Archive for May, 2010

fall from grace.

21 May 2010

two days ago i almost broke my ankle…playing disc golf.

almost is pretty subjective, i know, so i’ll set the scene and let you judge for yourselves. the course was predominantly in the woods with creeks running through practically every hole. i wasn’t wearing the correct shoes for the terrain — it was soft and wet, and i sometimes had trouble gaining traction. the particular hole where i suffered my injury was bordered by trees, and my first shot was regrettable, so i remained at the tee with another frisbee to see if i could improve my distance and control. i stepped beyond the concrete box on the throw and my front foot, my right, slid in the mud, the momentum carrying it over a railroad tie and down a small slope. i fell backwards, landing on my left leg which was bent behind me. i heard a small pop and felt the most intense pain (granted, i don’t have a lot of experience with physical pain). i couldn’t put weight on the foot, having a friend lift me and act as a crutch, assisting me to a nearby bench.

seated, i pulled back my sock hoping not to see a protruding bone. i didn’t. in time, i was able to stand and walk, with a limp, and we finished the rest of the game.

i’ve written before about my lack of health insurance, in a tongue-in-cheek manner, but, the truth is, it’s pretty inexcusable for someone of my advanced age not to be able to see a doctor. sure, it’s easy to say that i’m out of shape and that my injury was a result of lassitude, but freak accidents happen regardless of athletic ability or amount of time one spends working out. that’s what worries me the most, the fact that trauma can occur at any time and that it is not merely a symptom of poor conditioning.

for instance, wade boggs, member of the baseball hall of fame, missed a week after falling into a couch after losing his balance while attempting to put on cowboy boots. kerry wood, who once struck out twenty batters in a single game, was sidelined after slipping in a hot tub and bruising his ribs. soccer player paulo diego jumped onto a fence while celebrating a goal, catching his wedding ring upon dismounting and severing his finger (yeah, that sounds more painful than anything i did to my ankle).

glenallen hill, as a centerfielder for the toronto blue jays, had a nightmare about spiders that put him on the disabled list when, while still asleep, he bumped into a glass table and fell down a staircase in an effort to avoid the arachnids that plagued him. for the rest of his career, he was called spider-man.

i guess what i’m trying to do is caution against this feeling of invincibility we all have, as if nothing can happen to us so long as we take precautions and prepare. sure, i was likely saved from something more catastrophic by being incredibly flexible (seriously, my joints have their own joints), but i also know that, without warning, my synovial fluid will eventually dry up and that i won’t be so lucky.

i guess what i’m saying is that we (obviously i mean, i) have to make changes, not to eliminate the risk, because the threat will always exist without abatement, but to lessen the potential financial burden afterward — and also the ambulatory one, if possible.

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always carry cash.

11 May 2010

a little over a week ago, on a saturday night, i was lured to ri ra irish pub by a few customers who were in the store on friday night. they were amicable enough, and i felt a little guilty for turning down their invitation from the previous night, so i agreed to meet them, if only to give them a taste of southern hospitality (they were both originally from ohio, though one now lives in west virginia).

a coworker begrudgingly agreed to accompany me. we found them on the upstairs balcony, surrounded by another friend they had told us about in the store and a group of people from charlotte they had met the night before. we sat on the fringes, making jokes to ourselves and joining conversations when possible. one of the guys, ironically also from ohio, told us that he hated canadians because of the united states’s hockey loss at the olympics. then he softened, telling us, my coworker and i, that he respected us, shaking our hands as he told each of us in turn.

later, another guy in the group, exasperatedly said, i don’t understand your dry humor, and quickly added, another canadian acting like he’s superior. briefly, i thought about replying that canadian superiority is an oxymoron, neither held by canadians themselves (i mean, i myself believe canada is just america’s hat — america’s awesome hat, but still) nor, more importantly, any other person in the world aside from him, but thought he would just end up misinterpreting my tone and feel further maligned and indignant. if i had to make a guess about the cause of his anger, i would say he was likely molested by a canadian in his youth. this would also explain his homosexuality (geez, i’m kidding, i’m kidding, but, seriously, did you check out that article: stephen baldwin has become such a bigot since bio-dome).

since i was doing such a great job of making friends (there’s that incomprehensible, dry sense of humor again), i told them about my hatred for ohio state university, even showing them a picture of the license plate i’d recovered from the scene. see, i’d already asked them which state was high in the middle and round on both sides, so i had no other relevant material.

during the short night i had ordered a vodka and soda and two pints of fat tire. i went to close my tab after finishing the third drink. the bartender asked me to repeat my name, as she had each of the other times i had gone to her. she couldn’t find a record of my bill on the computer. i gave her my card and she looked it up again, shrugged and told me that it had been closed already. we shot confused looks at each other. i said, thanks, i guess, almost inaudibly.

the following day my bank account registered a charge for fifty-eight dollars. i argued that it was possible that this was the authorization amount, so i waited for it to clear. it did on tuesday, now seventy-eight dollars. i called ri ra and spoke with a manager who told me in addition to a vodka and soda and fat tire, i had also ordered eight shots of baby guinness and given the bartender a jackson (that’s what i call twenties now).

i called again wednesday. she said she’d call me back at four when the bartender from that night came in. she didn’t, so thursday i walked there to knock some heads together. unfortunately, this time the manager wasn’t there until four. this time, though, she called me, saying she wanted to get it settled that evening. the bartender told her that after i closed my tab, i returned ten minutes later trying to close it again, before walking away confused.

briefly i wondered if this could be true. maybe i was developing a split personality where my charitable side overlooked my pecuniary restraint. maybe i had entered a parallel universe of sorts where i knew what a baby guinness was and where i gave people that continuously could not recall even the first letter of my last name a tip that was larger than thirty percent. i broke out in a cold sweat.

the manager asked if i was near a computer, and if i would look at the receipt from that night. a few minutes later i received the following:

Scott Le Receipt1

needless to say, my card has been credited. i also asked for the bartender responsible to be fired, but i’m pretty sure she still works there.


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