Possibly the only good thing about blogging regularly is that sometimes readers will suggest a topic at a time when you’re high and dry for ideas.
That happened to me today when, over on the Facebook feed, my first-born daughter mentioned that she’d injured her knee. And, like usual, I ended up taking the blame for it, even though I’m hundreds of miles away.
You see, I had innocently mentioned on Facebook that I’d had similar injuries in the past, which brought on accusations that my daughter had obviously inherited my weak-kneed condition.
Now maybe that’s true, but sometimes knees get hurt for a reason, and sometimes that reason has nothing to do with gnomes:
- Your knee might get crushed by a 240 pound linebacker just as you extend the ball past the goal line for the winning touchdown.
- Your knee might get blasted by shrapnel while you’re busy winning the Congressional Medal of Honor.
- Your knee might get destroyed while skiing in the Alps with a high-roller friend who flew you to Europe aboard his Learjet.
- Your knee might get wrecked while unloading 160 pounds of cow shit.
I’m not even going to bother telling you which of those things happened to me, you already know. But what you didn’t know is that the cow-shit injury wasn’t the first.
My knee loses its virginity
The first sacrilege was to my left knee, and it occurred when I was in college. My best friend and I had met up at a city park in Austin where you could always find a pretty good pick-up basketball game. I took the charge from an older, bigger guy with a beer gut, his right knee hit my left knee and mine dislocated.
The ball game was called due to impending darkness and great agony. I picked myself up, made it to my car and somehow managed to use the clutch on the way home, but was pretty well incapacitated by the time I got there.
Fortunately, my sister was living in the same trailer park with her first husband, so I hopped on down to her trailer, named the Titty Pink.
Unfortunately, her then-husband was watching something on TV and couldn’t be troubled to take me to the University of Texas Student Health Center until my knee had swollen to the size of an overripe grapefruit.
I was on crutches for two weeks.
A moooving experience
The second injury was to my right knee, giving me a nicely matched set.
We’d just bought our first house in Austin, and it was one of those bulldozer jobs where the builder carved out a flat space for a matchbox house, but didn’t do any landscaping.
I purchased many bags of cow manure, and was unloading them from the car trunk into a wheelbarrow. I’d just thrown the fourth 40-pound bag into the wheelbarrow when it tipped over into my knee, causing it to bend in a direction it was never intended to go.
I staggered into the house and told my wife, Mary, that I’d been kayoed by 160 pounds of cow shit, but she was too busy laughing to help.
All I could do was put on an Ace bandage and hobble around for a few weeks.
Same house, the toilet gets stopped up. I don’t remember the culprit, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t me. Still, it was made clear to me that fixing it was my job.
I wielded the plunger like a champ, hit the flush, then saw a sight no man wants to see: a brown horse headed north at a fast gallop. Not wanting to get my shoes shined, I leaped into the adjacent bathtub, not realizing that it was still wet from someone’s bath just minutes before. My foot slipped and my right knee gave way, leaving me weeping in the bathtub while a river of filth tsunamied down the hallway.
The curly slide of horror
I walked with all three kids and the dog to the park near our house in Alvin, Texas. The park had swings and one of those curly slides. The kids were having fun climbing the ladder and sliding back down, but I wanted to show them that dad could be a real sport, too.
“Hey kids, watch this!” I said from the top of the slide. I positioned myself head first and face down, never thinking that the slide’s tight spirals would force an adult’s knee to turn east while the rest of him was headed west.
I exited the slide at high speed and might have fainted a little, because the next thing I remember was my daughter, Rebekah, standing over me saying, “What are you doing down there, Daddy?”
I don’t think cell phones had been invented yet, and anyway, Mary wouldn’t have had hers turned on, so there was nothing to do but drag myself, the kids and the dog back to the faraway house from whence I’d come.
This time there would be arthroscopic surgery. The doctor insisted I watch on the monitor, which I did until I passed out.
That was the last of my knee injuries, and I’ll close with a message to my daughter, Leah: Take heart, your fun is just beginning!