Would you rather…

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Funny story: About a week and a half ago, I poked myself in the eye with a stick. Why, you ask? Well, this guy comes up to me and says, “Would you rather poke yourself in the eye with a stick, or…”

And I just said yes. Now, I wish I had heard the other option. Live and learn.

Ok, fine, here’s what really happened.

It was the first really warm day we’d seen this year. A beautiful spring Saturday, even if it wasn’t officially spring yet. Angela & I were taking advantage of the nice weather, pulling down some broken branches from the tree in our front yard. We managed to get most of them, but there was one big one that was just out of reach. I had almost decided to forget about it — let the spring thunderstorms bring it down.

Then, I started looking around at all the long branches we had already pulled. The MacGyver theme started playing in my head — I can solve this problem. As the tempo increased, I picked up one of the branches and started nudging the branch still lodged in the tree. I was making progress and I was pretty sure this was going to work. Still, as I looked up into the tree, the very top-heavy branch in my hand weaving left and right as I navigated it through the tree limbs, I couldn’t help thinking that what I should do is put it down and go get the proper tools. I should go find a sturdy ladder, maybe some rope, and whatever professional tree trimmers use to pull down broken branches.

But I was making progress. I had just broken off a small branch that was partly responsible for holding up the limb. Besides, does MacGyver ever stop and go get the proper tools? Not when his theme is playing, that’s for sure.

I kept working on the branch, stretching as high as I could, the limb in my hands high above my head. Somehow, I lost my grip on the limb and it came down hard into my face. The end of it hit the top of my top eyelid and made a nasty gash.

We cleaned up the wound and took a good look at it. It wasn’t pretty, but it didn’t look deep enough to require stitches. Instead, Angela went to the store and bought some “liquid bandage.” I used that for a little over a week and it healed right up. It left a small scar — not very noticable, but it will put a damper on my criminal activities (“I don’t remember much about him, officer, but I did notice a scar over his right eye…”).

It occured to me that every scar I have was caused by me doing something stupid. When I was little, my sister and I were playing and she locked me out of the house. I pulled my right fist back to hit the door as hard as I could. Unfortunately, I’m left-handed, so my aim wasn’t so good. My fist went right through the back-door window, and I still have the scar on my right wrist.

A few years later, I was playing on the merry-go-round at school. Now, this wasn’t like most merry-go-rounds you see on playgrounds. It had a tall metal pole in the center. The body of the merry-go-round pivoted from the top of this pole, with its spider-like arms stretching down to attach to wooden benches on the outside of the frame. This created an area in the center of the contraption where children shouldn’t be but usually were. This particular time, I was on the inside, pushing the merry-go-round as fast as I could. I slipped and fell under the spinning benches, hitting my head on the metal frame and quite a few pairs of feet. I didn’t know I was hurt until my mom picked me up from school and saw the blood in my hair. I’ve never seen that scar, but I know it’s there.

Of course, there are plenty of times when I’ve listened to the voice in my head when it says, “Dude, seriously, you’re gonna get yourself killed.” I guess it’s how often we listen to that voice that determines if we earn scars or a Darwin Award.