It was supposed to be a little pratfall, that’s all. Sadly, I was the prat.
Boobaby and one of her posse of four-year olds were on the playground’s saucer swing this Monday. Do you know these things? They’re large concave metal disks that started showing up in San Francisco playgrounds a couple of years ago. Admirably, it’s basically impossible to fall off one of ’em — something about centrifugal force, I think, glues your butt down unless you bodily fling yourself off. Which I don’t recommend, because they weigh a ton, and the last place you want to be is anywhere near one swinging unless a smashed kneecap interests you.
Anyway, I’m pushing, girls are riding, and O. toddles over, interested.
I gingerly bring the massive steel disk to a halt. “Do you want to get on the swing, O.?” I ask. He doesn’t. “Do you want to stand next to me and push?” No, he doesn’t. In fact, all he wants to do is stand right up next to the swing, in what I euphemistically call “the kill zone.”
“Well, you see, if you stand there, you could get hit!” I note. “See, watch!”
I proceed to push the swing about three inches, intending to perform a dramatic stage-fall when it returns to tap me on the shin. I pathetically admit, though, that I’m wildly overzealous when it comes to cheap toddler entertainment. I’m that guy who’ll resort to “pull my finger” jokes or singing Avril Lavigne’s greatest hits to make a three-year old smile. So instead of just falling on my keister for the predictable laughs, I lunch myself toes over tits (so to speak) into a full back somersault, landing unceremoniously on one outstretched toe with my nose inches from the recycled rubber matting.
“Tah-dah!” I manage to shout with the last few milliliters of air in my lungs. A sharp pain radiates from somewhere in my liver-kidney-duodenum region (my anatomy is fuzzy), and a bright pain from the epicenter of my ego. I walk it off as gamely as I could, betraying no — aw, crap. Betraying every iota of PAIN PAIN PAIN in my BACK BACK BACK. I’m no hero.
Now I’ve cornered the ibuprofen market and I’m sleeping on four precisely-placed pillows. Anything for a laugh, right? I didn’t really need that spleen, anyway — don’t you have two of those?