Wednesday, June 10, 2009

“Let’s hear about those happy little trees now!”

We LOVE the show Wipeout on ABC…there is something about watching people crash and burn that just never gets old! It is the one show that I “bwa ha!” at, you know, the laugh that comes out sounding more like a bark than a laugh. I squeal, I scream, I simply cannot contain myself. The baby hates it. He is always telling me to stop laughing because I’m so loud.

I love the commentary that runs throughout the show, making fun of folks by calling them Deadbeat Daughter, Bored Brittany, or the Desperate Housewife. The hosts are brilliant, adding little quips, screen drawings, and sound effects that completely crack me up. Tonight, they had a great segment where a background singer that they called the songbird was diving into a big air filled pillow. They added the sound of a hawk, it was hilarious.

I’ve had some spectacular crashes myself, over the years. Certainly when we were skiing! One of the last times that we went, the guys had chided me for leaving them behind in my dust. They complained that if they had a problem, I wouldn’t be around to help them. So I carefully stayed just between my husband and my brother on a cat trail, a mostly flat, wide trail that lead to the bottom of the mountain. Hubby got too far ahead, and I looked back to see if my bro was still with me. The next thing that I knew, I was wreckage in the middle of the path. I was a tangled mass of limbs and skis and poles, and my brother was belly laughing.

To add insult to injury, my ski had fallen off and flipped into the woods just off of the trail. As I prepared to climb down, another skier came by, shouting, “Don’t go down there! The snow is deeper than it looks!” Good advice…but a bit too late, as I slid down the embankment and was soon waist deep in the snow, looking up at my now hysterical brother gazing off of the edge of the trail.

Besides the obvious embarrassment, I was hurting from my TWO falls, and I started to cry a little bit. Bro kept laughing, then suggested, “Well, while you are down there, why don’t you look for your SKI??!” Smart alec. I found the ski, btw, and we used it to pull me back up and join my husband at the bottom of the hill, who by now was about to send out the ski patrol to find us because he was TOO FAR AHEAD TO SEE MY CRASH!

One of the first few days that I was away at college, I broke a tiny little bone in my foot. Not much, not enough for a cast, but it hurt and I was supposed to be on crutches for two weeks. Always trying to be the overachiever, I decided to spend this time laid up to write letters back home, read a little, study…so I loaded down both arms with books, paper, pens, and what have you, and headed down the stairs on my crutches to watch tv in the common room. You can see it coming, can’t you? Yup. I tripped as I tried to navigate the stairs with armloads of books, fell headfirst down the stairs, and landed unceremoniously at the base of the stairs, crutches askew and books falling like rain around me. The entire common room was full of “General Hospital” fans (can you guess what years I was in college?), who ALL turned to stare at me…and WATCH me get up and try to gather my things. Do you think that one person could have helped me in my moment of need? Oh, no, that would have been too easy. Instead, they all watched while I gathered up books and tried to adjust my pride. Then they turned back to the TV, and I decided that I didn’t want to watch TV anyway. I headed back up the stairs, carrying my armloads of books.

I can’t say that I blame them for laughing at me. I would do the same, before I helped them up. When I was a Senior in high school, we went on a job shadow for a day. My best friend and I rode the transit bus into the nearest large town, and we were going to go shopping before riding the bus home. We left our job shadow a little late, and were hurrying down the street to catch the bus to the mall. In Gunne Sacks dresses…remember? Full skirts, lacy trim, and tight bodices. We had stylish sling shoes with no straps. How they stayed on our feet, I’ll never know. (and in fact, if your foot fell asleep, they did NOT stay on, but that’s another story) Anyway, we saw the bus pull up to the curb, and we put it into high gear to make the stop.

Next thing I know, she’s gone. I’m still running, and she is no longer at my side. I turned around to see her sprawled across the sidewalk. She pulled herself up to show a bleeding knee and nylons that had run both up and down. I was laughing so hard that I couldn’t even tell her that the bus that we were running to catch was not the one that we were trying to get on.

She and her shoes had their revenge when I was in college. My FHE group decided to go caroling in Salt Lake and go see the Temple Grounds. We were walking around a neighborhood in Midvale, dressed in our Sunday best, and I tripped on a crack in the sidewalk. I fell forward, and lucky for me, my FHE sister's butt was right there. Even luckier was the fact that Lori's butt was...shall we say...significant? And it formed a little shelf upon which my head rested comfortably.

Now comes the dilemma. Wearing stupid those stupid 1980's sling shoes, I was unable to get the leverage to lift my head up without moving closer to Lori and adjusting my center of balance. Lori, of course, was not necessarily in the mood to carry my head on her butt, so she began walking faster to remove said butt from the path of my fat head. I was running to keep up, or more importantly, to catch up so that I could lift my head and right myself without falling flat on my face. Needless to say, it was a very strange few seconds!!! A FHE brother reached in and pulled me up, and the day was saved. But after that, Lori looked at me strangely and I couldn't think about it without collapsing in a fit of giggles. (Lori, if you are out there, I am SO SORRY!)

To this day, I think of this when folks ask me how I accomplish all that I do. I tell them that it's much like this scenario....if I slow down, I'll fall flat on my face, so I just keep running to keep my head safely on Lori's butt....and maybe, one day, get my bearings.

The most classic crash story comes from my mother. She and my brother had been going back and forth…he was in a crabby mood, and she was trying to cheer him up. I have to note that she can be REALLY annoying when she is trying to cheer someone up, hard as she tries. So she was showing him the “Happy Painter” on TV, and how he was painting happy little trees, and gentle bushes on his artwork. “Doesn’t that just make you happy?” she taunted him. He was not amused.

They left the house, headed to some destination or another, when Mom accidentally stepped off the edge of the sidewalk and crashed headfirst into the brush at the side of the house. Fuming, she disentangled herself from the overgrowth and stomped up the path.

Bro was in tears. “Let’s hear about your happy little trees NOW!”

It’s not so funny when the proverbial shoe is on the other foot, is it?

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