Illustration courtesy of D at SeafoodPunch!
A few weeks ago, I fell down the basement stairs. I literally tripped over my own foot and, because I was carrying some laundry (which we all know is delicate and breakable), in order to avoid dropping the laundry, I fell rather awkwardly. I did some sort of complicated twist-spiral-corkscrew landing whereby I managed to hit my head on the 4-inch strip of uncarpeted concrete floor. And by “hit” I mean “slam.” And by “slam” I mean “kill.” My dying thoughts were filled with regret that I was wearing my holey shorts.
I laid there for a minute. I could still hear the sound of my head cracking against the concrete. I looked around, careful not to move my smashed head, and wondered why heaven looked like my basement. How disappointing! Every detail, right down to the cats’ litterboxes, which hadn’t even been cleaned. Heaven kind of sucks. Then the phone rings (God?) and I can hear my mom’s voice on the machine. So my mom can call me in heaven? I have mixed feelings about that. THEN Gus comes trotting down the stairs and I know Gus is alive and well, so I finally get it through my cracked-open melon that I’m not dead. I’m not even unconscious.
I’M NOT EVEN HURT!
Tell me, how can I fall with the full force of my body, crack my head on solid concrete, and not have so much as even a tiny headache and YET when the shampoo bottle falls on my foot in the shower, the pain causes me to spew expletives that would make Tony Soprano blush AND I have a giant bruise on my foot for 3 weeks?
In my short but accomplished life, I have withstood some mind-numbing pain: stubbed toes, paper cuts, that one eyebrow hair that just bring tears to your eyes when you yank it out. These little stupid things always hurt way more than they should.
But apparently, big stupid things can hurt a lot too.
Have you heard this story?
Some guy accidentally sawed off his hand, and in order to alleviate the pain, he did what most of us would do in that situation.
He fired a pneumatic nail gun into his skull.
Yeah. That’s what I would do. Ow, my hand just got sawed off. Let’s see. Is there a shampoo bottle handy? How about some tweezers? No? OK, I have no other option to stave off this mind-numbing pain than to shoot nails into my brain.
Doctors say that he actually distracted his brain into forgetting the sawed-off hand pain and thinking about the nails-in-skull pain. Ummm . . . good?
Either way, he ended up unconscious but was found in time to save his life and his hand. No word on those pesky nail holes.
Soooo, next time I drop that shampoo bottle on my foot, I know what to do. I don’t have a nail gun, though. Do you think a stapler would work?