If there’s one think I’ve noticed over the past couple of days its that trying to type (amongst other things that I normally take for granted) with a cast on your hand can be rather trying.
I wish I had a glamorous story to tell you about the incident. Something along the lines of being injured while rescuing a person in distress or that I gotten into a scrap at my local watering hole while defending the honor of some beautiful woman who was being harassed by someone who had a few too many. In the latter case, at least I could use the line “Well, you shoulda seen the other guy” while explaining the circumstances that led to my (albeit, temporary) impairment. Alas, it is not to be. In a fitting example of what can best be described as the drab, mundane events that seem to dictate my life of late, I will now try to explain, in an entertaining way, these circumstances. To do so, we have to move back in time a couple of days, Saturday, December 7, 2002 to be precise.
The day started out normal enough here in good ol’ Columbus, Ohio. I had taken my eight year old daughter (who seems to have a much better social life than yours truly btw) to yet another birthday party for one of her schoolmates. This one was hosted at the Center of Science and Industry, affectionately known as COSI to us locals. A rather cool place to host such an event. Most of the displays are of the hands on variety and are very educational and entertaining. I dutifully dropped her off and later picked her about four hours later. During the interim, I did the daily chores that seem to fill most of my Saturdays. You know, laundry, cleaning, blah blah blah. I actually found it a little easier since she was gone and was not underfoot while I moved about the house.
The afternoon progressed along normal lines too. I had the television on (sound off) with a mind to keep my on the latest scores coming from college football, a very big deal here in Buckeye Land. The stereo was on and playing some jazz tunes, the exact artist, I can’t recall. I was content, had a couple of beers and started to prepare dinner, a baked chicken with rice and corn on the cob. My daughter though, she was getting bored.
Her: “Daddy, Why do you like football so much?”
Me: “Jeez, honey, I dunno. I guess its sorta like a tradition.”
This statement is true. For as long as I can remember, football had always played an important part in my weekend rituals. Often times, whole weekends were planned around “the game” and I guess there was some sort of male bonding going on. Anyway…
Her: “Will you teach me how to play?”
Me: “Yeah, sure honey. What part do you want to learn first?”
I didn’t really know what to expect in the way of an answer. She’d been exposed to football before and I figured maybe she wanted the rules to be explained. I certainly didn’t expect….
Me: (rather guardedly) “Hmm, what do you want to know about it?”
Her: “How do you do it?”
Its at this point where I probably should have just offered up an explanation of the finer points that are involved when throwing a person to the ground or trying to take their head off. Instead, being a proponent of the theory that one learns by example, I felt obliged to put on a display.
Me: “I’ll show you, let’s move some furniture aside.”
After shoving aside some chairs and a coffee table we were now ready to get on with it. I told her to stand across the room and start running towards me when I gave the signal. I got into my three-point stance and memories of the days when I played football began flooding my brain. All those neighborhood games that we played and touchdowns that I scored as a youth seemed like yesterday. I think I actually got an adrenaline rush.
Me: “Ready, set, go”!
As she came running towards me my mind filled with thoughts of how to bring her down gently. I certainly didn’t want to hurt her nor did I want to spoil any of the father-daughter bonding that was going on.
Borgo’s brain: "Whoa, she’s moving kinda quick – what am I gonna do?"
She started getting closer and closer. Time seemed to slow down. Her laughter got louder as she got ready to be “tackled”. At the last second, she decided to jump.
Borgo’s brain: "Damn, wasn’t expecting that! Gotta catch her!"
And I did just that. The only thing was, I forgot how out of shape I really am. Her momentum kinda spun me around and I was in danger of falling on top of her. All 215 or so pounds of me would have landed right on top of her and undoubtedly caused some type of injury.
Borgo’s brain: ”Shit!, try explaining THIS to my ex-wife, the hospital and the eventual investigation by children’s services.”
So I put my hand down to break our fall and she landed, laughing all the while, on top of me.
SNAP! The unmistakable sound of bones being broken
Me: “Uh, honey, do you think you can get off daddy? I think I broke my finger.”
Her: (knowing my penchant for teasing) “Yeah, right.”
Me: No, I’m serious honey, please get off me.
It’s at this point where she got off me and we both got a good look at my pinky. It was now pointing in a direction or two that didn’t seem possible.
Her: “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God!” I’m so sorry!"
Me: “Don’t worry honey, its gonna be ok!”
Well, after gathering my thoughts and dropping her off at a neighbors house, it was off to the emergency room. After a couple of hours, it was determined that my little ol’ pinky was dislocated in two places and chipped in another. I’ll be in a splint anywhere from four to six weeks.
Not much of a story huh? Or is it?
In retrospect I’m kinda glad that it happened the way it did and not in one of the so-called “glamorous” ways that I originally envisioned that would make it a better story. Those ways might have been only fleeting moments and involved total strangers. This one involved family.
One day, if my daughter grows to have children of her own and I’m lucky enough, I might be able to tell the story, or, if I’m gone, she can pass it on in her own words. I think it will be forever known as “The day I broke my daddy’s finger” or something like that and its kinda nice to keep it in the family. A sort of immortality...
Family and stories, what a nice thought...