Sometimes I inadvertently set myself up for foolish mishaps- most of them garden-related. This particular mini-embarrassment still triggers a red face. Now that I’m old, though, I don’t mind telling on myself...
One day I wrestled with a hose, which insisted on remaining kinky. After wasting thirty minutes trying to coax that elderly rubber snake not to revert to its twisted behavior so I could pump my pond water properly I gave up, unscrewed it from the bilge pump, dumped it in the rubbish bin, and stomped off in disgust.
But, the next day, while throwing out bagged kitchen garbage, I happened to glimpse a high-quality spray nozzle I’d e-mail-ordered the summer before sitting way-y down at the bottom of the big bin, still attached to the dumped hose. Stupid me! In angry haste I’d tossed out too much… hmmm. How to get the nozzle out again without tipping out lots of rubbish, too? Putting it all back again would be a royal pain.
I stepped on the bin’s foot-bar, leaned in… reached down… Nope. Not even close. On my tiptoes I tried again, bent double now into a tight V, extending my arm an impossible distance down …my fingers almost brushed it and, encouraged, I wriggled and stretched a tiny bit further- further- raising my feet off the support— That did it. I lost my balance and tumbled in. As I fell, a rib cracked. Worse, the lid dropped back down to the not-quite-closed position, framing my shod feet posed stiffly outside the big bin’s mostly shut rim.
What a total idiot! Here I was, upside down in the malodorous semi-dark, my head partially sunk into a bag crammed with chicken fat, coffee grounds, butcher paper, and other sundries, along with lots of branches, leaf litter and garden rubbish scattered along the bottom and sides... Phew! Ancient stinks wafted all around me...But my hand closed around the nozzle.
Somehow, with much painful gasping and groaning, I managed to grab the bin’s yucky edges and gradually raise myself inch by inch, enough to push the heavy lid completely open. It flew back with a loud Bang! I was just able to painfully extract myself, rising inch by inch until my shoes found purchase far below, while still clutching my prize.
Thank heaven no one was around.
Imagine if someone passing by had happened to note my lower legs sticking out, rush to investigate and find me stuck down there, seemingly discarded along with the other rubbish!
I’d never hear the end of it.
How might I explain my cracked rib to Joe without appearing a complete fool? Oh, well. I’d have to take my licks- and just tell him.
Eventually, I cleaned up and re-assessed. Could I still garden? A gentle examination reassured me that I could, but much more slowly. The rib objected when I moved just so, but generally I could still function pretty well, supported by an Ace bandage.
The lesson? Angry, impatient and reckless, I’d been dumb, and dumber. But, always looking for a pony in the poop, I congratulated myself on my narrow escape from public ignominy. There’s usually some little detail one can salvage or be grateful for when reviewing one’s foolish behavior…