By: Campbell Petschke
Currently listening to: Holy Fire by Foals
Everyone has their own personal injuries and incidents. This could be broken bones, scrapes, infections, cuts, etc. As much as heartache may hurt your inside that is not what I am referring to this entry (I’ll give y’all a break this time). I’m talking about the brutal, gory, and cringe-inducing battle wounds. That slip on the floor and hitting a table, the slicing of a finger while chopping an eggplant, the bruising of the brain while sitting through Pitch Perfect 2. As this section suggests though, I personally am ‘crack-a-lackin’ yo… I’ve never shattered a bone nor had to get stitches. Better believe I am knocking on wood after writing about this content. It’s the equivalent of saying you never get sick and then you’re nearly passed out at home the next day cuddling a waste basket next to your four empty bottles of lemon-lime Gatorade and half eaten sleeve of Saltine crackers.
Side note, you know that first time you throw up and how it’s almost equally relieving and draining that first puke? Ever look down and just be like man what the hell was I thinking eating all this mess? It looks like a mix of Mountain Dew infused cottage cheese with mystery meat and ______ <- (Insert soup of choice here).
Side side note: Is it just me or is it really funny when people throw up and also the way that people around them react? It’s always a collective ‘awww uggggghhhhh’ like they feel bad. I don’t know maybe I’m just cruel in the moment.
Okay, back on track… INJURIES!
You Broke a Bone? Cute, I Skid My Knee on Playground Pavement…
So why write this entry at all? Well, it’s funny you didn’t ask. About a month ago I had an epic stumble that won awards of all sorts while running to my friend’s car to grab my keys that I forgot. I wrecked my left elbow, hands, and especially my side where I developed a bruise as big as a small child’s head. It looked like a really bad paintball incident or a shark bite without the bite. Bruce wishes he could bite like that. Anyhow, I’ve since recovered for the most part, but it once again made me realize how lucky I was to have just get bruised and not break anything vital. Like I said earlier I’ve never broken, fractured, or needed stitches. The closest I’ve been is oral stitches from the copious amounts of oral surgery. Man what a dorky injury. Oh you got ten stitches on your head from your helmet shattering in a motorcycle incident? Well, I got my wisdom teeth pulled buddy, get well soon I guess.
This’ll sound so stupid to those who have broken a bone or received stitches, but as a kid I was always kinda jealous of those who did have injuries like that. I thought crutches were the coolest thing since interactive classroom whiteboards. You got to leave class early to get to the bus or next class and you had a glimpse of stardom. Given I wasn’t always thinking with my head as a kid and factored in, you know, part of your body is getting fucked up and that’s how you get the privilege of using crutches. To put into perspective where my mind was at growing up, I just realized three years ago that the logo for Fifth-Third Bank was the fraction 5/3rd’s and not just a cool design. I also thought Michael’s was Michelle’s for a little bit there too, but anyhow.
The Free Pass
I don’t know if anyone else struggled with this in school, but when it came to ice-breakers at the beginning of the school-year or new semester I could never put to words what they asked of me. Not to mention I had terrible public speaking anxiety when I was younger too. The popular question that seemed to always be asked was ‘What’s something special about you?’ Now obviously there’s a lot of things that are significant to my character, but when you’re stressed the hell out about it being your turn to speak next you can’t think of who you even are. I’m thinking ‘well uh I have two feet! Wait everyone has two feet, shit… Um I go to school! Dummy why do you think everyone’s here??’
The one thing I knew I could say was that I have vitiligo, which is the loss of pigmentation cells in the skin making some parts patchy and white. I said this one time for 6th grade language arts and everyone including the teacher was confused and kept asking questions. Now when you’re terrified of public speaking the last thing you want to do is stay standing with everyone staring at you being asked questions and being considered the kid with the weird skin (I always liked my vitiligo, but when you’re nervous you think the worst as a kid). In the moment I thought maybe if I shit myself I can just get myself out of this mortifying experience. That would make for a good icebreaker answer in the future too. ‘What’s special about me miss? Oh well I can literally defecate on command to get myself to get out of awkward situations.’ Okay maybe not, but it was always a thought.
So how does this all relate back to injuries? Kids that broke a bone or got stitches had it so easy. When asked what was special about them they could just say ‘oh I broke my arm’. *BOOM* done. Well some of us less fortunate kids didn’t break their arm in three places, a-hole. Then they’d get asked the fun follow up questions like where did it happen and how old were you? They’d get a level of respect in the teachers voice too. Of course I thought it was cool too *sighs*.
I Like Waking Up to the Smell of Bacon, Sue Me
When you do get injured though it is an opportunity to have your moment of sympathy or even respect from your peers. Whether you seek this out or not is up to you. I think back to moments like when someone I used to work with kept purposely holding their hand weirdly around people and ONLY when people were around. Obviously you want me to ask what is up with your hand. So I did and naturally his face lit up so he could tell his heroic story of how he beat up this drunk guy that was hitting on his girlfriend at a bar. So after I got his autograph I thought wow this poor guy… really wants his moment of fame.
When situations like that arise I always think back to one of my favorite episodes of The Office where Michael acts overly affected and injured from burning his foot on his George Foreman grill that he sets next to his bed in the morning. Why? To wake up to the smell of bacon of course. Meanwhile Dwight gets a concussion in an attempt to ‘save’ Michael from crashing into the front gate to the parking lot. Dwight acts like nothing happened, while Michael requests special treatment and comes into work with crutches.
While I’ve rarely come across situations like this in my life I can’t help but think of people in the past that have over-exaggerated their minor injuries. To put into perspective, while working at a restaurant one of my friends had hot cheese from a grill fly into his eye one time and didn’t tell anyone. He just said, “I’ll be right back” and didn’t find out until his shift was over. Meanwhile, a different person lightly bumps the counter-top with their hip and screams as if they got hot cheese in their eye. Don’t worry the person that bumped their hip survived. It’s just funny how some of us want the sympathy and attention from our injuries like I did when I was younger and some just want nothing to do with that attention and feeling of pity.
The Final Punch
This entry was just something fun to write, nothing meant to be taken with serious intent. I like to think that most of us, when it comes to injuries, know a Michael Scott and know Dwight Schrutes too. Some of us want the sympathy to help feel better emotionally and feel validated and some of us just want to live another day without anyone noticing.
I’ve never been in a physical fight outside of a few times where I’ve had to defend a friend/significant other, but luckily I’ve avoided any massive confrontation and/or injury from this too or had it escalate. I tend to steer clear of that whenever I can, personally I feel like there’s more to life than giving someone else attention out of anger and giving them what they want. Instead I just passively think about it later… for the rest of my life. Not really, but I do think of what the potential consequences could be, such as injury.
Injuries aren’t especially something to be desired as I’ve learned the hard way. I don’t have many scars or burn marks on my skin nor do I have any weaker bone structure from breaking bones. The closest thing I get to that is when people see my somewhat patchy, vitiligo hands and feel prompted to ask when I got burned and how old I was when that happened. I’m never bothered, but it is not attention I seek in the least. If I really wanted that kind of attention I would’ve put a George Foreman grill by my bed years ago.
I’m probably gonna jinx my entire existence after this and have the most embarrassing injury known to man. I can see it now… the next article where I discuss me tripping while going up an escalator, pants get caught on the belt of it dragging that and my underwear off and end up smacking my head on the railing and someone stepping on my hand with their stilettos on accident. All while being arrested for unintentional public nudity. Stitches in my knuckle, broken collarbone, and fractured dignity.