As an adult woman who has a drivers license and a job and was once a competitive cheerleader and gymnast, I still have to approach one basic motor function like I’m about to diffuse a bomb.
I can’t manage stairs.
If you’ve forgotten or are living in a level-plain Utopia (you even bastard), stairs are nothing more than stepping forward slightly higher than normal, and I still can’t do it. I’m like a giraffe with a terrible palsy every time the elevators are broken, all wobbly-kneed and white-knuckled and demanding that people don’t help me because I can do this myself THANKYOUSOMUCH.
I have a stairtastrophe record that would be much improved if I had just decided to throw myself down every staircase I’ve ever come across instead of climbing them.
My grandmother’s basement stairs are deceptively steep. They appear normal at first, then you’re hit with an absurdly sheer climb through the middle which leads to the way-too-wide bottom few steps. These stairs fuck with your mind. More than a few times, I’ve missed one of those bottom steps, tripped, and chest-butted the wall at the landing, folding myself backwards into a fantastic impression of a breathless, screaming taco. “HRRRRRRRRRRR YOU GUYS I TRIPPED AGAIN HRRRRRRRRR SOMEONE UNFOLD ME HRRRRRRRRR OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD I’M SO RUGBURNED.”
My sister and cousin used to go down these demon steps in a laundry basket–without injury–again and again like the merry little bastards they continue to be to this day. The ONE time they pushed me down, the basket flipped, effectively trapping me inside like a carnival ride while I skidded down the office-carpeted hellscape, and rammed me right into the wall at the end of the landing. When mom asked why I was screaming, they lied, and mom chose to believe them rather than to venture down these stairs. My mom chose her own safety over mine, and I don’t even blame her. Better to be only my rug burned nipples than the nipples of the innocent.
I worked in a hospital kitchen my Senior year of high school, which sounds like a good job for a teenager until you find out I was washing dishes one day and saw a prisoner be shot right outside my door after he tried to escape the X-ray room. I also witnessed an attempted baby-napping, and a woman screamed at me because her nipples were bleeding. Man, that was a shitty job. Now, from those horrifying stories to this one.
One day, I was carrying a very heavy tray to ICU (which contained a steak and 6 cookies and my unending questions about priorities) when my sweet-ass Vans tripped me up on the stairs for the 3,000th time. I leaned back and tried to save the steak, but succeeded in only tipping it to the right and dumping everything on the stairs. I was already mid-trip when the tray hit the ground, and had no choice but to plant my foot. Luckily, the tray moved itself right under my foot at that very moment, creating a sled under only one foot and pulling me rapidly into a split. I still had several stairs to go post-split, which left a perfect opportunity for my crotch to slam against every single stair on the way to the landing, where my tray-foot was still sliding. When my entire body finally made it to the landing and I curled over with a frozen cookie on my crotch, a doctor opened the door to the landing, stepped over me, and continued on like there was no disaster in front of him and my crotch could not be admitted to Trauma 1. I quit soon after.
I didn’t do well with any staircases here what with the wide variance between ancient and modern staircases (Shakespeare’s birthplace’s staircase took me 5 full minutes because it was built by an elephant apparently) but one tiny hotel in York was my undoing. The elevator was ‘broken’ because the guy who ran the crank was off that day, so staircase it was for us. The rest of my group decided to go to Burger King before going up to the rooms, and I opted not to, so I figured I would just take my stuff upstairs alone.
It was a spiral staircase. It might not be so bad if I weren’t lugging around a body bag thanks to our 9-day itinerary, and the spiral was not a 1:1 scale of a DNA helix. I tried holding it sideways in front of me. I tripped, my bag fell and began to slide, and I rode that bitch like Pecos Goddamn Bill back down the stairs and into the lobby, where the receptionists were getting just as big a laugh as I was. After a few other fruitless attempts, I had made it halfway up the staircase, but no further. The stairs became inexplicably more narrow there, and my bag was not going to go through. That said, I’m a hardheaded asshole, and I was not going to bail now. I grew more and more frustrated after each attempt, and then in a moment of pure idiocy, I picked up my giant back and threw it up and around the stairs.
For one second, it worked. I smiled and lifted my foot to follow my bag to the room, where I had presumably thrown it, when I heard the unmistakable sound of whooshing. I had forgotten my bag had wheels, heavy weight, and was made of fucking nylon, which makes it a really great sled and a really bad placeholder. It rushed right back down the spiral at me, hitting my square in the shins. The bag had apparently built some momentum on its journey back to the lobby, because it then ran up my legs and over my body and tackled my ass to the ground. After successfully bruising one of my boobs, cutting my chin, and bloodying my nose, my bag came to a rest in the lobby, where I rolled down after it a few seconds later.
They called in the Crank Man because they felt so bad for me.
Someone buy me a StairChair and a Life Alert. I’m a disaster.
Ever had a really spectacular stair experience or seen someone else with one? Ever had a really spectacular fall? What’s your one motor-function fuck-up? Also, WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?– Favorite Comment From The Last Post: From Meg: “Just today, I was having a conversation about how I lost a day last week. I really did and I can’t figure out what day it happened but by Friday, I was still enjoying Thursday. Someone offered up, ‘classic alien abduction’, to which I almost responded, ‘now that you mention it, my butt does hurt a little’. I only stopped myself because I was with people I didn’t know very well. Not everyone thinks jokes about anal probing are funny. Do they?”