Monday, May 12, 2008

Once Bitten, Iced Thigh

Saturday night is a night I won't soon forget, and for ALL the wrong reasons. After spending a remarkable day with my wife and kids at the Witte Museum checking out mummies, cowboys, Indians, and playing with all the cool gadgets at the children's museum, we went over to our friends' house for dinner. My kids were excited about another chance to play with Hunter and Caleigh, and I was excited about fajitas and beer.

Everything was going spectacularly: the children were playing well together, the beer was cold, there was plenty of propane in BBQ tank, and the conversations were sparkling. The first sign of something a wry was when we discovered a giant colony of wood ants that had built a nest in the canopy section of the kids' wooden fort. The children were giving free rides down the slide to slew of ants, albeit inadvertently. The ants repaid their gratitude by gently biting my daughter. WE returned their thanklessness with nearly an entire can of ant spray (which actually smelled like a bouquet of roses--but I doubt the dying ants appreciated that.) As I huddled in the small tower of the fort wiping out the ant population and fighting off the urge to lick the overflow poison from my hands, I felt like a savior to the kids.

Before inviting all the children back up to what was now a mephitic cornucopia of Hot Shot, old wasp nests, cedar leaves, and tiny wet ant corpses, I decided to take a victory stroll out along the top of the monkey bars. I walked out precariously along the two rails supporting the bars, Hot Shot can high in one hand and clenched fist in the other. The kids far below looked more like a rival sect of cheering ants than happy children ready to play once again. As I was turning to climb down the long, tall ladder to make my way down to terra firma, the kids starting chanting, "jump, jump, jump." I thought they'd never ask. I can't lie and say the thought of taking a victory jump standing from nine-feet up didn't cross my mind, so I was eager and ready to oblige in their simple request. I'll show that can of poison who the real Hot Shot was!

I did my mental calculations involving air speed, gravitational fluctuation's for our specific longitudinal coordinates, considered the Coriolis AND Bernoulli Effects (separately and together), then made my jump. I didn't just step off, no, I leaped up as high as I could to create the perfect parabolic flight path (parabolas ALWAYS delight little kids.) My internal altimeter was processing my height above ground so that I could absorb the shock through bent legs. I should be hitting the ground in . . . (THUD.) I hit before I imagined I would. I TOTALLY wasn't ready for that. My legs were straight. The shock of the landing entered my feet, went right to all my joints, and reverberated all the way into my head were it screamed "YOU IDIOT! YOU'RE NOT AS YOUNG OR AS LIGHT AS YOU USED TO BE."

I stood up grimacing, wincing, and crying (on the inside) while the kids were already running off to go tell the other (sane) adults what I had just done. I limped back to the house hoping no one would notice my altered, labored gait or the saline moisture forming around the perimeter of my eyes. "Smells great!" I offered trying to divert attention from my pathetic case, but it was no use: my wife saw the whole affair. "It looked like you landed on your butt," she said, to which I took immediate offense, "No I didn't! I landed right on what used to be my own to feet. I just feel backward onto my butt from the recoil from the percussion of the fall." It didn't make me feel any better.

So I sat on the couch the rest of the evening with a dull moan which simultaneously expressed my satisfaction for the savory fajitas and the pain and discomfort I felt in my right knee (the ACL-less knee), both thighs, and my left ankle. I knew I wouldn't be running for some time, but that I'd be running a marathon before my wife let me live down the latest stupid act of what she simply calls" Kevin being Kevin." I think there's a reason I married a nurse. She loves me.

Today, two days later, I'm still in pain, but with an ankle brace with stiff, high-top hiking boots, my ankle feels better. As for my knee, it's hurt worse before. The good news is that the latest injuries don't interfere with my mathematical abilities, which are apparently suspect to accuracy anyway, especially when it comes to calculating using the inverse square law of gravity, or else I wouldn't be in this state to begin with.

Dumb ants! They got what they deserved!


Anonymous said...

When I first saw you hit the ground, I thought that you had jumped from the swing, and I thought that was dumb. But, no. You always have to be an over-achiever, do things BIG. Don't just jump from the swing, jump from the top of the monkey bars. Don't just scrape a knee, brake the whole joint. We're so proud of you!

kwkorpi said...

I Love you Too!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Yes, kevin is being just kevin! what else can i say. mathematical calculations take a back seat to the never say never response of an adult to kids! onward!