Stuff Happens
"Stuff happens," they say. In my case, stuff always happens. Like the time I fell off the playground equipment at camp. I work there now and have a mile-long list of 'mishaps' I've had in the kitchen, though I must say moving vehicles are my undoing.

My sister and I have a motorbike, a two-wheeler dirt bike. I was scared to ride it at first--that is, until I discovered I was impervious to death when I rode it. I've lived through numerous incidents on that bike, but there's two in particular that stick in my mind.

I was out riding at my uncle's farm when the bike and I hit an unexpected, not to mention large, bump. The bike and I were tossed sideways; however, the bike didn't stop moving. I was about to leap away from my impending doom when I noticed the sleeve of my shirt was caught on the bike.

Previously, my mother had threatened me with my life if I wrecked that shirt. So, stupidly enough, I hung on. Unfortunately, what I hung on to was the throttle. Being dragged across the gravel until I unhooked my shirt earned me an enormous scrape across my stomach and a new nickname, 'Skid'.

The other instance involved me, the bike, and a fence. We were out at my grandpa's, taking turns driving up and down the driveway. We weren't allowed to ride onto the road, so we had to turn around at the end of the driveway and come back.

It was my turn and I was getting pretty close to the end of the driveway, so I started to turn around. I accelerated too much on the turn, sending the bike and myself into the fence. Thanks to inertia, my head cracked into the fence (if it weren't for that helmet...), but my head was the least of my worries. The front wheel of the bike was stuck in the fence.

Parking meters, though--those are deadly. I know they aren't vehicles, but if it weren't for vehicles, parking meters wouldn't exist. I didn't even see it coming. Just came out of nowhere and BAM! You don't know true pain until you've run into a parking meter with your face.

Regular bikes are just as dangerous as motorbikes. Mine has mutinied against me more than once. Just for that, I named it Icabod . The chain always gets stuck or comes off at the most inopportune times: for instance, during a hailstorm. Or when I'm cruising along on some shale on the third day of grade 11, the back tire will slide out and send me sprawling across the shale. The worst part is, the brakes don't work.

Horses aren't vehicles really, but they do move. More often than not, when you don't want them to. Perhaps they'll decide to go for a little trot while you're getting off. Of course, that only sends you flying onto your back, which I know from experience hurts a lot. And just when you think it can't get any worse, you discover your foot is caught in the stirrup. Now your head is being dragged along side the horse's hooves. All I can say is watch out when those things come down.

Moving objects are definitely a pain, but objects that don't move are infinitely worse. Like chairs, for example. Ever walk on the chairs at hockey games with the fold up seat? Whatever you do, you don't walk to close to the seat back, right? Last year, I forgot that most sacred rule and fell through the chair. Got a nice scrape from my ankle to the middle of my shin. Turned purple from my foot to the middle of my shin.

I don't like chains that hang attached to two posts. I was 12 when I discovered them. Running along, straight for the poles and the chain. Since I didn't want to bother going around, I decided to jump over them. I can't say that was the smartest thing I've ever done. My foot caught on the chain when I was in mid-air. Fortunately, the ground broke my face-first fall.

My point (and I do have one) is that things aren't always as bad as they seem. Whether it be walking into a door or dropping a cutting board on your foot, just laugh it off and remember that stuff happens. Just ask me, I know.

Copyright Faye Polson 1998.
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