Much to my chagrin, I recently found out that I’m quite the accident-prone young lad. I’ve managed to bumble my way through some 21 odd years without major mishap; I’ve never broken a bone, never needed surgery, never even been earnestly slapped in the face by a vengeful lady-friend. Up until the last couple weeks, I took such a life lacking eventfulness for granted. Lately, my existence has been like a series of poorly choreographed deleted scenes from Final Destination. Death lurks around every corner and I, like a weak-kneed, incontinent schoolgirl cower before its might.
I thought everything could be blamed on the addition of a girlfriend with questionable balance or on the inherent evil of the state of Ohio (which I recently visited because of the aforementioned girlfriend) but I was proved wrong when I returned to what I thought was the comforting bosom of squishy, safety-padded Arizona only to be greeted by what can only be termed as a “big-ass” pipe (see below). More on that later…
Let’s go back a bit to my first aquatic adventure in the state of Ohio. Jess (the beloved girlfriend mentioned earlier) and I decided to venture across the mighty Sandusky River using only 5 or 6 mostly submerged stepping-stones. Where there were not stones, we uncoordinated whelps were forced to cling to one another like wet and confused otters and shuffle through the brown, contaminated, pointy rock-infested river water. Every third or fourth step, I managed to rub a previously existing ankle gash up against a chafe-tastic river rock. I silently cursed my ASU geology teacher who repeatedly insisted that river rocks were smooth… Ultimately the wound was reopened, worsened, and putrefied by water that could be synonymous with “bacteria hotel.”
A day or so later, Jess and I ventured to scenic Lakeside, Ohio which is like the cream filling sandwiched between the chocolaty wafers of Lake Erie and the rest of the state of Ohio. Jess asked me to pose for a picture on the rocks on the shore next to a lighthouse. I joyfully obliged; not wanting to settle for photographic mediocrity, I scampered innocently out on the rocks for the ultimate of pictures. I intended to pose on the half-submerged flat rocks, which would hopefully allow me to visually recreate Jesus walking on water. In my mind it was beautiful, however in execution, it was an unsightly violation of the human body. My feet hit the sludgy submerged portion of the rock and instantly conveyed skyward. In classic pratfall fashion, my legs ascended, my upper body descended and my back and buttocks collided most painfully into a very hard surface. Hoping to maintain some dignity and hopefully my relationship with Jess, I stood up quickly and then slid around for what seemed like five minutes of trying to regain my balance. The bad part was that I soiled an entire days worth of clothes (inside and out) and imbued myself with a righteous bruise, but the good part was that I got to go into town and buy a new shirt that cleverly says, “Get Your Ship Together.” I call it even on that endeavor.
Also on the same Ohio trip, Jess and I, unsatisfied with our current level of water-based humiliation, sought out a canoe with which to again brave the mighty Sandusky River. We procured conveyance and launched into the muddy abyss. Due to abnormal amounts of rain, the water level was high, trees were down, and the current was flowing faster than normal. Like the brave (or stupid) souls that we are we ignored warnings and even had the stupidity to forego life vests. About fifteen minutes into the 2-hour trip, we encountered a downed tree. Unable to reign in our boat, we instead paddled harder and slammed headfirst into the tree. Jess, being in front, was startled and dropped her oar, which conveniently lodged in the tree branches. After being turned around and floating downstream a ways, MIGHTY STEVE ™ managed to single-handedly turn the boat around and row against the current back to the tree. Jess latched on and proceeded to reach for her oar. When she couldn’t secure it, she got the idea to knock the oar into the water and then pick it up after it resurfaced. The first part of the plan worked as she knocked the oar into the muddied drink, however we could not see the plan through because the oar never came back up. Dejectedly, we continued on, hoping for the best that can be expected with having a 14-foot canoe manned by an incompetent ape of a man whose water-based accomplishments max out at taking a bath with bubbles. As we continued on, I managed to lose control of the boat and run into something else. Efforts to maintain balance came to no fruition and ultimately we flipped the canoe sending life-vests, sandals, oars, and girlfriends flying into the water. After swallowing enough bacteria filled water to give me diarrhea for a week, I surfaced and frantically grabbed all of our buoyant personal effects. The boat sank and needed to be flipped and drained. I barked orders as well as I could with a wallet between my teeth (didn’t want to find leeches wedged between my driver’s license and credit cards) and we managed to get righted and continue on. In the course of the adventure, I managed to rip a nice gash in my hand and convince Jessica’s family that I’m both ridiculously stupid and incapable of taking care of their daughter. Score!
So I came home Wednesday, bruised and battered but none the worse for wear. I went about my life thinking that I left all personal risk back in Ohio with my girl. Then I went Saturday to volunteer doing construction type things at the Rio Vista homeless shelter. While ripping 2x4s down, a section of ceiling collapsed on my head, shooting drywall, wood and a freakin’ heavy lead pipe at my body. Narrowly missing my head, the lead pipe landed innocently in my arms and I simultaneously cradled the pipe and my own mortality like wee children.
After the dust settled, I managed to drop the pipe on my toe. If you want to get in touch with me, I’ll be at my house, appendages wrapped in foam rubber, wearing a crash helmet and gently rocking back and forth.