a pillow to sit on and maybe a helmet! :O)

Brooke said...

I think you can feel good about having ice (especially a phantom ice puddle) as the cause of your fall. My last fall was this summer when I was jogging with my dog and tripped over the city sidewalk. Unable to catch myself, I fell face-down and scraped my knees, hip, elbows and shoulder. I really would have just let myself lie there and cry for a minute while my dog sniffed around my face and tried to figure out why I was lying on the ground, but a little old lady driving by in her big old car had witnessed the entire thing and pulled over to see if I was ok. So then I had to jump up and act all perky and fine, then limp home feeling sorry for myself and really embarrassed. That's the thing about falling. It bruises your body AND your dignity.

Ishmael said...

I've been in Alaska all my life, which is over 40 years. Up until last winter I got by without what my mom called "creepers." But here on The Rock, it gets icy a lot. So I got some of these. ( Not as heavy duty, but well suited for their purpose.

I don't slip and slide any more, and being over 40, that's a good thing.



p.s. Here's another trick, we used to use on our motorcycles and in our Nikes for gorilla broomball: 1/4" sheet metal screws drilled into our soles.

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