You know, you can call me old-fashioned but I love this time of the year. While I may look like a grown up, I remain a five year-old kid at heart. I remember fondly those cold nights at the old family homestead when my brother Richard and I would lay traps for Father Christmas (not to be confused with that imposter, Santa!) in hopes of hijacking his sleigh and stealing all the toys. We would have caught the old bastard, too, if not for that tricky sleep paralysis gun he carries with him.
Well, Little Dude and I are getting ready for the masterstroke of all masterstrokes this year. We have devised a cunning plan involving Codeine-laden milk and cookies, Little Dude's brand new Nerf machine gun nest (yeah, I bought it!) and a tube of Gorilla Glue. Uncle Richard will be so jealous when the good side of the family finally brings home the bacon.
I will let you know how that goes. In the meantime, we hearken back to simpler times and family traditions. Nothing makes me more wistful for the old days like another in my occasional (once every three years) series...
My Ten Most Stupid Injuries (Part Three)
Number Seven - That Dastardly, Deadly, Dislocating Shoulder
In order to make FLOGGING as easy as possible to track and record, I have created a handy-dandy cross referencing system for all of my previous injuries. That is because most of my injuries involve the playing - and sometimes watching - of my home country's National Sport. Now, contrary to popular belief amongst you Yanks, our national sport is not "Being a Member of Parliament and Getting Caught in a Motel With a Cross-Gender Prostitute." No, that is our national shame. Our national sport happens to be soccer, which is known by civilized people as "football" because we kick it with our feet. Imagine that. If you would like to cross-reference Stupid Injury entry Number Seven with the master Football entry, please click here.
A quick read will remind you, Chums, that I am not only a Fucking Idiot of Epic Proportions, but I am also a Serial Fucking Idiot With Masochistic Tendencies. One of the football injuries I kind of glossed over in that old column was the dislocated shoulder that came along with my broken neck. I am never one to pass off a two-for-one special.
The actual events are a little blurry. I remember trying to trap the ball with my chest, and I remember waking up about ten minutes later with a broken ankle and a very painful shoulder (not knowing I had fractured my neck). The neck injury is rather long and boring, involving a lot of physical therapy and vertigo, but the accompanying shoulder injury is a real rib-tickler.
See, the bloody thing just goes out at random moments, making me seem like one of those genius people who suffer from Tourettes Syndrome. One moment, I can be perfectly fine and the next moment I'm grabbing at my shoulder and yelling "Fuckshitdamn!" at passing strangers. Sometimes, it will be fine for a year. Other times, it will dislocate in ten-minute intervals. Nigh Perfect has woken up on many an occasion to find me yelling "Fuckshitdamn" at the top of my lungs from within the shoe closet where I sleep. It has dislocated at my in-laws' house, at the cinema, at the Chiropractor's (boy was he surprised!), and even three minutes before I was due to make a presentation to ninety Central American video game developers.
Last week, it dislocated in the dentist's chair. "Farbleglarble," I screamed at the top of my lungs (mouth full of cotton). My poor dentist was completely thrown for a loop, because usually he is the one initiating conversation when I am unable to respond. Plus, he hadn't even drilled the wrong tooth or slipped and cut the roof of my mouth with his scalpel.
So if you ever see me at a convention and I look ashen, like I am going to vomit on your shoes, one of two things is happening: (a) I spent the previous night in the company of Simon Bisley and/or Frank Tieri or (b) my shoulder is dislocated. There is an easy way to tell which is which. If I actually vomit on you and it smells like Jaegermeister, the chances are I have overindulged. If one shoulder is three inches lower than the other and I list to one side like the Lusitania, the chances are my shoulder is out. And the chances are that I am on my way to get drunk to dull the pain.
I win either way.
Dislocated Shoulder - 50 (on a scale of 1 - 10)
Jenkins - 0
Number Six - "Only a flesh wound"
Yes, yes... I know, another football injury. Kevin Eastman used to joke that I could be injured tripping over a blade of grass. Do you know how many blades of grass there are on a football field? Exactly.
On this particular evening, however, there were no blades of grass in sight as it was the winter season and we were playing indoors. Now those of you who play indoor soccer will know that you very rarely head the ball because the goals are small and there is really little gain, except injury. But try telling that to Yours Truly, whose repeated pattern was to use his head for everything except thinking.
I vaguely remember the ball bouncing around somewhere above me. I leapt like a young salmon into the air, though quite unlike a young salmon, I had absolutely no idea which direction I was facing. Directly towards the wooden hoardings surrounding the indoor pitch, as it turned out. I reached out to meet one of the boards with my head, and while I forget the specifics of our introduction, I am pretty sure it involved a sickening collision.
I was knocked out immediately, felled like a large tiger with a narcotic dart sticking out of its bum. I awoke to find my pal Greg Bergstrom standing over me with a look of concern written all over his face his face.
"Jenks, that was pretty impressive," he said, impressed.
"My arm hurts, Berger," I replied, groggily.
"Not to worry," he said. "It's only a flesh wound."
Being the concerned pal he was, Berger pulled me to my feet. By the arm. Which I immediately found out was broken. And quite by coincidence I chose that moment to pass out again - this time as a result of shock.
I awoke another three or four minutes later to hear Berger explaining to my teammates that he "had no idea" I'd hurt my arm. Perhaps the phrase, "My arm hurts" was not a strong enough clue, I thought, as I tried to gather my wits. My eyes were a little fuzzy, so I concentrated on one of the ads posted on the wooden hoarding I had just crashed into.
"Sports Injuries!" blared the ad. "Come to Northampton Hospital Physical Therapy Department!"
"How convenient," I thought. And I went there.
Indoor Soccer arena - Broken Arm
Jenkins - 0
And what have I learned from this, Chums? Well, I have learned that three bottles of Boones Farm cannot replace one bottle of painkillers but if you down them in one hour, you really don't care. I have also learned you can never trust anyone whose name rhymes with Greg Bergstrom.
Other than that, I have learned very little.
This month's moment of Spousal Madness
Poor Nigh Perfect: she tries so hard to be Completely Perfect. Yet despite her best efforts, she often fails with spectacular panache. Worse for her, the most extreme slip-ups always seem to occur right in front of me and must inevitably find their way into FLOGGING A DEAD HORSE.
A couple of nights ago, she opened the door from her study and approached with a rather confused look on her face.
"I have a question," she said, nervously. "When you're texting or writing an email, what does "LOL" mean?"
"It means, Laugh Out Loud."
She quickly scooted back into the study. Sensing the comedy potential of the moment, I sauntered in to find her furiously typing on her computer. My Spidey senses were tingling - I had to know.
"What did you think it meant?"
"Can't talk right now. Typing."
"Letters of apology."
About five years' worth, to be precise. As it turns out, the poor girl has been laboring under the tragic misassumption that "LOL" means Lots Of Love. And while this may seem like a harmless mistake, you can trust my wife to turn it into World War Three. To wit:
I'm sorry you have to go back to work this week. LOL
I'm sorry you just came down with the Hantavirus. LOL
I'm sorry you just lost your entire family in a car crash. LOL
With all the best intentions in the world, Nigh Perfect has been systematically alienating all of her family and friends, wondering at the same time why previously close pals are suddenly acting all pissy and distant towards her. To which I can only respond: