i'll tumble for ya
Last week, while feeding the children's department shelves copies of Ramona the Pest, Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid, my thoughts of "Wow, if you didn't know better, you'd think kid's books today had serious self-esteem issues," were interrupted by an older gentleman who was shadowing his granddaughter around the department. With every move toward independence the toddler took, the man would sigh and warn, "Don't fall down now, you hear? Don't fall down now."
"Don't fall down now, you hear?" he asked as his young charge successfully climbed a stage that sits three inches from the ground.
"Don't fall down now," he said when the girl stood to peer over a chair.
Don't fall down now," he advised as she teetered across the floor, eyeing a display of stuffed animals.
For more than an hour, I listened to this man do nothing more than encourage the young child not to fall down. Now now. Perhaps later, but not now. "Don't fall down now." By about 39 minutes in, I'll admit I was starting to wonder if there had ever been a time in history when the suggestion "Do not fall down now," ever worked. I imagine there was one or two Romans standing around, who, while watching the collapse of their empire, turned to their buddy, pointed at the mess, and muttered, "See? I told 'em not to fall down now, but would anyone listen to me?" Perhaps a German or two wondered, "Is this why we wanted the wall to fall now? Now? After so many years?" as they watched the barrier be chipped away to reveal David Hasselhoff crooning Looking For Freedom. And I promise you, Kim Carnes absolutely tried to warn those other chicks Kenny Rogers would one day duet with to not fall in love with a dreamer, but he was all, "Pfft, whatever, Kim Carnes!" Well guess what? That's right. Three years later, along comes Sheena Easton, and Kenny's all, "Why should we worry? No one will care, girl." You want to know who cares? Kim Carnes. Kim Carnes cares, and she's saying, "Sheena? Soon he's going to be all, 'I know your plans don't include me,' just so he can bail and not look like the bad guy. But have you SEEN Kenny Rogers lately? Dude definitely looks like the bad guy!"
(Sidebar: Dude! Cool electric coat on Hasselhoff! That is BAD ASS! Also, if anyone is going to do some falling, I suggest you fall to our knees in reverence to the fact that I just busted some Kenny Rogers love around here! Two years of blogging. That's all it took!)
Anyway, we were speaking of falling...
Cut to Monday morning. I was at home, getting ready for an exciting new work week (Three hour shifts? Somebody better fluff my pillow and fetch me my slippers after that kind of taxing day!). I was heading downstairs to enjoy some tasty peanut butter toast when, while standing at the top of the steps, I spied some cards Tool Man had left for me on the cedar chest in the living room that opens up from our staircase. Intent on retrieving them before I had breakfast, my mind was immediately filled with thoughts of "Cards! Cards! Cards!" (btw, this is also how my mind operates when I think "Backpacking Dad!, Backpacking Dad!, Backpacking Dad!" Only there's typically two exclamation points when I think about him!! And a soundtrack.). Around the fifth step, my gears switched and I heard the advice of the older gentleman from the bookstore last week in my mind.
"Don't fall down now, you hear? Don't fall down now."
"You're right, Older Gentleman From the Bookstore Last Week. Sure would suck if I fell down the stairs now," I thought. "Sure hope I don't fall down now."
Left foot planted on the step. Right foot lifted into the air and swung forward, and my thought immediately changed.
"Oh! Oh, crap! I'M TOTALLY GOING TO FALL!! I'M TOTALLY GOING TO FALL RIGHT NOW!!!"
People! I went hurtling down from the middle of my staircase, and in the midst of it, I thought, "CRAP! I AM TOTALLY FALLING!! (Wow! I'm falling really quickly, and yet, this is sort of slow and cartoon-like, thus allowing me time to think) CRAP!!! I AM TOTALLY FALLING RIGHT NOW!!"
As I was careening downward, I could see the wall edging ever closer, preparing to flatten my nose into my profile, and the corner of the cedar chest next to it, braced to take my left eye out if I hit the corner of it with my face instead. I don't know about you people if you were faced with a similar situation, but I took that split second to think "Gah! Backpacking Dad!"
No. No I didn't (whispering to BPD: I totally did. Shhh...). I thought, "VANITY!" and was able cover my face with my right hand while prepping myself to brace for landing with my left arm. Just in time for my hand-guarded face to slam into the wall, knock me on my right side, and then roll me all twisted up on my left. I laid there for quite some time, relieved in the fact that I was home alone, thus robbing my family the joy of laughing at me, but also stressed that I was alone, thus robbing me of someone to drive me to the hospital if I'd broken any bones, all of which were hurting and creating a delicious cocktail in combination with the sudden-onset nausea I was also experiencing.
Finally able to complete a mini-triage exam, I ascertained that, for the most part, I'd come away from the fall unscathed, and worked my way back up to standing. Want to know what I thought next? I thought, "You're so freakin' right, Older Gentleman From the Bookstore Last Week. We all need someone to follow us around, telling us not to fall down now."
Then I thought, "Huh. Today's the first full day of Fall. Irony? Why yes, I believe so."
Finally, the last thought to really hit me (more literally than like my face-covered hand hitting the wall, which actually did hit me) was, "OMG! I knew I was going to fall JUST BEFORE I STARTED TO FALL!!"
Do you people realize what that means?
IT MEANS I CAN FREAKIN' PREDICT THE FUTURE, MOFO!!
Take a minute and think about that! Really think about it. The power to predict the future?! How flippin' kick ass is that?! Sure, I might not have been able to prevent my fall, but I damn well knew I was going to fall! Before I fell! This ability affords me all sorts of power! Why, it's a wonder the government hasn't tried to sweep me up and keep me off the radar. Next week, in all the free time I have when I'm not working 12 hours a week (over the course of four days!), I'm thinking I'll look into picking up some hours as a crime fighter. Except there would be no actual crime to fight because I'd PREDICT IT! Before IT HAPPENED! Then I would stop it! I would do that for no pay, people. I am not pretentious and driven by the mighty dollar! No. I am, it would seem, really driven by gravity, though.
I really do think I may have hit my head...
I also bruised the hell out of my muscles and my arms are killing me. Every time I get up, I groan and look around to see if there's anyone to weep to. If you're going about your day and wonder what that strange sound is, it's probably me, attempting to get off my couch, and you perhaps offer up a little prayer for me, so I thank you for thinking of me.
Except some of you (not you, though, BPD, right?) are probably laughing at me behind my back.
Which also hurts, btw.