It’s a custom: I fall once a year. It’s still coming for 2015, and time is getting short. It will be caused by a stair that is too high or a somersault on ice or a drunken lurch through the nearest casino. The older I get, the more I dread it.
Much like farting or burping unexpectedly, we are embarrassed when we fall. It invariably happens in public when you are with, oh say, the Press Corp. And you, of course, deny that anything is hurt even if your right leg is on the opposite curb from your left.
I had a client in the deep South where they use pine needles instead of cedar chips as mulch. It’s a very slippery way to throw Yankees off balance. On a hill just outside the windows of their conference room, I pitched straight forward. Down, down, down. Head lower than my feet. Knocked so breathless that I could only smack my lips like a dying trout. Through the whole thing, I did not spill a drop of the Diet Coke I was carrying.
Another time, walking the streets of Chicago with the rep from a Public Relations agency, I suddenly executed a near perfect triple gainer and splatted down onto the broken concrete. I didn’t die, but I wanted to. Torn hamstring, the works. The PR specialist with me, adept at putting a positive spin on things, cried, “Oh, look! You didn’t even get your pants dirty!”
We are embarrassed when we fall, and we hate to admit that we actually hurt ourselves when we do. From now on, I am going to change that. I am going to lie there, thrashing and flailing as much as the various body parts will allow. I’ll sue the bastards who paved the whatever. I will pull down any goodie-two-shoes who so much at hints at, “Did you hurt yourself?”
Take this as a warning.