Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Ankle Biters

Nestled among the ads for X-Ray Specs and Sea Monkeys in comic books was usually an ad for a fake cast. The drawing featured a guy proudly showing his cast while two girls consoled him.  "Avoid unpleasant tasks! Gain sympathy," the ad promised.

This was highly appealing, as these were two things I was always on the lookout for. I never broke any bones, so the thought of wearing a cast seemed cool and exciting. Girls would probably look at me differently, my friends could write stuff on it, and best of all, I'd get out of yardwork. Yes, a whole exciting world would open up to me once I broke some bones.

I never ordered the cast because it was expensive and I couldn't figure out how to trick my parents into thinking I had broken my arm and somehow gotten to the doctor's office to get it set without them knowing. I put it out of my mind, except for those days when I had to rake or pick up mangoes and wished I had a fake cast to end the misery and injustice of my child labor.

My luck held and I never broke a bone, even after a lifetime of foolish decisions and risky stunts.  In fact, probably the closest I've come happened last week.

I was out running last Thursday evening. I was feeling good. In fact, I was thinking about running the whole 7 mile trail which I hadn't done in a while. I was pretty close to doing some air guitar/drumming to certain motivational songs, as well as some Rocky-esque shadow boxing.

Then I hit a hole. My foot went in, twisted, then tripped me on to the street. As a man, my first reaction was to get up, pretend it didn't hurt, and keep running, only maybe at a slower pace. Then I got those weird stomach pains that signal, "Yeah, I think that really messed you up. You should probably limp home."

Holy crap, was that a long walk home.

As with all injuries or problems, I figured I just needed a good night's sleep and everything would be all fixed up in the morning.

A week later, my girlfriend noted that I still had "corpse feet," thanks to my swollen and purple toes and ankle.

First night. I used to have an ankle.
It looked bad. So bad that I kept making up "C.S.I" opening scenes in my head.

"Looks like this guy....was defeated," the desensitized detective would say, right before Roger Daltry screamed to signal another episode of gross forensic mysteries, possibly focusing on foot decapitation for creepy sex purposes.

So I started wearing a boot. It's a big, clunky, pre-cast thing that takes about 3 hours to strap into and makes me walk like Frankenstein.

Couple things I've noticed during my recovery:

One, architects love to put stairs all over the damn place. Houses, businesses, you name it; apparently a building isn't complete until a set of rickety or narrow stairs are installed.

Secondly, I don't feel I'm getting as much sympathy and freedom from work as the ads promised a young me. Even though when I'm making a difficult work call or driving around town with a throbbing ankle, I'm saying "Come on. I have a busted ankle," that doesn't seem to have any effect on people's reaction to me.

About the only thing I was able to get out of was mowing the yard, although paying the guy $15 just made me feel like a puss. I could feel Hank Hill shuddering as I forked over the cash.

Since I don't have an actual cast, I also can't have people write on it, so I'm really not getting the full effect here.

I'm beginning to think that ads in comic books have completely lied to me.


Anonymous said...

At least your injury was due to healthy action. You should feel good that you were in the process of a healthy workout that should impress the fairer sex. I sprained mine getting ready to go to work holding my phone to my ear trying to hear a Tribe called Quest song (Check the rhyme. You know "Back in da days of the blvd. of Linden, we used ta kick routines and the presence wuz fittin) and trying to light a cig and get in my vehicle when I hit the ground like a 220lb bag of wet cement. I stepped on the 3" lip where driveway meets grass. Now in prior times (when I was 20something and 170lbs) I would have walked it off but not so at 40. So point being; consider your injury a noble one and the fact that your girlfriend had to tell you to seek medical attn.whilest you hobbled around, probably not even taking a single Aleve, well old friend that just makes you a badass in my book. A warrior if you will. "Are you not entertained?!" "This is SPARTA!!!"

the diva said...

This reminds me of when your sister broke her arm and we were so excited because we were all grounded for the "pool party incident." She was writhing in pain, and you and my sister were giving her a motivational talk on how she could use this as an opportunity to guilt your parents into letting us hit the Desoto parade. It worked though!