Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Physics Of Murr

So, I skinned my elbow up pretty good, there.

On the surface it's pretty easy to explain. I had a pitchfork and I was turning my compost pile, flip flip flip, which leans up against a block wall, and I uncovered a layer of some kind of little eggs--ant eggs? Fly eggs? I needed a closer look. But I had my bedroom slippers on and didn't want to put a foot in the actual compost pile. So I gauged the distance to the wall and decided to lean forward and put my hands on the wall, which would put my face directly over the eggs.

Unfortunately, the wall was further away than my body anticipated, and when my hands hit it, my arms sort of caved in and my elbows were on the wall (blood ensued) and I was (also) now at such an angle that I didn't think I'd be able to press out from the wall and get back upright, so I was stuck, unless I wanted to soil my slippers, which I didn't.

Anyone observing would have seen me flip, flip, flip, and then pitch forward onto the wall like dead timber. It wouldn't make any sense. That's because it doesn't make any sense.

This kind of shit happens to me all the time. I never was any good at physics. I know two laws of motion: "down" and "scabby."

This is why my friends once saw me charge flat-out into a small sapling. I thought it was bendy, and it would bow forward, and then fling me back. Wheee! It didn't. It didn't move. I just crumpled up into a wad at its base.

Or there was the time I folded up the legs of a card table. I'd gotten two of them snapped up, and then, to save time, instead of flipping the table 180 degrees to get the other two, I just leaned over it because I thought I was a whole five foot nine, which I'm not, and then an unscheduled somersault occurred, and the table fell one way, into a vase, and I went the other way, into a wall, and checked (first) for witnesses, and (then) for broken bones.

They were ant eggs, if you care.
All of which has led me to a new appreciation for humans,  a species with which I am often peeved. I don't know how to turn animals into meat. My tomatoes aren't reliable. I always have to look up how long to cook a potato. I'm not handy. I fall down a lot. I often forget how to swallow. I sometimes dream I can't breathe, because I'm face-down in my pillow not breathing, and the only reason I'm not dead is my head doesn't weigh much. I routinely make decisions with my physical self that are clearly, in retrospect, flawed. And yet I am alive. I am thriving. All my genes should have been edited out of the collective stash long ago, but here I am. And that is because other people pick me up when I fall down, and wipe me off, and invent penicillin, and slaughter vegetables, and arrange for clean water to show up at my very house, and (in some cases) are Mozart.

Thank you, people.

41 comments:

  1. I'm probably one of the very few who watch/read The Walking Dead, and find it wildly optimistic. I doubt that there would even be that many survivors, because --never mind the zombies-- people just don't know how to survive on their own anymore. Having to hunt down their own food, and decide which vegetation was edible and which was poisonous would certainly add a big dose of chlorine to the gene pool.

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    1. I think most people are in agreement with that. And I guess very few people would be able to survive in the woods on their own--they would have to do some kind of farm plot somewhere.

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  2. Lesson of the day: Always wear rubber boots when turning the compost.
    I know how to turn animals into meat, but I'm not sure I can actually do it. I'm sure if I was faced with the "kill it and eat or die" scenario, I'd manage somehow. As long as it was a small animal, rabbit or chicken, not something huge like a cow.

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    1. I usually wear rubber boots! Except on the days I never get out of my bedroom slippers. There've been a few of those lately.

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  3. We get snakes in our compost when the weather warms...so do not wear slippers, but it is behind a square fence. I have not problem growing my own food or killing meat (at least fish) but gutting large mammals is not my thing.

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    1. Hey! Yeah! I can gut a fish! One point in my column! (Better be a little fish.)

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  4. I would like to follow you around and keep picking you up, even if I hurt myself doing it, just for the entertainment. I expect to have a falling dream someday where I wake up about half way to the floor without enough time to say, "oh shit."

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    1. One of the last times I fell down splat on the pavement, which was only two weeks after the previous time I'd fallen down splat on the pavement, I marveled at how I was able to complete the thought "Really? This again?" complete with intonation before hitting the ground.

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    2. My thought, as I am going down, is always "Oh, shit!!"

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    3. Yeah, you go down faster than you can say it, but you can think it loud and clear.

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  5. I'm just relieved you didn't pitch face-first into the nest of eggs, an unspeakable horror to someone like me who is still twitchy from a childhood of large Virginia bugs.

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    1. We don't have a lot of noxious bugs. But my childhood was filled with large Virginia bugs too. Let's hear it for the Piedmont!

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  6. I used to have the same problem...turns out too much alcohol effects your balance so I opted for balance.

    In my old house I never had a mouse problem until my ass-hole neighbor decided to have a compost pile 100 yards from his house and up against a fence 15 yards from my house.

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  7. I know it is not kind to laugh at someone else's misfortune...but I have tears rolling down my cheeks, sorry...ha,ha,ha.ha

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    1. Not at all! In fact I have a story that I haven't told yet about a bunch of people who DIDN'T laugh at me when I pulled a stunt like this, and how cruel THAT was.

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  8. Heck, I'd pick you up off the ground anytime. I have a bad habit of giving people bear hugs and lifting them up in the air momentarily. Most recently, while in a large group, I did just that to a lanky young man who had earlier announced he was going through a rough patch. However, when I put him down, another fellow sidled up and simply said, "Me next!" Being an equal opportunity hugger, I did the same with him. And then the next morning discovered that my left leg muscles were involuntarily cramping,and I had a slight numbness in my shin. I gave it 2 weeks to straighten itself out, then emailed the doc. He emailed back that it was probably age-related Lumbar Stenosis, and ordered an MRI. Well heck, I was planning on going professional with my Huggy-Bear Therapy after I retired from selling houses. This may have disqualified me for my new profession, and I'm just inconsolable. Perhaps this is the universe, telling me that I'd be better off planting tomatoes and plucking chickens?
    Oh wait. Were we talking about the laws of physics?

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    1. Fire the doc. Clearly a quack. Do your Pain Free Egoscue Exercises for three weeks and cancel the MRI. You'll be back to huggy-bear therapy in no time.

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    2. Ed, you need to warm up first!

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  9. Bedroom slippers! I do that too - a lot. They sort of have soles on them, so really, why take them off when you're not going anywhere except out to the garden or down to the mailbox or for a quick drive to the Post Office? Did you manage to extricate yourself by yourself this time, or did you require assistance? I do hope you didn't soil your slippers.

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    1. I have been known to go all the way around the corner to the ice cream shop in my pajamas and slippers. More than once. I never was much of a fashion plate. Couldn't afford it, and never had the knack.

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  10. Well, you managed to take/get a picture taken, so it couldn't have been too bad!

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    1. That was a re-enactment. I think the original was even a worse angle.

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  11. Don't know why I'm laughing so hard. This could easily have been me. Nice to know I'm in good company.

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    1. The best company. Gravity's a bitch, but she's our bitch.

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  12. Down, scabby - and you left out the intermediate (and sometimes concurrent) state of bruised. My partner tells me I must know where they came from. He is wrong.
    You are not alone. So not alone.

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    1. My mom used to show up with bruises she couldn't account for. It never occurred to me to think anything untoward happened--she was just super tender, I guess.

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  13. You didn't break anything? Amateur. In one year I broke an ankle, both bones, from a fall, and a wrist (surgery required). The wrist break came from falling WITH my bike into what should have been a soft landing---a swamp. Not soft enough, I guess. Glad you are ok---we need you to keep writing!

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    1. I don't think I've ever broken anything, and as many times as I've hit the pavement (or ice) hard in the last few years, I think it's safe to say my bones are in good shape. It's all that weight-bearing exercise: the weight being my own ass.

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  14. You are alive because we need you to identify little eggs.

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    1. I could identify these because they had ANTS all over them trying to move them somewhere safer.

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  15. And you still never caught that road runner!

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  16. These little recitations of Murre's Latest Incident are starting to scare me. I am relieved that you had an excellent reason (putative ant eggs) to skin the sh-t out of your arms. And also, preserving the sanctity of your bedroom slippers. All priorities. Thank goodness for priorities. xoxox jz

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    1. Well, I think that whatever is wrong with me (from a survival standpoint) has been wrong for a long time. As long as my bones hold out I'm good to go. Glad to have snagged your concern though!

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  17. My most spectacular fall that didn't end up at the ER was when I was filling the ant moats (what is it with these ants?) and I went ass over teakettle from a two step ladder and landed on my back (was a great flip) in the rhododendrons. Laughing. I believe I was wearing my robe and slippers at the time.

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    1. Wait a minute, ant moats? What are ant moats, and how far will I fall from them?

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  18. I'm forever walking into the garden in whatever happens to be on my feet, and then grumbling about how dirty my good shoes (or slippers) have gotten. And if I had a compost pile I can totally see myself falling into it. Sigh.

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    1. I have perfectly good rubber boots right outside my door but it's just too much trouble to flick off my slippers and slide into the boots. That's a whole three seconds I'll never get back again.

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  19. I think the cause of your fall is obvious to a blind man - you've been age-shrinking, and whereas you would've reached the wall 10 years ago, you are now just thiiiiiis much too short. Please allow for that in future, so we know you're safer.

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    1. Never fear! I grow ever more spongey and squishy.

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