Today for your delight...Stuff That Still Really Hurts When I Think About It.
1. Riding my bike really fast down a hill at age 5 and crashing into a moving pickup and horsetrailer. It was the kind of starter bike that you pedaled backwards to brake - and I was having such a zippy, wonderful time going 90 miles an hour that I stuck my legs straight out rather than be bothered with pedaling. By the time I heard the pickup barreling down the road, the very road I needed to cross in a few short feet, it was too late. I tried to regain control of the pedals, but they were going too fast. I suppose a brighter child might have veered off to avoid a direct collision, but I went for it. The front tire of the bike hit the front corner of the horsetrailer and I bounced backwards into a sticker and weed-filled ditch. My handlebar and hip collided and there's still a scar. Many lesser, modern, weenie-type children might not survive such an ordeal. I survived because I was the aggressor. Technically, I hit the truck, not the other way around. And oh - I wasn't wearing a helmet. They weren't invented yet.
2. Reading a letter from a childhood friend on while walking behind Libby Hall on CU campus in Boulder, Colorado. Someone randomly flipped a beer cap (Miller High Life, I believe) from a 3rd story window and it hit me on the wrist. Hard. Everytime I think of the girl who wrote the letter, it stings again. So I'm not friends with her anymore. Sorry, Kathy. It's just too traumatic.
3. Slamming my fingers in the door of a 1968 Plymouth Satellite. I was wearing a fuzzy coat with leaves on it and green denim pants with really cool pockets. I was 9. I put my throbbing hand between my knees and bent over, and teardrops hit my glasses until I couldn't see. I still prefer to kick car doors closed with my foot, a habit that makes me look extra classy.
4. Stepping out of the camper in Galveston, Texas on a July afternoon and landing my cute bare foot in the middle of a hill of angry red ants who proceeded to devour my 10 year-old legs. I was wearing a double knit sundress my mother had made and I slapped at my legs and danced around which only made it worse. I still cannot step out of RVs or campers without first triple checking the ground. Just in case.
5. Hitting my head on the rafters at Snow Mountain Ranch YMCA in Tabernash, Colorado on Spring Break 1984. I cannot even really remember what caused me to think that jumping down off a deck to the ground would require me to first jump UP. But I ran with reckless 16 year old abandon and leaped as high as possible to thoroughly thwack my forehead against the rafter of the roof over the deck. This graceful movement caused my head to go backwards, but the forward thrust of my body continued. Which meant that the back of my head then hit the deck floor on my way down to the ground, where I plopped rather unceremoniously in a pile of unadulterated dorkitude. I spent the rest of spring break with a goose egg on my forehead and the inability to feather my hair without wincing.
6. Having a 90 pound Labradork pull me through the door of a Grand Motel in Julesburg, Colorado at 4:30 in the morning, catching the back of my hand on the little sticky-outty part of the latch which deeply gouged the thin skin on the back of my hand in a 4 inch swath. Should my body ever be discovered and be unrecognizable by dental records, check out the left hand of the cadaver and you'll know if it's me.
You know those "Darwin Awards" they give to people who hurt or kill themselves in really stupid ways so they deserve to die because they're the weak ones of the species and aren't smart enough to survive? I'm thinking I'm pretty danged evolved to live through all this stuff.
Be careful out there. You never know when a zinging beer cap is gonna whack you.