Mike Buzzelli

Column Mike Buzzelli

Mike Buzzelli is a stand up comedian and published author. He is a theater and arts critic for 'Burgh Vivant, Pittsburgh's online cultural talk magazine, and an active board member of the Pittsburgh New Works Festival, the Carnegie Arts Initiative and the Carnegie Screenwriters. His book, "Below Average Genius" is a collection of essays culled from his weekly humor column here in the Observer-Reporter.

A thrill and a spill

July 18, 2014

A friend of mine just called me a klutz. It was hard to argue with him from my position on the floor. I was still trying to get up from a treacherous spill at the time. I have fallen down a lot in my life. I always get back up, unharmed. Well, until recently.

I was walking from the patio bar to the inside of the Round Corner Cantina, a Mexican restaurant in hipster-centric Lawrenceville. I missed a step and fell down on the brightly colored tile floor.

On the plus side, I got to admire the tile up close and personal, reddish terra cotta tiles mixed with white tiles in a checkerboard pattern. It would have been really pretty, if one of my fingers wasn’t facing a different direction from the others.

I jammed it. It swelled, but, luckily, it didn’t break. Now would be the perfect time to pick a fight with me. I can’t make a fist.

I decided to look on the bright side. I learned a lot. I learned “stove your finger” is Pennsylvanian slang. It probably comes from the same people who brought you “red up your room,” “yinz” and “n’nat.” I found “Stover,” as in “to jam your finger,” on a Pittsburghese website. Though, the word emigrated as far as Maryland.

I had no idea I was using a slang word. I’ve jammed my finger before. Two years ago, I jammed my middle finger tapping a fast-moving volleyball back across the net. Not long ago, I nearly broke a knuckle trying to catch a Frisbee. At least, I can claim they were sports-related injuries. Yes, volleyball and Frisbee aren’t the manliest sports around, but, still, it was tangentially athletic. Walking inside from the outside of a restaurant could not be considered a sports-related injury. I wasn’t even drinking margaritas yet.

You know, you meet the nicest people when you fall down. Several people rushed to my aid. Don’t think I didn’t notice the people who hid behind their guacamole. I know who you are.

Later in the week, I continued to deny I was a klutz. Except, a few things happened.

I dropped and banged up my relatively new iPhone. Now, the faces on Facebook have a crack down the middle.

And Sunday, I went on a long hike with my friends, Chris and Josh. Yes, I know, I’m surprised I didn’t kill myself either as we scrambled over rocks at Ohiopyle State Park. Somehow, I managed to survive.

However, when we went back to Josh’s cabin, I retreated to my guest room for a nap. Forty minutes later, Josh, also waking from a nap, served tea, to stimulate the group of us back into mobility. I went to plop down on the couch, still exhausted from the hike, but I forgot I had a mug of hot tea in my hand. I burned myself from my chest to my leg, the entire left side of my body scalded with chamomile. They say, “Nothing wakes you up quite like a cup of coffee or a mug of tea.” I don’t think they meant “by wearing it.”

I have good news, though. I, in no way, hurt myself while typing this column. Cross your fingers (I still can’t).



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