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).