A friend recently fell off a ladder while attempting to trim a tree with a chainsaw on a pole. She ended up with a hairline fracture of her leg. She hobbled around a bit and then tried to make the fracture a full-on break by slipping in cat vomit.
While she had my sympathy initially, when it got to the cat vomit part all she got was laughter.
Then I thought about all the stupid things we do as our instinct screams ‘you idiot!’. When you know better, but go forth anyway in the hopes of conquering in spite of your common sense.
Like the time my husband climbed a ladder to rescue his kitten while wearing only a bathrobe and a slippery pair of wet Crocs. Both survived.
Or the time my mother dislocated her shoulder chasing a rooster. She fell over the cage. The rooster escaped.
During my years on a fire department I saw many, many accidents. After a while you realize that pretty much everything in life is just one big accident after another. Think about it. Car accidents. House fires caused by faulty wiring or a tea kettle left simmering too long. Mistakes at work. Taking the wrong turn and getting lost.
The girl whose dog knocked her down inside an old growth tree stump where she was stuck, feet sticking out, until we showed up.
I wonder how many times my parents fell for the line, ‘but it was an accident!’.
Followed by ‘I didn’t mean it!’.
Followed by ‘it was her fault!’.
And then followed with, most commonly, spankings.
My first trip to the hospital: learning how to ride a bike without training wheels and thinking the bike would magically stop if I pulled up to a curb. After all, that’s what cars did.
There was the time I swallowed a ring and was scared I’d get in trouble so I didn’t say anything. For days I could feel it in there every time I swallowed. Eventually, I assume, it…passed on.
Of course not all accidents result in bad things. I met some wonderful friends because I didn’t understand the distance between two points while wandering in northern Scotland.
Every day tiny decisions are made that take us through life in ways we never foresee. Where would I be right this moment if I’d been running late this morning, or early? Would I then have been in the car accident instead of driving by? Millions of tiny decisions all throughout the day impact us and most of the time we aren’t even aware of them.
If you think about this too much you’ll never get out of bed. So instead I’m going to remind my sister of the time she brilliantly thought she could swing out on a rope tied to a tree growing out of a steep hillside, and land without breaking any bones.
We’ll ignore the part where the siblings who shall remain nameless told her ‘you go first and test it’.
Followed by ‘but it was an accident!’.