This isn’t just a teacher thing, is it? At the end of the day today the principal made a PA announcement that, despite the custodians’ valiant efforts to stay ahead of the snow and cold, the parking lots and sidewalks around the school weren’t as ice-free as they wanted, and reminded everyone that we should be careful while walking to our buses, or our cars, or wherever else we might be walking at the end of the day. A few minutes later, as I was walking to my car, I started musing on how many days off from work I could plausibly take if I slipped and, say, broke a leg or something while on school property. By the time I got to my car the musing had evolved to the point where because I had written an (at the time, nonexistent) blog post describing precisely this scenario work had somehow found it and determined that I broke my leg on purpose, and I was wondering what the consequences of such a thing might be and whether those consequences might mean I got to stay home from work even more.

Back to the original question; this is a standard tired-of-being-at-work thing, right? “How can I hurt myself so I don’t have to come back here” wonderings aren’t just a teacher thing? It wasn’t even that bad of a day, honestly. I’d call it mediocre at worst. It’s just that this is where my brain goes when walking out of work.

And then I got home, parked, went to the mailbox, got the mail, and was greeted at the door by my wife, who asked me to take the trash out to the foot of the driveway, and a minute or two later I was ass over teakettle in the middle of my fucking driveway and yelling words that I typically do not yell at the top of my lungs while outside, and a minute or two after that said wife came running out, not having actually heard me, but having looked out the front window of our house and noticed me crumpled and not moving much with the trash can partially on top of me.

Nothing’s broken. I landed on my left leg and my left hip; I don’t actually remember how I fell, but I don’t think I hit my head and I don’t seem to have any significant bruising or scrapes or anything. I’m not limping when I walk, although my ankle, my toes, my knee and my hip all hurt. It could have been much worse; I had a shot glass in my right coat pocket (don’t ask) and landing on that would probably have been bad.

And, truth be told, my first thought upon regaining my feet and ascertaining that I wasn’t broken was I probably can’t reasonably take tomorrow off because of this, and I was disappointed, because when one makes a fool of oneself in public, one ought to get something out of it other than pain and humiliation.

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Luther M. Siler

Teacher, writer of words, and local curmudgeon. Enthusiastically profane. Occasionally hostile.

10 thoughts on “Ow

  1. I don’t know that I have ever pondered injury as a viable excuse for not going to work, but there have been plenty of days where the only reason I went was because that it would only be worse if I just didn’t show up for a day or several. Everything I was avoiding would still be there waiting for me. Or if I realized how nice and easy it was to not go one day, I might never go back.
    As an inveterate faller, I recommend a hot shower and analgesic of choice. Ice if there are signs of swelling … unless you want to see how it goes without and if the fall does indeed get you out of work. Ha. (All of which I am sure you already know.)


  2. Yes. Working on retail, I would wonder what I would have to break to get time off. If it didn’t involve actual walking, I would still be required to go in and do my job to the same level as uninjured. Unless it happened on the job. Then you start thinking maybe the forklift could run over my foot and crush it and I’ll get the rest of my life off…with pay! It’ll hurt but I’ll get drugs for that.


    1. I am reminded of the only joke that Louis CK ever told that I thought was funny, which was that he’d reached the age where the only way he knew to get drugs was to hurt his back. 🙂


  3. Oh goodness…slipping on ice is really freaky…(not that any falls aren’t scary, unless you loved the experience of hang-gliding, like me!)..have you been to the hospital, yet? Arrggh…if you need some cheering up, just think that we are gettin’ close to that age where we can fall and break a hip…Ha!


    1. Honestly I’m surprised my body didn’t take the opportunity. Somehow I have made it to 45 without ever breaking a bone so you’d think my ancient carcass would want to make up for that by now.

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