September 19, 2008

Klutz Klub

So, I finally have the membership cards for the Klutz Klub:

Download a printable, full-color high-resolution PDF (2MB):
http://robinmckinleysblog.com/Gallery/Chalice-Bookmark.pdf
Bookmarks will print one per page, approximately 8″ long.


booksmarks.jpg


Some of you may be mistaking this for a bookmark.  I acknowledge it bears a strong family resemblance to a bookmark and is capable of performing bookmark functions.  But really what it is is a membership card to the Klutz Klub. Some of you may remember, a month or three ago, my referring to my friend Clio having broken her elbow ice skating, and saying in an aside to Blackbear, who I think at that point had recently shut her hand in her garage door, hey, should we let her into the Klutz* Klub?  And there was a rather astonishing outpouring of anecdotes from other people who felt they should also be members.  Hmmm, I thought.  There Is An Opportunity Here.  And then Putnams sent me a pdf of their new bookmark and I recognised it at once as its true self, the Klutz Klub Membership Card! So, all you need to do to obtain your very own Klutz Klub Membership Card is post an exciting personal anecdote describing why you should be a member, and then send me nuraddin@robinmckinley.com [yes, I’m FINALLY changing over to my own domain name] your street address, so I can send it to you.  And if anyone comes up to you on the tube/subway/queue at the grocery store/backstage at the opera and says, Hey!  What a great bookmark!, be sure and tell them it’s not a bookmark, and to check out the Klutz Klub on http://robinmckinleysblog.com .And if you are really disgustingly neat, coordinated, focussed and fault-free, in the first place I hate you, but in the second place, if you still want a membership card because it’s so beautiful and besides will look so excellent pretending to be a bookmark and poking out of any one of your copies of Robin McKinley’s books, you’re allowed to post a favourite anecdote of a partner, parent, domestic animal, etc.  I will further observe that while there’s no way to police these, I’d like them to be true stories**, and I also really don’t want stories of serious blood and pain.***  We’re looking for the little dumb why-am-I-such-a-klutz stuff.

 * * *

* Blog readers with really tiresome memories may even remember that its original name was Spaz Club.  But ‘spaz’ still may be used as a term of disrespect to people with cerebral palsy, which, you will know, is not what I have in mind.

** A little exaggeration for dramatic effect is allowable.  ‘And then the Rottweiler lifted its lip and growled, and I stepped backwards . . . ‘ is a permissable exchange for ‘and then the Chihuahua lifted its lip and growled, and I stepped backwards . . . ‘ although frankly those little needle teeth on little bitty dogs hurt like blazes, especially if they nip in UNDER your trouser leg and nail your naked ankle . . . ask me how I know this. . . .

*** If there’s serious blood and pain going on, let us know and we’ll light candles.

Please join the discussion at Robin McKinley's Web Forum.

Comment by librarykat

Several key moments come to mind. There was my 5th birthday, at which I received a beautiful miniature china tea set, everything kid sized. It was gorgeous, I loved it! I boxed everything back up after the party, picked up the box, and managed to fall down, drop the box, and broke almost every piece in the set. I don’t know how I survived ballet and tap lessons that year.

In Japan a year later, we lived in a two-story house. One day I ran up the stairs as I always did, except this time I fell, and hit my chest very hard on the edge of a step. I could not breathe for at least 30 seconds – it felt a lot longer. I wanted to cry, but I could. not. breathe! When I did manage, I decided it was better not to cry.

My parents told me that when I was maybe 13 months old and walking, I ran around our place in Hawaii. I ran into the house, tripped on the landing, fell down, smashed my face, and my new front tooth went through my lower lip and broke off. I had a space there until I was 6 years old. I lisped and had to go through speech therapy in kindergarten. I would not open my mouth to smile until that permanent tooth grew in.

When I was in 8th grade, we were living in Warner Robins, Georgia – my dad was stationed at Robins Air Force Base. Georgia didn’t recognize Memorial Day as a holiday back then (40 years ago), so we had school. In PE the teachers decided we would play Red Rover. Oh Lord. When I was called over, the girls on the opposite team grabbed each other’s wrist instead of holding hands the way they were supposed to. I broke their hold, but pulled both of them down on top of me, and one landed on my ankle and twisted it.

A couple of years later, sophomore year in high school, in Hawaii. PE teacher was the tennis coach, and she had to go out with her team. The other teachers didn’t want anything to do with our class, so the student leaders (cheerleaders all) decided we would run relay races. Backwards. On a grassy field with lots of clumps and lumps of long grass. So, running backwards, I fell, on my left arm, tore all the ligaments in my wrist. We were doing gymnastics at that time. Try doing the trampoline or uneven parallel bars when one arm has a brace on. Yeah, the teachers didn’t want to give me time to heal and lowered my grade because I couldn’t do certain things that needed gripping by both hands. The wrist is still weak, 38 years later.

A couple of years after that. I’m working as a temp during the summer, catch the bus to work. My workplace is across a wide, busy highway and a couple blocks further. I’m wearing the then-fashionable Famolare shoes with the high (4 inch) wavy solid soles. I get off the bus, start to cross the highway with the green light, fall down and twist my ankle in the middle of the road! I barely manage to get up and hobble across before all the cars want to run me over. It’s rush hour, and they all want to get to work.

I have done lots of pratfalls and almost-pratfalls all my adult life. I’ve twisted ankles and sprained wrists more times than I care to think about. I wear flats all the time now. And all I have to do is walk – on a smooth floor – and I’ll still trip over my feet. I do this every day, even in the house. Klutziness is my way of life, for more than 50 years now.

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Comment by Robin

Obviously a founder member!

Yeah, the teachers didn’t want to give me time to heal and lowered my grade because I couldn’t do certain things that needed gripping by both hands.

******** This howeve rmakes me gibber with fury!!!!

Mainly I admit I’m glad I’m not alone. . . . :)

Comment by GraceNotes

“Obviously a founder member!” GROAN while ROTFL!!

 
 
Comment by Melissa Mead

“And all I have to do is walk – on a smooth floor – and I’ll still trip over my feet.”

I can beat that. I can crawl and trip over my hands. ;)

Comment by Angelia

I trip over underground cables!

Comment by Robin

Oh, well done! :)

 
 
 
Comment by Diane in MN

****In PE the teachers decided we would play Red Rover.****

Oh yuck, the WORST damn game for so MANY reasons. I have hideous memories of Red Rover from elementary school in the fifties. It is even worse than volleyball, the loathsome sport we had to play in high school PE. Ghastly games that showcase klutziness.

Comment by librarykat

Oh yeah. I broke a finger playing volleyball in 7th grade. It wasn’t exactly a klutz moment, though – one of the girls on the opposite team deliberately hit the ball to my face, I think she wanted to smash my glasses, and I put my hands up to ward off the ball. My left baby finger is still crooked because my mother splinted it with a straight popsicle stick.

And of course the other girl claimed it was accidental and the teachers believed her. I suffered several broken bones at that school, all injuries inflicted by the other students, and every time it was always “an accident” because, after all, I’m the klutz. The Red Rover incident happened at another school across the country, though.

Comment by Robin

WHY? Why were you so bullied? Always the new kid?

 
 
 
Comment by Elizabeth B

Ye gods. Those teachers should have been hung up by their thumbs. Or, preferably, fired and blacklisted. Can you imagine the lawsuits if something like that happened nowadays?

 
Comment by Anonymous

Warner Robins! We were stationed there when I was little (and eventually went to Japan for a while, too!).

 
Comment by Lissy

My first remembered entree into the world of klutzim was when I was about 7. I was playing with my sisters when one of them started chasing me with (oh the horror) wet hands! Racing away from this terrible fate, I managed to trip over my own feet (or perhaps the cat had been perched on the top stair) and fall flat on my face on the second step down to our backyard. At the time the second step was a concrete tub, overturned. My nose has never been quite the same since, though the scar has faded at long last!

I also once managed to slam my own thumb in a car door. The car started moving off and I had to run after, crying out for them to stop while I extricated myself. Happily, that didn’t actually hurt much.

Otherwise, I always have bruises that I can’t remember the origin of. And since I moved into a house with ceiling beams, they have moved around as much as possible in order to give my head that well-rounded, all-over bruise look. My husband doesn’t ask me how I got that bruise anymore. I just need a padded room…

 
 
Comment by GraceNotes

Klutz Klub (vs Spaz Club) also has lovely alliteration!

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Comment by anne_d

Here’s one – The time I was rushing through the kitchen, stepped on a cat feather wand, it rolled under my foot, and I went down in slow motion… Splat on the very hard ceramic tile floor.

It was only a few weeks after my second annual (almost to the day) slip and fall on a liquidamber pod and splatter myself on the sidewalk event. Three times now, I’ve landed on a hard surface on my left knee. It’s never going to forgive me, ever. Especially when, a few days after the initial liquidamber attack, I caught my kneecap and scraped it across the corner of the computer desk.

Liquidamber trees are demonic. They attack the unwary. Unfortunately, they’re also up and down every street in this benighted town. I walk carefully and watch the ground a lot.

Klutzy enough for you? I got plenty more of them.

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Comment by Robin

Oh dear! I love liquidambars!

Comment by Anonymous

Liquidambers are pretty trees, but I could do without the nasty spikey spherical pods.

Then there was the time I was crossing the kitchen going north and caught my foot on a cat-rocket heading east, and fell flat. The kitten went under the table. The cats also, when very young, had the bad habit of sitting in the walkway in darkened rooms where the unwary were bound to step on them. I shuffled my feet until they both got big enough to be noticeable in the dark. Silly moggies.

Comment by Robin

User name please!

 
 
Comment by anne_d

Argh. Forgot to sign in. anne_d, at your service.

Comment by Robin
 
 
 
 
Comment by Molly

On Monday after lunch I went to the post office near my office. On the way there, I tripped over a random air molecule on the sidewalk and fell on my hands and my left knee. I bruised and scraped my knee and tore one of my two pairs of work-appropriate pants.

So after work I took my sore knee and my torn pants off to the mall, an hour away from work by subway, to buy new pants. This was less of a Quest than I thought it would be (I’m short, overweight and apparently my waist-to-hip ratio is not acknowledged by clothing manufacturers), and it took me so little time to buy three pairs of pants that I went to the Apple store and bought MS Office for my new laptop too.

On arriving home an hour and a half later, I started installing MS Office, and then discovered that the cat I adopted last week from the humane society (and whose spay surgery incision hadn’t even healed yet) had swallowed an embroidery needle. I discovered this at roughly the same time as the MS Office installer update crashed. Panic, hysteria, a $20 cab ride to the emergency vet, two x-rays and three hours later, my cat had $2500 emergency surgery to remove the needle from her small intestine. At 12:45 AM the surgeon called to tell me the surgery was done.

Fast forward to today, which is Friday. MS Office has been sorted out, my cat is sitting on my unbruised knee with a now much larger healing incision and a lampshade collar, and my bruised knee has stopped complaining quite so much when I forget and kneel on it. However, if I never have another week like this again, it will still have been one too many.

I’m not sure whether tripping over air molecules on the sidewalk and leaving embroidery needles where the cat could swallow them count as Klutz Klub-worthy, but I thought I’d give it a shot.

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Comment by Gail L

A couple of years ago my dad and flew out to Montreal, Quebec to spend a week hanging out with friends, celebrating Thanksgiving (in country where everything is open on that certain day in November), and generally enjoying ourselves. We had a day and half. Then as I ran down the steps to the subway, I slipped. I managed to break two bones on both sides of my leg right above my ankle. This resulted in my first ambulance ride, and a night spent in predominantly French speaking hospital (the latter is the reason given whenever anyone asks me “why are you taking French not Spanish?”). When the smoke cleared I was flying back home on Thanksgiving to be checked into the hospital where I wanted to have my leg put back together. So can I pretty please have a Klutz card?

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Comment by Katherine

Oh, I have such STORIES for this…thankfully (for me, anyway), they’re all of a friend of mine. (There is a story of me managing to coldcock myself in the head with a pole, but I don’t remember it…just saw the response from a friend in an old email recently).

But dangnabit, I have a dogsitting obligation all weekend that I have to run to right now (I’m a little late) and won’t have access to the internet.

I truly hope there are some left over by the time I have the interwebs again! They’re so preeeeetty.

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Comment by b_twin_1

Does the fact that I have mis-emailed and misposted ALREADY count??
::sigh::

Membership Level Application: Associate Member

Experience 1: “Garden Tools”
There was a sick sheep and with all that was happening in the sheep yards at the time I was in a rush (warning bells right there!) Like many animals that are sick this ewe was refusing to eat. What could I get that would possibly tempt her? And then I thought of the bush in the garden called “Tagasaste” or Tree Lucerne. It’s commonly grown as a fodder plant and we had one in the garden. So I’m busy cutting small branches off this bush and all of a sudden I saw red stuff. Huh? Where did *that* come from?? I dropped the branch I had just cut and realized I had cut more than the branch ….. Despite the fact it took quite a while to stop with the red stuff I actually didn’t cut anything OFF. Thankfully.
Note to self: fingers are NOT branches.
I still have the scar to remind me to be CAREFUL when using secateurs!

Experience 2: “Baking”
Since I became Secretary for the local Ag Show I have been very keen to compete in the cookery section at the show. Heck, I may not be able to do all that horse stuff but I *can* cook. But when I am tired (especially leading up to the show!) some very strange things can happen. There is one particular cookery event that involves making a fruit cake to a set recipe. This recipe is not my “usual” fruit cake recipe. This particular day I was getting two cakes ready at the same time. One bowl had the fruit, sugar and brandy for my usual cake and the other was the fruit mixture for the “set recipe” cake. Show cakes take more time simply because you have to do daft things like cutting up the raisins, cherries and nuts so that everything is an even size. So here I am cutting up cherries, nuts and raisins. Hate cutting raisins. But that’s not the point. The point is I had two cakes going at once. And the recipes are different. With my usual recipe you soak the fruit, brandy and sugar overnight. With the other recipe you leave the sugar out because you have to cream butter and sugar the next day. And…. Yeah I forgot to leave the sugar out. So the next day I go to mix up the cake and .. oops no sugar to cream with the butter. Damn. Put that lot of fruit to one side and do it all again. I must have been really tired. Because I made the SAME MISTAKE. And then when soaking the fruit for another recipe I put the flour in on the fruit before soaking it. Ooops. So another one to be re-done. (Ended up with first prize for both in the end though!)

Experience 3: “Christmas Dessert”
I have an aunt who is about 4’10”. In all directions. Delightful person. Just very *rotund*. We shall call her Jeanie for the purpose of this tale. She and my uncle do not drive and our family was always having to pick them up to take them places, especially family gatherings. One Christmas we had the van all loaded up with presents and food to head down to another aunt’s house. Probably running late too (knowing my mother). Anyhow…. Jeanie and my uncle lived on a very busy main road and whenever we had to go to their place it was a matter of stopping and getting everything done *very quickly* because there was no place to park. This Christmas Jeanie had their things ready at the roadside. Piles of presents and snacks and cheesecakes (my uncle likes making cheesecakes – with no sugar). We arrived and, like the well-oiled machine we were, opened everything up quickly and had all the extra stuff stowed in a matter of a couple of minutes. Jeanie leapt, errr … lumbered, into the van and hurriedly sat on the back seat. Approximately 2 seconds later Mum said, “Where’s the pavlova?”
Ahhh .. that glorious meringue dessert with its delicate peaks topped with whipped cream and strawberries. Our favourite.
Now transformed into a pasty pancake with mushed strawberries and cream oozing out the edges.
It was decided, upon arrival at our destination, that it was beyond redemption after its encounter with Jeanie’s posterior.

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Comment by Lusty Librarian

In my early adolescence (I’m a Klutz now, but it was dire then) I was playing with my cousins, one of whom was giving us rides on his new dirt bike. As he drove towards the mass of us waiting for our turns we all scattered. I tripped and managed to fling myself into the dirt bike sending my two dirt bike-mounted cousins into a spectacular wipeout.

In true Lusty Librarian form I BENT a bone in my foot, but didn’t permanently damage myself (So no staying home from school reading novels for me!)

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Comment by livvispatula

I trip over my own feet with distressing regularity. I have a condition known as tibial torsion: my toes point outwards when I stand normally. This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it means I
– can’t roller skate, ice skate, waterski, etc.
– can’t perform the most basic stances in tae kwon do without extensive practise
– wear down shoes wrong
– trip on perfectly flat surfaces
I went ice skating with my youth group one day. The leader said that the first person to fall down would be given a donut as a consolation prize. I chose one with blueberry jam. I didn’t even *try*.

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Comment by Melissa Mead

FWIW, I AM a person with cerebral palsy, and I got a kick out of it. But I appreciate your tact. ;)
(Hey, does this mean I have an unfair anecdote advantage? I’ve flipped my scooter at least twice. What’s motor-powered klutziness worth? Muahaha!)

Let’s see…When I was a kid I tried to climb a pine tree and slipped. There I was, hanging upside down by my ankles with my hair brushing the ground…and my sister sat there giggling while I yelled “Stop laughing and go get Mom!” I was giggling too, of course…

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Comment by Robin

FWIW, I AM a person with cerebral palsy, and I got a kick out of it. But I appreciate your tact. ;)

*********** I would have said it’s the sort of thing you can get away with once in passing, but if you’re going to IMMORTALISE it (!!!!!) you’d better use something uncontroversial. What do you think?

Comment by Melissa Mead

Probably a good idea. Besides, Klutz Klub sounds better.

If it’s going to be immortalized, it needs a motto. Something like:
“The Klutz Klub. Where pride cometh AFTER a fall.”

Comment by Robin
 
 
 
 
Comment by Deirdre

There I was, about 11, first day of my summer holidays and my mother comes out, takes my younger sister for her bath and insists that I should clean up, after the pair of us. So I stomp around the garden and one stomp puts my foot down on a garden fork. I was wearing sandals, which was pretty rare really for me in the holidays, I was normally bare-footed. But the fork ignored the sandal and cut my foot open. I was rushed by my dad to hospital and had stitches and a tetanus injection. So I spent most of my summer holidays reading and with my foot up. I really wasn’t a happy camper. There are photographs of me draped all over different things, like the rocking horse, trying to get comfortable, with a book in hand.

I don’t think I’ve been without a book in hand since.

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Comment by Susan aka Accidental Poet

Just a few short weeks ago, we were staying at a family camp with my SIL and her family. We were in two different rooms in a lodge. My SIL’s room had a floor that was 6″ lower than the hallway outside and I didn’t notice the large “Watch Your Step” sign. I sprained my ankle most spectacularly.

And did the exact same thing the next day.

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Comment by Amber

Here’s my favorite second-grade story, which should definitely earn me a spot in the Klutz Klub: I learned how to ride a bike before I was 5 years old, but I reached a new milestone when I was 7- how to ride with no hands! I had one of those old-fashioned bikes with a blue banana seat and dipped handle bars and a basket that I would put my feet up on as I flew down hills in my neighborhood. Then there was the day my brother, unusually selfless on his part, let me borrow his new red bike which had a nice crossbar (or “crotch-bar” as he called it!) with which I learned to stear with my knees by tilting the bike back and forth just slightly as I peddled down the road. Oh, the newfound joy! Well, here’s when the mentality of my second grade brain kicked in. As I was flying down a very long and very steep hill on my own bike later that same week with my feet in their usual position on the handlebars, I remembered that I could now ride with no hands! With that thought, I flung up my arms in a moment of pure jubilation, before sliding down the rest of the hill on my side. No broken bones, but a road rash that lived on my legs and elbow (and bike!) for several years.

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Comment by silksieve

I once managed to knock down all the set pieces on stage right in a high school musical production once. In my defense, we were trying to manuever a 5 foot table around a 90 degree turn onto offstage, although how we were able to do this successfully in rehearsal and not in performance remains a mystery. We knocked into one set piece….it teetered…then gave up the fight, and the rest we may call the “domino effect.”

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Comment by LRK

This is more of a question than a contribution, I’m wondering what qualifies one?
I’m most certainly NOT “disgustingly neat, coordinated, focussed and fault-free”, but my clumsiness is of the more everyday, unexciting kind: bumping into things, getting caught on doorhandles, that sort of thing, and I’ll discover bruises and wounds without having any idea how I acquired them! (Once I found a bruise on my leg which I later realized corresponded to where I usually rest my elbow!)
I have two scars, though (she added hopefully) – one on my right arm and one on my forehead and while the latter involved quite a lot of blood, there was remarkably little (if any) pain… would that qualify? If so, I will add more (hopefully exciting) detail. But what I REALLY want to know is – do you count absentmindedness? Because if you do, I could do much better – much, MUCH better!

Lastly, I think this is an absolutely lovely, wonderful idea!

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Comment by LRK

Well, you didn’t answer my question, so I will simply assume that “silence gives consent” and that you will allow absentmindedness. I’ve been reminded of a vast assortment of incidents, containing all kinds of klutziness – but mostly, I flatter myself, with a strong element of absentmindedness. Unfortunately there are quite a lot of words I don’t know in English, so please excuse any resultant awkward prose – if it is actually incomprehensible, please let me know!

I’ll start with my scars, since I’ve already mentioned them.

Playing in my room. I threw myself down violently and knocked my head against a piece of furniture. Feeling liquid running down my eye I though in suprise “Oh, am I sweating a lot!”, wiped it and looked at my hand covered in blood. Hm. So what to do? (I was not afraid, nervous or worrid in the slightest) If I called my mother “Mamma, could you come in here please” and she found her daughter covered in blood she might get a shock, thought I, not to mention my (maternal) grandmother who was visiting. So I peeped out my door, saw that the coast (hall) was clear and made a dash for the little toiilet. There I tried to wipe away the blood with so scant success that I actually had to reveal my plight. Mamma made me lie down and insisted that we had to go to the hospital (blah!) and then she scolded me for trying to hide it; when I protested she wouldn’t admit that she would have been frightened in the least. Then I did shed a few tears – of anger and frustration! Here I had tried to be Noble & Heroic and this was what I got for ii – oh, the Injustice! (I didn’t have a concussion, it didn’t need sewing, but I have a scar on my left temple).

Dancing in my room. (Note: I had a high bed with a ladder.) I lifted my arm gracefully (for a wonder I’m not being ironic) over my head and hit my arm against my bed, shattering my glass what-d’you-call-’em (that I was wearing on my arm) and a piece of glass drew a few centimetres neat line on my arm. (Of course I was lucky – I might have got glass in my eye! Anyway result: scar on my right arm.)

Lucia pageant(?) in school. We were using real candles. We were standing waiting to enter the school dining room. Suddenly I felt somebody slapping at the back of my head. It turned out to be my class-fellow Carina who had dashed from her place further back in the line when she saw that – my hair was on fire! I’d stepped too far back and into the candle held by the girl behind me. (Of course there was no time to do anything about it – the smell of burnt hair is not pleasant, but luckily it only turned out to be a few strands of shrivelled, plastic-like hair and my “only beauty” – to quote Amy to Jo in “Little Women” – was saved. And yes, that was the only thing I cared about!)

Riding. We were told to get up ON the saddle, my boots slipped and my sense of balance has never been good… I ended up hanging like a sack – I have no idea how – with my arms and legs upwards, bumping Tonic’s fore leg every step he took. What now? I quite calmly decided that I absolutely lacked the courage to let go – besides that I was probably tangled somehow with something, but even if I hadn’t been I was absolutely physically incapable of letting myself fall (I’ve got vertigo). Luckily Tonic kept walking at the same steady pace until the riding instructor stopped him and got me down; I would have absolutely – how many times have I used that word?!? – have understood if he had panicked. (Anyway, he was my favourite – a whitening grey, I was surprised to see him on a poster with a lot of horses – all right, he was a pony, but not a little one – it said Tonic, and it was he, but much greyer/younger.)

(And yes, I have been thrown – thrice. By bucking. A little rearing I could handle – I said A LITTLE! – but not bucking. When the head went down, I went flying and the next thing I knew I was lying on my back…)

To be continued…

Comment by LRK

Continued Klutziness

Relay in gym class. I was running as fast as I could, which of course was not impressive, but still too fast for comfort when I slipped and landed on my back. I remember lying there with Janne looking down at me anxiously wondering if I was all right, while I was holding the pin(?) towards him, trying heroically to urge him not to mind me and continue, but only able to croak. It turned out that I had slipped on – a banana peel! (This would have been funnier, but that my back really hurt me whenever I tried to jump or bounce – I was a child, I enjoyed jumping and bouncing! Anyway, I can attest to the genuine slipperiness of banana peels..)

Before gym-class. I was vaguely conscious that something was missing, but I didn’t realize what until I actually prepared to change clothes. I looked about me in confusion, and then it slowly – very slowly – dawned upon me: my gym-clothes! They were still in my locker, so I had to go and fetch them. At the entrance of the main school building I met some of the boys in my class coming out – one of them handed me my glasses and said I had forgotten them on my locker!

(And this was not the only time I forgot things on my locker. I would put something there, bend down and put something in my locker and then I’d lock it and go away, having in those brief seconds copletely forgotten that I’d put anything on it. Once it was a library book, and by the time I realized I didn’t have it with me and went back – it was gone! Panic! I searched for it inside the locker, I asked a cleaning lady to unlock my class-room so I could see if it was there – no; thank goodness it turned out that some tidy soul had put it in the box for returning school library books [although it was a library library book].)

On the way from the library in Skärholmen (not my usual library). It was a grey drizzly day and I had my glasses in my pocket. (No, this isn’t important to the story, it’s just how I always remember it.) I was lost in my own world when I suddenly stumbled and fell to my knees. Surely there were no steps here, thought I dazed, and slowly coming back to reality I looked about me and I realized where I was – in the fountain! There was no water in it except a little rain water in a corner and I could see some people standing on the other side (it’s a big fountain). So I got up and out of the fountain, pretending nothing was amiss and as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened – scurried home (figuratively – I took the underground), told everybody what had happened and my friend Anna on the phone and we all had a hearty laugh.

At my first job/internship. I was phoning the income tax office and I decided to make myself comfortable – I believe in making myself comfortable – and sat down on a table. Crash! Down it went and I with it. And they answered the phone, so I got up off the floor, flurried, shocked and a good part of my mind occupied with anxiety at having BROKEN the furniture, trying to remember what I was going to say and to sound as calm and collected as possible. Having transacted my business, I went in search of my boss. “Yngve” I said to him in trepidation, “Yngve, I think I’ve broken something…” Luckily it wasn’t broken, because it wasn’t a table/desk at all, but an extra board(?) that went under another table/desk and could be drawn out. (Moral lesson: to be more careful where I sit down!)

To be continued…

 
Comment by LRK

Continued Klutziness

Going to the unemployment office/job centre(?). I was – for a change – quite pleased with myself (I had plenty of time, otherwise I’m the-last-minute-or-the-minute-after-that kind of person) and my appearance (I was wearing clothes I liked and my hair was under reasonable control). Arrived at the bus/train (underground) station and a bus appeared, and I went closer to see which it was. “Oh”, thought I, “that’s not mine!” and cheerfully waited for it to leave, which it did, and then, after a while,, another appeared. “Oh”, thought I, “that’s not mine!” Pause. “Well – but which IS my bus then?” Pause and slowly dawning revelation. Yes – the first bus, of course! Getting unfamiliar buses mixed up may not be odd – but then the bus I’d missed was the one I’d taken to work for FIVE YEARS! (I thought I’d try to catch the bus at Fittja where it converged with the train again; of course I arrived a minute late. However the odd thing was that there was a full-blown snow storm going on in Fittja – the sort where one can barely see anything before one and the wind is whipping one’s clothes about and you feel like a fictitious, adventurous character struggling against the elements – when I came home, a few minutes later, there was a peaceful winter landscape with barely a breeze. It’s about four-five minutes from Fittja to my home by car/train. An odd feeling…)

Going to work. At the same station as above, only I was going by train. I tried to get through a gate(?), but it didn’t budge – I tried the second and the third – no success. “For Heaven’s sake!” (or the opposite, possibly) thought I, exasperated. So I went up to the ticket-what’s-it-called and asked: “Excuse me, are they broken?” – “No”, she answered, “you forgot to draw your card…” Oh! ah! hm! This was just something I did EVERY DAY I went to work… and the knowledge of it had been gone as if it had never existed. It’s the sort of thing that makes one want to just turn around and go home again – what’s the point of going to work? what possible good are you going to do there? (And this was not the only time this happened, but the other times I at least did not have to ask what was wrong…)

A few days ago. I was looking for something (I don’t remember what) I was going to bring from the kitchen to the living-room. “Do you know where it is”, I called to my husband, “I can’t find it anywhere.” – “You’ve already brought it”, answered my husband. “I have?”, asked I, incredoulously, “are you sure?” Yes, of course I had – there it was on the living-room table, and I still couldn’t remember. It was as if I was hoping that my husband might have sneaked behind my back – quite impossible in our little home – and fetched it. Made me feel like Jason Bourne…(the films, not the books, which I haven’t read.)

Then there’s the time when I had to be yanked away from an oncoming car, because I was so mesmerized by it coming toward me that I couldn’t move, couldn’t think, couldn’t think of moving. The same hypnotic effect made me totally unable to swerve going downhill on my bicycle with an elderly lady coming toward me at great speed (that’s what it felt like) – the next thing I knew I was on my back, the bicycle over me, above which I could see my kindergarten(?) teachers, while helping me up, apologizing to the lady who was standing higher up the hill.

Then there’s the time I, doing a somersault(?), managed to hit my nose with my knees…(A feat I’m probably now incapable of performing. Sigh – those were the days… )

Then there’s the time when I stepped on something sharp in the water. I climbed up the side of a rock, trying not to let my foot touch the ground – feeling very adventurous! It turned out to be a broken bottle.

Then there’s the time when I, while cooking, managed to spill boiling water all over my hand – we had no ice at home, so I had to sit clutching a frozen fish! And the time when, while wondering if the stove was on, I simultaneously reached out my hand and – it was, most definately. (This is the sort of moment when I wished there was a time machine – could I just rewind time a second – _please_?)

Then there’s the time when all of my leg was “sleeping” and I tried to rise and fell on my niece…

Then there’s the time when at three-four o’clock in the morning (I was planning to go to sleep) I – in what I can only assume to have been a temporary fit of insanity – SCRUBBED MY MAGNIFYING GLASS! (I was in absolute despair, but luckily I found an old, brokenish spare one – I don’t throw away things if I can help it.)

Well, and all the ordinary stuff. I think it’s the sign of a dedicated klutz when even your own clothing is a potential hazard. And I don’t mean tripping on full-length skirts, which I – oddly – hardly ever do and which is perfectly permissable, I think, No, I mean things like getting my sleeves caught on doorhandles and getting one foot stuck in the other leg of my baggy trousers (shalwar), while wearing them and nearly tripping myself up and falling…

I might have forgotten something important – but then that will scarcely surprise anyone who’s read this far…

 
 
 
Comment by Mel

Well there was the time I was crossing the road on my way to work (in relatively flat shoes I have to admit) and managed to step slightly sideways on a catseye (those plastic reflective things they put in the road in case you call them something else in other parts of the world), fall down, sprain my ankle, break my foot and tear my pants (my newish expensive suit pants). Luckily two guys from work were nearby and helped me get up and across the road so I didn’t get run over. Six weeks walking with a cane and no driving as it was my right foot and I drive a manual car.

Or the time I was walking out of the shared bathroom in the college where I lived (these bathrooms had heavy wood and glass outer doors) and as I reached for the door, the wind gusted hard enough to blow the stupid thing and wham, managed to actually walk into a door. Lovely black eye. My boyfriend at the time got very odd looks and I had to keep saying “No, I really DID walk into a door”.

Or the time I was frustrated trying to open a dvd case that wouldn’t open and grabbed a knife (my brain distinctly saying to me “this is dumb” as I did so) and managed to not only fail to open the dvd but to stab the knife into my thumb quite deeply (or so I realised when the blood began to gush and I almost fainted…usually I’m okay with blood so it was quite deep). One week with my thumb splinted so it wouldn’t bend and reopen the wound.

I am aided in my klutziness these days by a tiled kitchen floor which delights in smashing anything I am klutz enough to knock off the bench. I also seem to be developing a habit lately of tripping over the hem of my pants. Particularly around stairs. Or else there are particularly bad stair gremlins in Oz at the moment.

As a kid I managed to do both my knees at various times on trampolines, ride my bike off the end of the road into a gravel ditch, fall off and take out a chunk of my knee (I had it in for my knees obviously).

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Comment by Black Bear

This is (as Robin already knows) one of many. It was my first week as a seasonal gardener, and I was assigned to work with the guy in charge of the zoo perimeter plantings, who we’ll call D. D was possibly one of the laziest, most annoying people I’ve ever worked with; a large part of his job consisted of trying to find ways to avoid working. He eventually showed me all his boltholes where he’d take naps in the afternoons–seriously, the man had a nest behind an 8′ high cotoneaster hedge where he’d hide on nice days. So not surprising that at the end of my first week working for him, he decided he’d leave a little early in the afternoon and left me to water the rosebushes out by the zoo entrance. He showed me the irrigation hookup, which is set below ground level with a lid covering it; you attach the hose to the hookup, then turn a valve which is also set down inside the hole in the ground, and you get a high pressure stream for watering. Fine. Off he goes. And I water, and water, and eventually get to the point where the very long hose doesn’t want to reach because it’s looped back a bit, and it’s too heavy to just drag smoothly along. So I give it a good hard jerk.

Aaaannnnd… the torque effect of my jerking against the hose coupling down below ground level causes the pvc pipe at the hookup to snap. A spectacular geyser of water goes shooting up into the air about 4′ high. I yell, “Holy s***!” and go diving onto it like I’m covering a grenade, completely drenching myself in about .2 seconds. Groping around down in the now completely flooded hookup box, I find the piece of the pipe and thinking maybe it just came unstuck, I try to muscle it back onto the valve. The water flow stops, I gasp with relief, and let go of the pipe… only to have it pop off and another jet of high-pressure water go shooting up, this time straight into my face (because of course I was leaning over the thing at the time.)

This happens twice more–without the straight in the face bit–before I decide that it really is BROKEN broken, and since I don’t have a radio of my own I can’t call for help. So I leave the fountain, which is rapidly flooding the entire entry to the zoo and roaring down the storm drain, and I squish my way over to the administrative building. I’m covered in mud, water, and bits of grass as I walk past some very nicely dressed people from the marketing and development department to get to the security desk and ask them to call the Curator of Horticulture so I can get some help. “What do you want us to tell her?” “Tell her that I… That there’s water… look, just tell her to get over here asap, ok?” She finally arrived, surveyed the damage, and said, “The Waters staff told me about your penguin thing, you know.” :) Anyway, they had to turn off the main water supply for half the zoo for several hours to fix it, and while I didn’t get fired, I cemented my reputation for being accident prone and I believe they still tell stories about me.

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Comment by Robin

You know you can’t just leave that ‘penguin thing’ in there! Not EVERYBODY has it memorised the way I do!!!! :)

Comment by Black Bear

You know you can’t just leave that ‘penguin thing’ in there! Not EVERYBODY has it memorised the way I do!!!! :)

Oops! :) That’s what comes of mindlessly copy/pasting from over on my poor neglected LJ account. Ignore the penguin reference, everyone! Nothing to see here! Move along! I did not ever fall into the penguin tank at the zoo!

Comment by Robin

Ignore that man behind the curtain! :)

 
 
Comment by Jeanine of Florida

Yes, I agree. We (the royal WE – as in all of us bloggers) demand to know! LOL!

 
Comment by Jeanine of Florida

That is, in case WE didn’t make it clear earlier, WE demand to know about Black Bear and the “penquin thing.” ***Tapping foot impatiently***

 
Comment by Jeanine of Florida

***I did not ever fall into the penguin tank at the zoo!***

More details, please!!!! LOL!

 
Comment by Black Bear

That is, in case WE didn’t make it clear earlier, WE demand to know about Black Bear and the “penquin thing.” ***Tapping foot impatiently***

If you really want to know the full tale, Jeanine, it’s here: http://blackbear88.livejournal.com/6915.html . I’m not cut/pasting this one, as we’d lose the charming photo of the penguin himself…

 
Comment by Jeanine of Florida

RAOTFLMAO! That should get you the “Klutzie.”(the Klutz Klub’s version of the Emmy or Oscar, of course! – maybe we should have five nominees and a secret ballot by the Academy- what do you think, Robin? LOL!)

But in any case, yes, the penquin photo DOES add a nice fillip to the story. And do you now have anti-penguin knee boots?

Thanks, Black Bear, for yielding to the demands of your “public” and giving us all a good laugh. It’s in a good cause, after all!

 
 
 
Comment by Cougar8BstCo

Okay, so I know you wanted us to stay off the blood and gore topic, and I plan to, but part of my story involves knowing events that occurred several months earlier. That story does involve blood (not so much gore), and is the result of a very unfortunate run in with a door. We were playing basketball in gym and I being the overachiever that I am decided to dive for the ball to keep it inbounds. Well, inevitably, I tripped, landing on my knees and sliding right into the door jamb of the huge, metal, rusty doors leading to the outside. I go to the nurse’s office in shock, blood pouring from my forehead and lip, and just about every person in the school commenting on how horrendous my wound was. I get stitched up, and have the stitches in for about a month and a half, with just very thin lines on my forehead and lip to show where the lacerations were. Then about two months later, I am at the gym in the middle of the winter, practicing indoor soccer with my club team. I stand around later than the rest of the team waiting on a friend of mine and as we walk into the gym I turn around walking backwards to talk to her. I see her eyes go wide in that manner meaning imminent threat, so I look to see what’s behind me. I turn around and run smack into the door jamb…and split my forehead open!

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Comment by Audrey of Burlington Canada

What a great idea! I think I possess the needed characteristics to join…
plus I love the membership card.

I’ve played the violin since I was six. When I was thirteen, that summer our family went to music camp and while there, my parents bought me a new ‘serious’ full-size violin (i.e. 100 years old from Germany with a lovely deep tone) . I was tickled pink and of course, took it with me to overnight teen camp up in our Canadian lakes and woods at the end of that summer.

If you’re a shy sort, wanting an easy way to stand out and meet some people, a violin is not a bad option. Anyhow, somehow it sounds better in the outdoors and you get great echoes too.

There was a talent concert with the usual suspects – a chorus of “the lion sings tonight” sung by upside down chin heads, some funny skits and dialogues and me, a small Chinese girl with a violin. I think I was the only Asian there. I certainly did the only classical music number. In honour of the occasion, I wore a new long narrow grey skirt with buttons down the front. The stage was a few of the big pine dining tables pushed together. Up I went, sounds of chatter in the audience accompanying me, I tried out my fiddle and found it to be out of tune, walked to the edge of the table, stepped down on the bench to get closer to the piano

Whoosh, is all I remember! that and thinking “matches” (as in that’s what my violin is going to become!) and also, “my mother is going to kill me” (do not underestimate the long arm of the Chinese mother!)… I also remember hearing a collective “Ahhhhhh” from the audience. ( I now had their full attention)

I landed in a tangle of legs and bench with my arms raised up high to protect my darling violin. Of course, got up at once to check on said instrument. People heal; violins, not so much. It was fine. What a relief!

Until a friend pointed out to me that my skirt was now undone all the way up to my waist….

Several years later I was at that same camp again, also with said violin, and at lunch one day, one of the guys asked me if I’d been to camp before… I was quickly disabused of any notion that this might be a pick-up line when he shared that he remembered me from the fall of the violin.

A

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Comment by spindriftdancer

Ohmygoodness(:

 
 
Comment by rachel

I have to bite… No actual clutziness or personal injury in this anecdote, but in my mind it qualifies as spazerific-minus-derogatory-cerebral-palsy-overtones.

So you know the cliche about people not being able to find their glasses and then realizing they were perched on top of their heads the whole time? Once in preparing to leave the house I searched for my glasses for a full ten minutes or so before realizing that I was wearing them… not on top of my head, but in front of my eyes, where they were going about their business of correcting my vision.

I felt pretty stupid.

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Comment by Alannaeowyn

Oh, yeah, I’ve done that.

 
 
Comment by Anonymous

Oh–so many to choose from! My favorite Klutz Klub moment was in Germany. I lived with a family outside of Frankfurt while studying abroad. Trying to think and speak in a foreign language made my head hurt, so I went to a servicemen’s church service. Much to my 19-year-old delight, there were plenty of attractive single Army and Air Force guys. Too many.

I was walking down the hallway of the church, completely absorbed in conversation with a really hot MP (Military Police, not Member of Parliament). I was charming, I was delightful, I was flirtatious. I was not watching where I was going and walked into a wall. I turned my stunned head to see if anyone had noticed–and realized I was in front of an entire room of Sunday School students-adults-and everyone (I’m sure) was laughing. It turns out that trying to speak German may have made my head hurt–but attending church services in English made my head hurt all the same.

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Comment by Robin

User name please!!!!!

 
 
Comment by Ribby

Two silly anecdotes:

I have a small kitchen–think New York-sized–with *no* counter space whatsoever. So all the prep is done on the sideboard in the dining room (and thank heavens for the sideboard!), but since that’s also storage for the knife block and several bottles, and is itself fairly narrow, it can get crowded *very* quickly when my husband is cooking.

I return from emptying the compost container into the compost bin in the back yard. The compost container goes on the top right hand corner of the sideboard, next to the knife block. However, there’s a cutting board and a bottle in my way.

I fumble dropping the compost container into its corner. That bangs into the knife block, on top of which the bow knife is carefully balanced, and the wobble of the block brings the (bare-bladed) bow knife down onto the counter. I flinch away (as any sane person should, from a serrated, uncovered 8-inch blade coming at their hands…), but I catch my husband’s beer bottle with my elbow and tip it over… right onto the cutting board and his finely choped head of garlic.

And we were having Thai food, so beer is not an added plus of an ingredient. *hangs head in shame* Thankfully, we had more garlic.

On the up side, he shooed me out of the kitchen until dinner’s done. *grin* Maybe this has possibilities.

And in the “how the hell did I manage that” department: the other morning, I was sitting for morning meditation in my usual crosslegged position. I meditate after breakfast in the mornings–it’s the fourth thing I do. I finished my meditation and started to get up from my cross-legged pose–only to hear a “pop” in the vicinity of the back of my left leg, and a sudden inability to straighten said leg. OW! Apparently, I managed to strain a hamstring muscle *meditating*. Sheesh! They tell you meditation is a dangerous thing and shouldn’t be attempted lightly. I can certainly agree!

On the more seriously klutzy side–two-wheeled vehicles and I have never gotten along. I never learned to ride a bike because I couldn’t balance, and scooters were right out.

My husband got the idea that those in-line scooters with rollerblade wheels might work–after all, they weren’t very far off the ground, right?

Wrong. Five minutes on one, and I’m falling sideways (thankfully onto grass) and spraining my ankle. *sigh* Now he believes me when I say I don’t get along with anything with less than three wheels.

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Comment by Heather

Let me just copy my email (since I seem to be the cause of the follow up….)

Oooops (grin)

I would like to apply for the Klutz Klub. My sister would win this easily, hands-down, as she shattered her arm while rollerblading. (You might think that’s not clumsy, that’s normal, but she was standing still at the time she fell.) Anyway, that was many years ago and she got plenty of sympathy, and she’s fine.

I, on the other hand, break bones that don’t get any sympathy. How’s that? Well the best example is once I stumbled over a very large, yet invisible, rock in a hallway and my foot hit a stair. The top of my foot. This happened (as they always do) in front of witnesses, so I quickly got up and my best I-meant-to-do-that impression. I could walk just fine, so I must be ok, right? Wrong.

The top of my front was bruised and very sore. But, again, I could walk just fine, so I thought I just hit my foot hard. Until I realized after many days that my foot was still sore. Very sore. One trip to the doctor later and it turns out I had broken a non-weight bearing bone in my foot. Which meant that I could walk just fine and wouldn’t need a cast, but my foot would hurt whenever something touched the top of it. Like when wearing shoes.

Do you realize the complete lack of sympathy this causes? “I broke my foot.” “Where’s your cast?” “I don’t a cast.” “And you’re walking just fine.” “It’s a non-weight bearing bone.” “Really.” “Yeah, really.” “I’ve heard many excuses not to wear shoes at work but that takes the cake.” “I’m telling the truth!”

Moral of story: if you are going to break a bone, make sure it’s a bone where you need to wear a cast. Or at least need it wrapped.

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Comment by Robin

You weren’t the only one! :)

 
 
Comment by Jeanine of Florida

Didn’t Groucho Marx once say that he wouldn’t join any club that would have him? I’m not that proud! I’ve been a card carrying member for many, many years, even if not formally recognized as such previously.

So, which incident should I mention? I see librarykat is going all the way back to childhood so I guess it’s appropriate for me to mention the tragic rollerskating incident of my 10th year where I was out rollerskating when I tripped over a rock and fell down and my best friend, unable to stop herself, rollerskated right over my thumb. It snapped in a nice and awkward place almost at the point at which it joins the other bones in my hand so, after 6 excruciating hours in the emergency room, I came out with a honking big cast which I promptly used to collect all sorts of autographs and to get out of doing homework for the next six weeks (it was my right hand and I’m not ambidextrous- Yay!). Anyway, I’m not sure who was the bigger klutz in that story, me or my best friend- or perhaps it was a tie.

Most of the incidents since then are mercifully blanked out of my memory* but last week’s incident is still fresh since I still bear the scars of it- literally. I was really tired (from too much blog reading too late at night, hmm???) so after hitting the snooze button several times on Wednesday morning, I blearily arose to get ready for work. Unfortunately, I walked across the darkened room and, losing all spatial memory and coordination, promptly tripped over something in the dark (either the rug or my laundry basket- take your pick) and whacked the tv with my face (a 36 inch one and not a lightweight flatscreen either – fortunately for the tv but not for me). I gave myself a bloody nose and multiple cuts both in and outside my mouth, including a really big one on the inside of my lower lip that was so deep that, the doctor said… wait for it… I was lucky it didn’t go all the way through my lip. Heh heh! Three stitches, $400, some entertaining drugs, multiple jello cups, and several days of sick leave later, I really think I deserve membership in your club.

But on the bright side I now know a GREAT oral and maxillofacial surgeon that is the total antithesis of your nasty dentist.

And, the moral of my story is that I should have known better than to get up for work. I should have just stayed in bed and hid under the covers. It’s a dangerous world out there.

BTW, I really don’t need you to “ship” a membership card overseas. My scars will clearly be enough to get me in the door of any meeting we ever have. Although, now I think of it, the idea of that many accident prone people congregating in one place gives me the chills.

*although there was that once incident last year when my boyfriend** picked me up in a “romantic” fashion and immediately bashed my knee into the wall, leaving blood on the wall and, yes, another scar which I still bear to this day on my knee. That one clearly had nothing to do with my own klutzdom but I think he probably deserves a honorary membership in the club too. And, on a side note, he’s no longer my boyfriend. LOL! But, in all fairness, not because of this incident.

**did we ever come up with a better term for boyfriend/significant other??? I don’t remember seeing one.

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Comment by Jeanine of Florida

Oops! My mom just told me yesterday that it was actually SEVEN (not three) stitches I got last week. Obviously, I lost track somewhere. = )

 
 
Comment by Jeanine of Florida

Oh- I just realized librarykat’s tooth actually went THROUGH her lower lip and then broke off. That definitely trumps my mere three stitches! I feel guilty for complaining now. LOL!

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Comment by marjie35

Reason number one not to go snow skiing with me. The first time I ever went, in Ohio (well known for its snow resort, I know) I was in junior high and since I’d never skiid before I even took the beginner’s lessons. Big help they were. There should have been lessons on how to use a rope tow. The bunny slope had rope tows. Four of them in parallel. If you’ve ever used a rope tow you’ll know there’s a certain balance and position one needs to acheive and maintain so you stay on your feet when you grab the moving rope so you can be towed by it. Did I know this? Nope. Nosiree. Not in the least. Do I even have the good sense to line up for an ‘outside’ rope? Of course not. I line up for an inner rope. Slowly the line moves along. Oh boy, it’s almost my turn!! Here it comes! I grab the rope! Hooboy this thing pulls hard! Wait! Wait! Help! My feet are still back there!! Eeeeeee! I do have the good sense to let go. Plonk! There I am. Fallen. With two tows on either side of me. Hmmm…need to get out if here before I can even try to stand up. Okay, skis are really, really slippy on snow. Who knew? So much for the “quick scoot under the ropes when there’s a gap. Oh, hold on, yes, this is much easier now that all four tows have been stopped so I can crawl out from under here. Heh. Yes, that’s, ummm, windburn! You can get a bad case of it from using the rope tow for forty yards. Okay, the skis are still really slippy even with the tows stopped. Still. Personally, I’m hoping that the people on it are as entertained by this as I am, because really, there’s no point in being annoyed, now is there? Lookee! I’m out! I’m out! The tows start moving again, pulling a whole line of “there but for the use of the coordination I was born with” people up the bunny slope. Hmm…people who are very soon going to want to ski right through where I’m sitting. Hmmm. Should probably move. Yep. So how did they say to get up…get skis across slope, on the down side…plant poles and stand up. No, it was definitely “stand up” not sit back down when skis slide out from under you.” Try again. Well, I have that slide thing down. Remove skis, pick them up, walk down slope, get hot chocolate. Practice that “I meant to do that, it was all performance art” attitude.

Reason number one not to go snow skiing with me. The last time I ever went, at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, I had mastered the rope tow, and both the T and J bars, yay me! So do they have rope tows, T-bars or J-bars? Of course not. I was with two friends, one of whom was from New England and used to skiing the mountains there (M-L), and the other from Chicago who had never been skiing before, ever (V). So after a brief instruction, we hit the bunny slope. Which was probably the size of the main slope in Ohio. The bunny slope because we had one total neophyte and one inexperienced skier. It had an actual chair lift! A three-person-across chair lift, even, so we could all go together. V and I voted that M-L could be in the middle since she’d done chair lifts before. And also so V and I could hold desperately to the chair frame (did I mention ‘fear of falling’?). So we get to the top of the bunny slope (the one for beginners) and we notice that when people get off the lift, they have to make an immediate sharp left turn or head over a small cliff. Did I mention this was the bunny slope? And that one of us had never been skiing before? Ever? Do you see this coming? Our turn comes. We all three get off together. We slide forward. And we topple over to the side like three dominoes. Bopbopbop. Lying there. Giggling hysterically. With the chair lift halted until we manage to move. Which we did. Eventually. Having managed not to ski right off the back of the beginner slope.

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Comment by Sarah from Costa Rica

So when I was a senior in university I had a single room in the dorms, which was terribly exciting because I’ve never been a big people person. Due to the extremely small size of the room, however, I had to stack my furniture–desk and dresser on either end of the room, bookshelves on top of the desk and dresser, and bed on top of those. There were sturdy steel pegs holding everything in place, so I felt certain that my furniture wouldn’t come crashing down. Anyway, on my first morning in the new room, the fire alarm went off very early. I’m not one to wake up quickly, so I just hopped out of bed…and fell eight feet onto a concrete floor, hitting my desk on the way down. I had a massive bruise on one of my legs extending from knee to hip that stayed for months, and I had to get an X-ray because the nurse thought I might have fractured my leg.
Two weeks later I fell out of bed and hit my head on the wall, giving myself a concussion. Needless to say, I do NOT have good memories of that room.

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Comment by Krystolla

Dorm rooms and the necessary stacked furniture are horrific. Mine was only about five feet off the floor so my accidental hopping out of bed never injured anything (There was a ladder). Sitting up and hitting my head on the cement ceiling might have lowered my grade point average though.

Comment by Lianne

I had to do the stacking or lofting thing because they crammed two people’s worth of furniture into a single-sized room. We made it work surprisingly well, but I ended up with the loft bed. I never fell out, but I did bump my head a few times, and getting in and out was always something of a challenge. There was no ladder, so it involved the radiator, the windowsill, and THEN the rungs of the footboard. And in reverse, of course. My roommate liked houseplants, so I was also dodging greenery on the windowsill.

 
 
 
Comment by Kyndigen

Sadly, I can’t nominate either myself or my wife as true members of the Klutz Klub. We both work in the computer chip industry and spend all our time trying to convince a few million transistors to do what we want them to do, not what we told them to do. All the sitting around and yelling at machines tends to inhibit the kinds of physical activities that lend themselves to Klutziness. Also, if we fall and break something in lab the powers that be tend to get upset.

Thankfully, we do have a member of the Klub in our house, our cat (or is it kat in this context?). Our eldest cat, Nacho, is a genuine Klutz. He stumbles off of chairs, he falls off of window sills, he tries to climb the glass shower wall, etc. To top it all off, he doesn’t understand that his tail is both attached to his body, and controlled by his brain. He chases it, he catches it, he even tries to kill it. He gnaws on it and acts surprised that it hurts. If he’s curled up in a ball and it’s twitching in front of him he stares at it in wonder. None of our other cats came with this kind of built-in pacifier. Our other cat, Kaylee, understands that tails are for curling around your feet when you sit so that you look like the princess you are.

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Comment by Mel

Ooh, I have a Klutz Kat too. My burmese has managed to fall off a roof and mash a tooth, knock a cd tower onto his tail and dislocate it, has done both anterior cruciate ligaments in his back legs ($900+ surgery each time), regularly falls off when trying to walk along the back of the couch and used to chase his tail when he was younger and act surprised when it hurt if he caught it.

The funniest thing I ever saw him do: We used to have a house with picture railish ledges around the walls about 2/3rds of the way up (I’m sure there’s a correct architectural term but I don’t know it) and occasionally would lift the cats up there to walk around (they loved it and we watched them and took them down again). My burmese also likes riding on your shoulder and one day he was on my shoulder when he leapt for the top of the glass doors that led into the lounge room. Impressively he landed on one and managed to balance but obviously didn’t feel that stable so he looked for an escape route, spied the very much not a picture ledge 1cm or so thick door frame, decided it was a picture ledge!! and leapt for that. Hit the wall with a spectacular thud and fell to the floor, landing on his feet perfectly but going into immediate “I meant that” grooming mode which was ruined by us awful humans all collapsing in hysterical laughter.

 
 
Comment by KatrinaRose

I think I was actually born under a Klutz Star. Here are a few memorable highlights:
When I was a week old I was taken in for mom and I to have some blood work done. Somehow the nurse managed to puncture my juggular, which ofcourse shot blood all over the room, and sent me howling, and my mother into a panic. My dad still talks about trying to block the door so she couldn’t see all the blood!
When I was 6 months old I tipped over my walker onto an old wood burning stove and got third degree burns on my right hand that I had to have surgically corrected when I was a teenager.
I managed to strain my neck while brushing my hair when I was thirteen and couldn’t move my head for a week.
In college I ran out to plug my meter in between classes. I was wearing very fashionable wide leg trousers and sandles, and when I went to run back in I somehow inserted my left sandle into the leg of my right pant leg and promptly fell 6 feet (I am a long girl) to the pavement. My favorite part of this story is the fact that while I lay spread eagle on the pavement, obviously in need of assistance, students all averted their eyes and hurried past. I limped bloody to class, having cut my hand, elbow, foot, knee and somehow sprained my wrist!
I also got second degree burns while making a bowl of Raman Noodles in my microwave which resulted in a truly disturbing two inch blister.
I still get twitchy around hip high tables, open flames, and if there is a pillar in the middle of a hallway, my shoulder will always find it!

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Comment by Jennie

Oh, so many to choose from–so will stick with the most recent chronologically.

I fell out of a moving truck.

Not one that was in motion, but one used to move household goods. One moment, I was balanced on the ledge. The next? I was executing what can only be termed a “roll” on the ground. It’s a miracle all I had was a bruise on my butt.

There was also the time I knocked the wing mirror off of a friend’s Mazda Miata with my hip. To this day I swear that thing must have been loose. Or something.

Or the time I gave *myself* a black-eye. I was riding a horse cross-country over fences, and he stopped. With one set of legs on the front–and the other set of legs on the back–of the fence. I had time to curse, decide I had to get off, and start getting off before that lovely animal suddenly decided to do his job and finish jumping. As I soared to the ground (and refused to give up the reins), I punched myself in the face. The horse looked sheepish, but I looked as if I had been in a bar fight.

It keeps me humble, for certain. And fully stocked with first-aid materials.

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Comment by Lianne

Oooh, I did that falling out of a moving truck thing earlier this year when helping some friends. I also managed the roll, a full backwards one, and ended up on my feet in the parking lot. I then thanked my stars that I knew how to fall from playing so much volleyball. Like you, just a bruise, and not even that bad. The shock was worse. But I am VERY glad my boyfriend didn’t see it – he’s scared enough by all my random bumps and scrapes!

 
 
Comment by Diane in MN

I did a perfect pratfall while walking down the street in Seattle. I was going down (and Seattle is steep, so it was DOWN) the hill from the bus stop to my office when my foot went out from under me and I landed smack on my rear. Wearing a skirt suit and full-length coat. If it had been planned and practiced it couldn’t have been better. There was no obvious reason for it, either. But on the plus side, I didn’t rip the coat.

In my freshman year of college I was a bit neurotic about locking the dorm room and once locked myself out when I went to take a shower. And had to go to the main desk in the lobby in my bathrobe to find someone to open the room. Now I’m more than a bit neurotic about having house keys with me, but in spite of that have locked myself out of the house more than once and have also locked myself out of the car.

I don’t have too much trouble in the kitchen, but I did find out that swivel peelers are SHARP one night when I peeled off a piece of my thumb. Had to go to a doc-in-a-box clinic for a pressure bandage for that. It’s hard to go home and cook wearing a pressure bandage on your thumb.

But klutziness lurks under the surface and is generally ready to break out if given a chance. There are many graceful people in the world, but I am not one of them.

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Comment by Elizabeth B

It was in… I think 8th grade. Raquet sports in PE. We were playing badminton, a sport which I was actually managing not to suck at. And then I crossed one leg in front of the other to, uh, I don’t remember why, actually. But there I was, standing thusly, and–I tried to pick up the back leg.

I was already laughing before my butt even hit the gym floor.

Fast forward, uh, several years, to a staff picnic. Where I discovered, to my utter dismay and embarrassment, that something was really, seriously wrong with my hand-eye coordination with respect to being able to actually drop, or even toss up, the shuttlecock, swing, and have my hand not merely swish by as the shuttlecock fell merrily on its way, sneering. Don’t know if my specs prescription broke my depth perception, or what, but seriously, horrendously klutzy. I actually started wondering if I had brain damage! (Probably it was just klutziness.)

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Comment by Ellie

Yeah, I’ve had a lot of Klutz moments but I would have to say that the winner was when I was about 14 and camping with my family. I was playing on the playground at the campsite with my sisters and decided to run up the wrong end of the slide. While I was doing so, I managed to run INTO the side of the slide and hit my foot hard enough that I broke my little toe. I spent the rest of the vacation hobbling after my family, who had all forgotten my injury and callously kept walking at a normal pace. To this day my toe is slightly crooked, but I no longer run up slides the wrong direction.

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Comment by Eleika

Why I should join the Klutz Klub:

1. Because I hurt my toe two weeks ago when I absentmindedly stuck my foot under my husband’s chair when he was leaning forward on it.

2. Because a week later, I was moving furniture and dropped a coffee table on the same toe, thereby breaking it.

3. Because my knees are forever scarred from the numerous times of:

a) tripping and falling because I was running too fast

b) going headfirst over my bike because I wasn’t paying attention

c) dropping sharp and heavy objects at random on my legs, including a steak knife when I was seven and a splash of hot oil when I was nine.

4. Because I always try to pick up too many things at once, and then wonder why I drop them. This is especially true in the grocery store when I’m too lazy to grab a basket at the outset.

5. Because without fail at my library job, I drop books on their way from the shelf to the book truck (distance: two feet) at least once a week.

6. Because I always knock the dishwasher hose to the floor right after the dishes are done, spilling water everywhere.

7. Because I manage to nearly slip on the kitchen floor on an almost daily basis.

8. Because I have killed more keyboards from knocking my beverage over than everyone I know combined.

9. Because I never seem to clue in to the fact that perhaps I should put my books and CDs away rather than stacking them, and without fail they come crashing to the floor, and it is only my cats’ fault one time in three.

10. Because I am capable of tripping over a single pair of panties on my bedroom floor.

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Comment by Eleika

Thought of another one (which shouldn’t be amusing but really is):

Because I have fallen down the stairs three times, due to my own clumsiness and the state of the stairs. The first time, I was still a teenager and there were bruises all down one side of me. Rather than asking me, a concerned English teacher had the school counsellor notify social services. Try to convince THEM that “no, I really DID fall down the stairs”!

 
 
Comment by Virginia

I sprained my foot once while watching ballet.

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Comment by Elizabeth B

ROFL!

Okay, there has to be more to the story than that! You’re holding out on us! :)

Comment by Virginia

Ballet is very inspiring! And really I just meant to get up to get a snack, but then suddenly I was airborne, and then I sprained my foot.

So my mother took me to the orthopedist, who said that I had sprained my foot and there was nothing he could do, but my toe wot is in the wrong place was SO INTERESTING and if I wanted he could go major surgery involving a bone graft and stretching and yadda yadda yadda.

“If if bothered me that much, I’d have you just thwack it off,” says I.

My mother fainted.

The doctor look at my mother sagging against the wall and said sourly, “It’s a good thing most people don’t think like you or I wouldn’t be sending my daughter to Yale.”

 
 
 
Comment by afuzzybird

I wish there was some way to add a series of amusing stick figure drawings to illustrate these events, but alas there is not. So please, when reading this, imagine it in stick figures.

I’m always running into walls and falling down and tripping on thresholds of doors, but my most recent major event was a couple months ago when I still worked at Noodles and Company (a noodle restaurant chain, for those of you that don’t have them). I had just done my daily whack-my-head-on-the-hanging-noodle-cooking-basket thing on my way to the back to get some more rice wine, which we used to make a salad dressing. Lucky for me, it was the day to open the new box (they’re 10 gallon plastic-container-inside-cardboard-box affairs). I had never opened a box before, but when you use the wine, it has a stopcock. So I tipped it on its side and ripped off the perforated circle of cardboard covering the stopcock.

Unfortunately, while doing that I also managed to turn the cap that was there instead of the stopcock (evidently, you have to take the cap off to put the stopcock on. Who invented that system?) far enough that it shot off from the pressure of the wine, and the wine started shooting out. It’s amazing how much pressure there was. I stared at it blankly for about five seconds, and tried fruitlessly to stop the spray by covering it with my hands before I had the presence of mind to turn the box upright again. By this time, I was drenched in rice wine, and it was all over the floor. On my way to get a new apron I slipped and fell in it, because the ridges in my non-slip shoes were filled with noodles. Being the manager I couldn’t just go home for a fresh pair of pants, either, so I smelled like alcohol and wore gradually stiffening pants for the next 4 hours.

Of course, with nearly as much comic value but far less setup is the time I came in, stepped on a stack of broken-down cardboard boxes and slipped and fell on my butt. Good thing the cardboard was softer than the floor!

I ran track and cross country in high school because it involved less coordination than anything else. I am terrible at any sport that involves running and paying attention to something else, like a ball. But I have fond memories of practicing from the blocks during indoor season. For indoor, we had our blocks bolted to pieces of plywood so you could put them against the wall and they didn’t move when you practiced. The drawback to this (for me) was that the bolts stuck up pretty far past the level of the block, and were in just the right location to get your shoelace wrapped around them. Each season, before it became second nature to check, I would do about 4 or 5 starts that ended with me on the ground and the plywood/metal block on top of me, and the coach wondering how it was I had never been badly injured.

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Comment by Jeanne Marie

Back when Cece was still a puppy (4 months old), but still a rather solid puppy (she’s 65 pounds of muscle now), I had learned that mere walking was not so much her thing. So, to my eternal surprise, we had started JOGGING together in the mornings. (This from someone who in college went to a Halloween party dressed as a jogger…because “jogger” was never a name that would be applicable to me…)

To thsi day, I don’t know what caught her attention. There we were, jogging resolutely down an inclined sidewalk, when she was suddenly stopped, IN FRONT OF MY FAST APPROACHING RIGHT SHOE… in womanfully contorting my body so as not to trample my own dog, my legs got twisted together, and I lost all control of my vertical positioning…fell OVER Cece, and crash-landed on the concrete with all my weight on my right elbow. I’ve been told by numerous persons that they are surprised it didn’t shatter on impact (others have).

We both survived to tell the tale, and even continued jogging (though not that week…). But, I’m still wary of jogging on downslopes…

Smiles,
Jeanne Marie

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Comment by Marian

In my freshman year of high school, during P.E., I decided to jump over a hurdle in the highest position. (Hurdles are usually hight adjustable, for those who don’t run track, and the highest position is awfully high) I had to lean farther forward than I thought I would, and get my leg up a lot higher than I thought I would have to, and ended up hitting my lower jaw on my knee, which then banged into my upper jaw, and chipped a tooth.

Sometime earlier, in middle school, I was running through the house, pretty much at full sprint (I have no idea why) and stubbed my little toe on a chair, really, really hard. I couldn’t walk for a couple of hours, and over the course of the next few weeks, it turned a delightful deep shade of purple, then a sort of yellow green, and finally a deeply disturbing shade of deathly grey. It still sticks out from my foot at a slightly funny angle, and I can’t really move it, six or seven years later. In retrospect, I think we can safely say it was broken.

This isn’t so much klutzy as stupid. One day at practice, junior year of high school, our cross country team was having a scrimmage meet, just racing against ourselves to the top of a really really big hill in our local park. It’s handicapped, so the slower people start first. I twisted my ankle about half way up, but I was catching everyone in front of me, and hadn’t been passed yet, so I didn’t want to give up, and I ran the rest of the way up the hill, assuming that I hadn’t really injured myself and that it would stop hurting in a moment. I was in tears by the time I got to the top, and I still had to walk the three miles or so back to where we started. I couldn’t run for about three weeks.

But most of my klutzy stuff is much ore normal. I tend to trip on things, mostly because I view the floor as a sort of complex and horizontal filing cabinet. The thing I do most is walk into doors, or rather door-frames. I’m not sure exactly how it works, because I’m never paying attention at the time, but my failure to pay attention somehow leads to me actually missing the doorway and walking into the wall.

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Comment by Sarah O

Sometimes my limbs end up in unexpected places – that’s how I broke my little toe (what in the world was my foot doing all the way over there?? I will never know). I have so much sympathy for you, and Ellie, and other broken toe sufferers, especially the forever-after-crooked aspect – but could you still fit your foot into your shoes afterwards?

The day I broke my toe (grade 11, Christmas break), I called my mother to tell her and ask her when I could go to the hospital. She told me, very irritably, that doctors do not do anything for broken toes, and that I shouldn’t be wasting public resources! To which I replied, that that was all very well and good, but how was I ever supposed to wear a shoe ever again, when my poor toe persisted in sticking out from my foot at a 90 degree angle?

It was 7 more hours before I got to see a doctor, and 2 more after that before they re-set the toe. But I was fortunate, in a way. The disjointed 90-degree-angle meant that I lost a lot of circulation in the toe, so it ached but it was bearable, and the break was so severe that the bone splintered into many tiny bits, and in doing so severed a nerve. This rather spectacular little break meant I was spared some of the usual pain of a broken toe, and was back on my feet within a day or so.

Comment by Ellie

Okay, that’s a much better story than mine. My broken little toe only curves inward. Which, come to think of it, actually makes it easier to wear some shoes because it takes up less room.

 
Comment by Marian

My toe isn’t very bad. If you don’t know I broke it, you would just think it’s rather ugly. I’m not sure exactly what happened, but there’s kind of a little zigzag. It bends a little bit in, and then a little bit out, so it takes up basically the same amount of space as a normal toe. And as for the comment below- they do move!!!! It’s not that we’re klutzy, it’s that the doors are all conspiring to make us *look* klutzy. We’re actually incredibly graceful, and the doors are jealous.

Comment by Robin

the doors are jealous

********* THey’re jealous we’re not attached to a wall. :)

 
 
 
Comment by Lianne

The doors move! At least mine do! :) I’ve run into walls and frames in my own house so often they CAN’T be holding still… right?

Comment by Robin

Absolutely. I’m glad someone else has noticed this. :)

 
 
 
Comment by Louiz Hutchings

OK, like many people I wonder which event. I shall settle for three:

When I was 6, in my first winter for many years (my father had got a job abroad, where it was very hot, and there was no frost), I slipped on a patch of ice, and landed teeth first on a concrete step. My front teeth were crooked until I got braces aged 10 (they originally stuck out at 90 degrees, but fortunately the natural elastic band function of my upper lip pulled them in a bit.)

One autumn when visiting a friend’s house for a fire works party (bonfire night), I ran straight into their glass doors. It was dark outside, I was inside and could see my reflection in the glass, but it didn’t register. Unfortunately everyone outside saw me do it as well.

I have recently stood straight up into an iron girder, immediately after warning my colleague to watch out for it.

Do I qualify?

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Comment by Judith

Well, let’s see — choices, choices…

How about when I was a new girl scout, and to have my pin turned from upside-down to rightside-up, I had to do a good deed, so I lay in wait for my best friend’s mother to get home from grocery shopping so I could help her carry in her bags from the car, and when she arrived I was so eager to get to her I went sliding on the sidewalk on my leather heels and took a major chunk out of the skin on my knees and hands…

Or the time about 22 years ago, when I was brand new in town and about to ride in a schooling show at the local barn, and mounted the horse…and promptly went right over the other side. I was quite humiliated, but I brushed myself off, went to mount again…and promptly went right over the other side again…

Or the time I was practicing tennis by hitting the ball against the wall at the old elementary school playground, threw the ball up to hit it against the wall, and instead neatly served it right into my own eye, necessitating a trip to the ophthalmologist…

Judith

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Comment by ssshunt

Let me see. It’s so hard to choose…

Well, there was three weeks ago when I fell down three stairs sliding on my knees and ripped a monstrous hole in my calf. The knees were fine. And I’m having surgery this next week to fix the leg. I was just going too fast and the shoes I was wearing did not have the best traction. Double (infinity) ouch.

But–better than that–I used to be in a dramatic group called Parable that did all sorts of street theatre, and then one day we decided to rent a hall and do Godspell–the whole play. And you know the end of the play when Jesus is hanging on the chain-link fence and everyone else is crying and wailing around him? (“Oh God, I’m dying…”) Well, I was hanging onto the fence too, and arching back every now and then, and during one arch I lost my hold on the fence and landed flat on my butt on the stage. I jumped back up to my position as fast as I could, but let’s say I could tell it was noticed when the music got quiet (Jesus died) and I heard someone from the audience yell “She fell on her ass!” Not my brightest moments. Or maybe it was! My fifteen minutes…

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Comment by Maya

I could probably qualify for Klutz Klub membership on my own merits– nothing really huge, but I choke on my own spit a lot (and all sorts of other liquids), and I tend to run into doorways in a minor sort of way. But my favorite (and my sister’s favorite) family klutziness story is from the long-ago days of my parents’ courtship, when my father was cooking dinner for my mother and, while taking the steak and lobster out of the oven, somehow managed to stab himself in the arm with the two-pronged fork in the opposite hand. The date ended in the emergency room of the children’s hospital where both of my parents worked (although there was another non-pediatric hospital right next door), and my father still shows off the scar whenever we trot this story out. I’m told at one time he used to iron his own shirts, but my mother hasn’t let him do that for years; she’s afraid he’ll burn himself. Given his tendency to do so in the kitchen, she’s probably right.

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Comment by scarhandpiper

I have too many stupid little incidents to relate, all ending up with the right knee of my jeans being ripped open, which is why I mostly wear shorts now, cuz knees heal and pants don’t. I should probably just wear knee pads.

But here’s the story to explain why I’m scarhandpiper. The piper part is easy to explain: I play the bagpipes. But the scar part goes like this: I was carving a piper into the top big of a walking stick. I was being very careful to carve AWAY from myself, because I am usually surrounded by Boy Scouts who will correct me (from outside the blood circle, of course) if I don’t. What I didn’t notice was that although my BODY was on the safe side of the knife, my LEFT HAND was not. You can easily guess the rest of the story. Of course the knife had just been sharpened. Of course I got to that difficult bit. Of course I put more strength into it. Of course I sliced into my left hand just across the base of my index finger. And as the doctor promised me as he was finishing up the thirteenth stitch, I can still play the pipes now that it’s all healed.

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Comment by Robin

Oh, I remember that! We had a pre-klutz klub comparison way back on lj! :)

 
 
Comment by Monica

Klutz Club, you say?

Well not five minutes ago I grabbed a pan out of the oven that I myself had turned on, sans mitt.
Suffice it to say, I am typing one handed.

Now to the good stuff.

This specific event happened when I was still in middle school. What led up to what happened, I can’t quite remember. Its all a bit fuzzy. What I do remember goes like this: I had the day off from school, and I was playing chase with my sister. Somehow, a pillowcase ended up over my head. Of course, I left it there, and continued to run to my room. I made a flying leap, and do I mean flying. Then, instead of hitting the bed, I ricocheted off of the corner of the bed frame, with my hip. Needless to say, I had a magnificent crutch for a while, complete with black paint and studs.

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Comment by Reading Angel

Robin, I have so many stories that I’m not sure which to choose from…

There is the nearly-daily-tripping-up-or-down-the-stairs – the worst “tripping down the stairs” incident was when I had on my pretty new bracelet from Mexico and in falling my arm hit the wall and the bracelet shattered apart into thousands of pieces. I have learned to Never Wear Shoes On The Stairs Ever because my feet have better traction on their own – or something.

There is the time I cut my finger while making apple pie – I didn’t even notice until I felt the… something you told us not to mention… dripping onto my bare toes. Six stitches that knife cost me – I’ve learned that Cutting Boards Are My Friend.

Numerous incidents ice skating that involved me falling on my bum – though my favourite was the time some friends decided it would be a good idea to play tag whilst ice skating*. I was It, so I went up and tagged Jared and then tried to skate away swiftly and my skates left without me and I fell rather impressively. It got a good laugh out of the group, though.

The time in second grade when we were cleaning up our centers and I somehow got a broken off pencil stabbed into my face very near my eye. I have no memory between cleaning up and my Mom taking me to the hospital**, so I don’t know how it happened, but I still have the scar from it.

Are those klutzy enough or ought I to think up some more?

*it’s not a good idea
**even those memories are incredibly fuzzy

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Comment by Reading Angel

So, after reading most of these I have a question – am I the only one who ever trips UP the stairs? I do it on a fairly regular basis, but everyone I’ve read only mentions falling DOWN the stairs*.

*anyone can fall Down, I suppose. It’s a New Order of Klutzivity to fall Up…

Comment by Robin

I could show you my shins . . . and at least one cheekbone . . . but I think not. :)

 
 
 
Comment by holmes44

a month ago my best friend bought 5 gallons of maple syrup and offered me a gallon of it.so she separated it into plastic containers and gave me one. two days later i was making pancakes for the family and went to get the container out of the frig and lo and behold i dropped it on the floor. do you know how long that takes to clean up.my husband has not let me forget that one although he hasn’t let me forget any other ones either.he is such a tease.

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Comment by Robin

A GALLON OF MAPLE SYRUP ALL OVER THE FLOOR????? Oh . . . dear.

 
 
Comment by Susan from Athens

Well this one comes naturally. I have always been a bit awkward. I gained all my height at an early age and was thus bigger than all the rest of the kids in my class. So I felt awkward and behaved worse. I have a problem separating right from left to this day (I really have to think about it) and my natural balance is bad to non-existence: years of Pilates and dancing and tai chi have it so that I am not a complete walking disaster, but a frequent accident. And cussedness of character goes back before even that. So let me see:

When I was four I managed to impale a pencil into my forehead. The distressing thing for my aunt, who was with me, was the fact that instead of trying to remove it I did my best to drill it further in. The blue mark was visible on my forehead throughout my teen years and has since migrated to another part of my body (somewhat less visible).
There was the time I was ten and needed to get even with my brother (let’s be frank here: when you are the middle child and have an older brother and a younger sister and you live in limited space all on top of one another you have to keep track of your vengeances and mete them out – otherwise you are dogmeat) so I childishly enough decided to stick my dirty socks under his pillow, along with those of my sister. Imagine my chagrin when half an hour later when his bedtime came (he got an extra half hour at the time – another sore point) he didn’t realize he had been booby-trapped. So I told him. He was so disgusted he got up, got my mother’s favourite perfume and sprayed it all over his pillow. I found this so hilarious (yeah, I know, childish, but I was ten!) I banged my face on the side of the bed and broke my front tooth in half. I still have a half a tooth and haven’t been able to bite into ice cream since.

Then in sixth grade (remember tall, awkward and big for my age?) at an all-girl primary school I was chosen to dance a man’s part in the folk dances (the dainty girls got to dance the girls’ parts) – folk dances were compulsory so there is no ability credit here. Taking one spectacular leap, instead of landing on one foot I landed on the outside of that ankle, creating a weakness that nags me to this day. There are too many icky stories of twisting my ankles, banging my knees and generally creating pleasing incidents for the orthopaedic brethren. Suffice it to say that I cannot rollerskate, bike or even balance well riding pillion on a motorbike… And there was the time I managed to slice the top part of my finger off while opening a tab-pull can.

But the general klutz factor – embarrassing incident that still gets me was in my twenties. I was wearing a lovely blue floaty skirt, and feeling rather contented with the way I looked. So I left my apartment building, stopping to say hello to some neighbours, walked past the neighbourhood eatery, where all the old men were lingering over their meals and gossip, past the kafeneion, where all the slightly younger men were lingering over their coffees, beers and a football match, past the butcher’s shop, past the sweet shop where the old ladies sat gossiping, into the video store, where I spent a quarter of an hour deciding what film I wanted to see. Walked back, past all the same people, happily nodding and chatting to the dozens of people who have known me since childhood – none of whom had the courtesy to tell me that the back panels of my lovely floaty blue skirt were firmly tucked into my knickers.

I rest my case.

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Comment by Hearthrose

Are you absolutely against serious blood and pain? Even if your doctor looks at you quizzically and says, “You did this to yourself HOW? This is the kind of break you get if you crash your plane!” (Or apparently fall off your horse but your foot doesn’t come out of the stirrup, you may be familiar).

Sooo… my point would be, amongst other general clutziness, that I am the only person ever to sustain a lis-franc’s fracture/dislocation on a baby gate.

Yes, there I was, having dropped my second-born off to Sunday School for 3yo, gleefully anticipating actually getting to listen to the sermon without being called away or feeling guilty for leaving her with my somnolent husband, and I suddenly remembered that I hadn’t waved goodbye to her (she hadn’t waved to ME mind you). So I twisted in the doorway to wave goodbye, twisted back and… the next thing I knew I was staring at the bright blue sky and a nice man was helping me up and enquiring after my health. (Do try to injure yourself at church if you must injure yourself at all – a place filled with very very helpful people).

Apparently I’d managed to put my foot down on the threshold for the baby gate (a grand 2″ height) and somehow that twisting and my low-heeled shoes and … oh no one knows how I managed it. I don’t either. One minute waving, one minute staring at sky. Broke two bones, dislocated the other three. On a *baby gate*.

So, may I please be in the Klutz Klub, or must I relate the story of the scar on my hand from cutting cheese with a dull knife? (Grins cheerfully)

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Comment by Robin

A two inch baby gate. Yes. You may need TWO membership cards. :)

 
 
Comment by Ithilien

Oh, the memories just keep flooding back.

There was the time that I was at high school and a little overanxious about this boy. So while we were waiting to get picked up after school, I didn’t quite pay attention to where I put my feet while running towards him. I stepped up onto a brick step… no, actually, I didn’t. My foot went on the step, and then it came back down to earth, and my shin went on the edge of the step… I still have the scar ten years later. Yeah, I was desperate.

And then there was gymnastics. I quite liked gymnastics, with the pretty dancing steps and being reasonably flexible and so on. It was just inconvenient that it required spatial awareness while turning upside down. And I have so many body parts to keep track of. We were doing somersaults on the trampoline. Knee, meet forehead. My mother was, um, not impressed.

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Comment by b_twin_1

I was reminded of one particular incident today as I watched people with their horses.

I was at an endurance ride and I was running – trotting my horse out for the vet – and I fell flat on my face. Had to get up and keep running. At least the horse wasn’t lame. (I think the vet asked if I was….) And all the spectators didn’t give me *too much* of a hard time. The horse laughed though.

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Comment by Hallie

Perhaps my favorite (ok, so it’s really just the most recent) was shortly after I started work on my new ship (although it reoccurs almost daily).

Some info on ships, to save time and confusion: 1. The ship is most certainly not new. It was new to me. She’s actually old as Mozart. 2.”Stairs” (ladders) on ships are really darn steep. They usually give you about six inches for your toes per step. They’re made of metal and have non-skid pasted on them (which is really just sandpaper). 3. Ships usually have two or three different groups of people working on them: Engineers (not me), Deck Hands (also not me), and Operators (me). None of these groups get along as a whole. Rivalry is good, right? Ok, now that you’re all salty sailors, let’s go!

I was still learning my way around, and was certainly NOT used to what the naval community has decided pass for a stair. So, being the “light on my feet” lady that I am, I don’t just trip down the ladder, I cascade down it on my backside with my feet tucked under my butt in front of about seven or eight of the Engineers. I retrieve my hardhat, which was rocking sadly like a turtle on its back, and ran off, knowing I was a delightful shade of purple. They, kindly, waited to laugh until I turned the corner.

Upon closer inspection: 2 bruised knees, 1 bruised elbow, strained arm, abrasions across the entire back, bruised ribs, torn pants and boots scuffed to the point you could SEE the steel toe. Pretense of confidence among new coworkers: shattered. The best part: three years later, and I’m still falling down the stairs in much the same fashion. Being on a ship is like being five years old again. You’re told when and what to eat. You’re told when to be awake and when to sleep, and your knees and shins are permanently bruised and/or skinned.

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Comment by criscopolo

I am a terrible klutz as well, but I think this story best exemplifies why I am qualified to join. I play water polo, so you would think that as an athlete, that I would be more in-tune with my body. However, this is clearly not so. In one game, I was the designated sprinter (the person who swims for the ball at the beginning of the game). Now, I sprint for the ball next to the lane line, that marks the sides of the pool (or the lanes in case of swimming). These were not the usual lane lines, but were bigger, and had slightly bigger holes in each plastic part. So the referee blows his whistle to start the game, and I begin to swim as fast as I can. All of a sudden, I realize that my hand is stuck. I had jammed my finger into the side of the lane line, through the one of the small holes in the plastic. Of course, if you look at one of these holes, you would realize that a middle finger is not going to fit into this hole, let alone a pinky finger. However, the force at which I jammed my hand made it somehow possible for my finger to slip through. Because of the tight squeeze, I had to stop swimming in order to wrench my finger back out. The referee had to stop the game, as a sprinter never stops in the middle of the sprint. He gave me a very weird look as I had to explain my finger got stuck…in the lane line….
Needless to say, I lost the sprint and the ball. I dont remember much else about the game, but I am pretty sure we won despite my being a klutz.

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Comment by spindriftdancer

Oh, sorry! Um… Copying, pasting, and reposting (in the appropriate forum this time)-

This is a very silly idea, and I approve heartily!

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm… Which story is the best? Well, how about the time when I was 14, and I forgot to take off the spurs that my teacher was having me use… not just forgot to take them off, but forgot to take them off while riding bareback on a slightly *sprightly* 17h mare. I landed on my tailbone, spent a week in bed, and it’s never been the same since.

Or. I once slammed my thumb in the car door. It was locked. Luckily, it closed across the quick of my nail, or my finger would have been broken. As it was, I only got a black fingernail. It fell off, regrew, and now I have a funny looking non-semicircle quick.

The first time riding my mountainbike with clipless pedals… I couldn’t get my feet out because the treads of my shoes were binding on the pedals. I fell over with my feet firmly attached. Happily, it was onto grass and I wasn’t hurt.

I believe that any one of those three would qualify me for official membership in the Klutz Klub(: Two were klutzes which permanently damaged me, the third was merely funny, with no resulting aches, pains or disfigurement.

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Comment by Tessa from SA

Ooooh… A Klub made for me! at last…Thank you for this, I read through the stories already here and had to stop in the middle to get my breath back! LOLSTOTM

OK…
*randomly shuffles memories, rummages a bit more*..

I was about 14, and singing my first solo. It also happened to be winter, and Casual Day at school. So I was wearing this shocking-pink jersey made by my granny with too-long arms from too much washing. Anyway. I finish, and I’m fairly pleased with myself (and a little adrenilised) and go to sit down. Putting my hand on the wool sleeve, on a highly polished floor… and end up waving my feet at the ceiling. In front of 500 pupils & parents. Fortunately I was wearing trousers.

It’s a few weeks into my first term at high school and despite being pretty much confirmed geek (asocial, nose-in-a-book, musician) but I’m actually getting on with my new classmates. Until we’re assigned teams to do some sort of exercise demo. One of my tasks is to do a hand stand then a forward roll. I can’t do handstands, but I discover that if I do it *fast*, the one becomes the other and I don’t look too stupid. I practise for a week, astonishingly for someone whose idea of getting the heart going is a scary bit in a David Eddings or something. All goes well – until it’s my team’s turn and I gracefully, miraculously, pause in the handstand bit, drop into the roll still astounded… and knock myself out with my knees.

I’m in training as a waitress, but no-one’s there. Because Our Rugby Team is playing in the ’95 World Cup Final. (Here, the “First Team” is rugby; any other sport’s first team is specified) Although I’m not sporty I’m watching along with everyone else, mostly because I’d be lynched otherwise, and the atmosphere does draw me in. At the final whistle – we won! – everyone starts cheering and dancing around until we suddenly hear a *vast* noise outside. Rush to the balcony to see *masses* of mini-bus taxis and even more people coming down the main street – blocking it completely – and generally creating a spontaneous street party. I run downstairs and join the procession, jogging along the side of the street and cheering with the best of them. I might add at this point that I’m the only white chick in the street so far, so I might have stood out a bit. Anyway, there I am, having no idea what the others are singing but enjoying myself anyway. Then someone in the crowd yells something to me and I turn to wave with this big grin toothy as only a massive overbite can be – and run into a lamppost *exactly* like the corniest cartoon you ever could hope to see. I swear the pole went “dwongongong”! And, of course, my colleagues were still on the balcony watching.

Later I discovered Tai Qi which helped a *lot*. But I still do things like twist my ankle coming down the stairs… and then twist the *same* ankle a week later – while still walking carefully – down the same stairs.

If there’s a category for Mental Klutz I could provide many, many more stories :-)

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Comment by Tessa from SA

Just got another to add, the tale of how I finally *learned* how aerodynamics work.

Let’s just say, bike + storm + umbrella = mortally wounded ego. I really should have known better.

It’s an astonishing feeling, having the bike pulling forwards while the rest of you is being pushed backwards.

 
 
Comment by susiebirds

Klassic Klutz Klub moment….

The boy I was interested in (now my partner) was over at the time for a group game night. I was walking around my apartment, being all bright and sociable and flirting, and stepped directly on one of those chair-skid-pad-things that has a nail sticking up out of it. Stepped *RIGHT* on it. And yelped. Boy came rushing over and I had to pretend I was fine, but couldn’t really hide the blood pouring out of my foot…. Ended up not being terribly deep, so we all soldiered on with the evening, my friends and Boy being very solicitous. Then, about 20 minutes later, I’m in the kitchen cutting a loaf of crusty bread and I look away for a second (to smile and flirt with Boy) and sliced down right into my finger. And immediately tried to hide it (with no luck – my friend Katie had watched me do it). Boy to this day, three years later, now thinks I am incredibly accident prone, and watches me carefully when I’m wielding knives in the kitchen.

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Comment by Monica

Klutz Club, you say?

Well not five minutes ago I grabbed a pan out of the oven that I myself had turned on, sans mitt.
Suffice it to say, I am typing one handed.

Now to the good stuff.

This specific event happened when I was still in middle school. What led up to what happened, I can’t quite remember.
Its all a bit fuzzy. What I do remember goes like this: I had the day off from school, and I was playing chase with my
sister. Somehow, a pillowcase ended up over my head. Of course, I left it there, and continued to run to my room.
I made a flying leap, and do I mean flying. Then, instead of hitting the bed, I ricocheted off of the corner of the bed frame,
with my hip. Needless to say, I had a magnificent crutch for a while, complete with black paint and studs.

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Comment by Vikkik

Well, since I saw this last night I’ve been trying to decide which of the many incidents I could embarrass myself with to use…..

There was the christmas when I was about 20 months old and my grandparents bought me a rocking horse. Of course I didn’t get on it, start rocking and pitch over the head to land chin first on the kitchen floor, splitting said chin open… (and I still have the scar to prove it!)

Then there was the time I ran away from my parents when we were shopping (aged about 3) and cannoned straight into someone’s shopping bag. It had a tin in it. I have a (fortunately) small scar on my right cheekbone where it cut my face open.

And of course the infamous incident last summer where I twisted my foot putting a bag of rubbish in the skip at work and spent a month in plaster.

And there was the wedding we had at work (I’m a bar supervisor at a golf club) where I was dashing down the bar to get something, and smashed straight into the door of the glasswasher which someone had just opened to put in a tray of glasses. The door is at shin height. The bar was quite full. I MAY have used a word beginning with ‘F’ rather loudly… The bruise was extremely large and colourful. (and I’d left my arnica at home)

Oh, and this Monday just gone, I nearly ran someone over with a pool table….
(although this was not ACTUALLY my fault) I help run concerts every Monday evening, and the hall we use has a pool table which we have to take out through the firedoors before we start and bring back in at the end of the night (great fun, ’cause it only just fits) – it’s on wheels so not quite as bad as it sounds, but rather a pain – anyway, two of us where bringing it back in on Monday, I was pushing and Mike was walking backwards pulling the other end, when he slipped on a patch of wet floor where someone had spilt a drink, and from my end of the table it looked like he was vanishing under the damned thing (this is a full size pool table, and heavy enough to do rather a lot of damage) and the thought that went through my head was “Oh shit, I can’t stop this thing, it’s going to squish him…..” so, somehow I managed to stop it, and he’d kicked his legs up to fend it off but it didn’t actually touch him in the end. But it was quite scary for a minute or two. I had visions of having to ring his wife and break the news that I’d squished her husband with a pool table!!!

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Comment by Crystal

One of my most memorable klutz moments (and there are aplenty) is actually probably on video somewhere, since occurred during my high school graduation! I made certain to wear non-slippery flats just to ensure that I wouldn’t slip on the floor walking across the stage to get my diploma. Of course, I DID slip walking across the stage to get my high school diploma. Fortunately, I did not fall, but that was lucky. I did better in college though, since I did not do anything klutzy or embarrassing even once during that ceremony, though I did fall asleep.

Most of my stories involve my falling on my a**, and here’s one that comes immediately to mind. My boyfriend is always telling me things like, “Don’t worry, I’ll catch you if you fall.” However, the first time this was tested, he failed miserably! We were walking together down some stairs, and somehow I tripped (don’t ask me how). Down I went, with him just watching me fall and making no attempt to do anything about it! It was hilarious. I can’t imagine what he thought, considering that I managed to spill my glass of water on our first date and

I am sure it will be a comfort to you to learn that I am a microbiologist, and often mess with some pretty dangerous stuff. I don’t know how I got through half of my college courses without breaking a microscope or microtome, but I even managed not to break the electron microscope, which would have gained me ranks in the Klutz Klub, but I would not have lived to see it. I did almost set the lab at work on fire once, doing what should be completely harmless – spreading plates! Somehow some flame got into my beaker of ethanol… I reckon you can imagine the rest.

My stories aren’t as interesting as many listed here, but I have been a klutz since I was an infant, when I managed to pull a large TV and a not-yet-fully-installed dishwasher down on me (on separate occasions, not at once), and stick a wire coat hanger through my cheek. Thinking about it, my poor, overprotective mother probably had reason to be so.

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Comment by Lissy

Once in a lab, someone else set their ethanol on fire. I was a demonstrator so had to do something about it. Thinking to myself ‘I know, I’ll put our the fire by starving it of oxygen’ – brain working so far – so I put the nearest (glass) lid on the (glass) container of flaming alcohol. It’s amazing how long and hot ethanol can burn for even without oxygen. The container exploded! Oops…

 
 
Comment by Susan from Athens

Is there one commenter on this blog who isn’t a klutz? Who haven’t we seen? Southdowner? Come on down girl and get wet! We must be the biggest group of ill-coordinated, fantasy reading people around.

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Comment by b_twin_1

Please note Susan that I have only applied for *Associate Membership* as I don’t think I am a complete klutz. ;) The problem with THAT is that when you do something klutzy *everyone notices*. But working with animals I have had my fair share of being stepped on, bumped into and stabbed.
Which reminds me of the time I jammed the vaccinator needle (16g thank you) into my finger and hit the bone……
At least I have only sprained things and pulled muscles. (The dumbest one has to be trying to donk my horse on the head for being an idiot and I ended up with damaged ligaments in my thumb for 12 mths!!)

Comment by Jeanine of Florida

***Which reminds me of the time I jammed the vaccinator needle (16g thank you) into my finger and hit the bone……***

But did you successfuly vaccinate yourself? And for what? ; )

 
Comment by spindriftdancer

oowwwowowowowowowowowowowowowowow!

 
Comment by Susan from Athens

“Please note Susan that I have only applied for *Associate Membership*”

b_twin_1: associate membership my ***! You’re wussing out from going the whole hog, or is it ewe?

 
Comment by b_twin_1

But did you successfuly vaccinate yourself? And for what? ; )

Thankfully I didn’t vaccinate myself for 5 strains of sheep-affecting-clostridial diseases…. !!! The finger swelled up and the joint was stiff for ages. At least it wasn’t in the finger tip – it was in the lowest bit of my index finger. And I did encourage it to bleed out at the start in case any vaccine was in the needle. I finished doing the mob though before I went to the doctor. *g*

 
Comment by Jeanine of Florida

I know it’s terrible and I really should offer my condolences but all I want to do is laugh hysterically. Sorry. ……..Snork…….. Sorry again! ; )

 
 
Comment by southdowner

I’ve so many times to choose from, I’ve been havering over all the choices!

Well, to start with dog klutzes, there’s Yeti, who you’ve seen photos of. When she was a year old she walked behind the garden shed and rear wall. Found she couldn’t go forward. Panicked. Brain stopped functioning, she threw herself up and round in a rush, so that her body and front feet faced forwards, while her back legs still faced in the original direction. Out she limps, off to the vets, spiral fracture as the body weight pulled in the opposite direction of the original foot direction. Large cast, large vets bill, long stay in crate, and ten years later she still has a large metal plate in her leg and would set off airport alarms.

Fast forward to Easter 2007 (and many other klutz events). and Hazel, Noodles and I go for a late walk. Hazel trots next to me on a loose lead. Noodles imitates Brownian motion in a near-boiling liquid. Noodles is held firmly on a short lead on my left; reaching a corner I turn left at the precise instant that Noodles makes an upward bid for freedom, leaps across my path, but doesn’t make it out of my way… because I am holding the lead so short that when we both fall down with a crash, I land in a heap on top of her. Noodles screams, Hazel chews on her, I scream at the pair of them, and it takes me ten minutes to get up and limp back. Two major operations, and nearly a year of thrice weekly vet dressings and a metal cage with bars through Noodles leg in 4 places… and plenty of money.

Oh yes, there’s the time that I took several dogs to Crufts and one was the Onion, sister of Hazel, and Noodles, daughter of Yeti. We were entered in the Good Citizen class for dogs which had gained a basic obedience qualification. Onion’s owner wanted me to handle her, and Onion looked at me out of the side of her glinting little eyes, and trotted into the ring. All went well until 5-10 minutes had passed, and Onion decided things were faaaar too boring so she decided to liven them up. The judge looked her over and then asked us to walk the length of the ring and back. Hundreds (literally) of bull terrier experts were watching, most of whom know me. I started to walk, and found that I’d acquired a kangaroo, an amazing kangaroo which bounced high above my elbow with each step, trying to catch my sleeve and dangle off it like a large ornament – with jaws. Unfortunately I was now laughing, which encouraged higher leaping, so the judge sent us back to the line at the ringside to await their final verdict. This was again the boring part, so Onion changed tactics. Leads, she decided, are dual-purpose: tug toys in disguise. I spent the next ten minutes trying to look calm and controlled while a 45lb determined muscular athlete tugged with wholehearted enthusiasm. Eventually the judge called us out into the placings, at which point I found that Onion had severed her lead and was still with me because tugging was more fun than running off and creating mayhem elsewhere. I horrified the bullie fraternity who have not forgotten this; Onion’s owner has refused to show her again, but Onion and I had great fun lol

Gosh, I’ll have to add more, there are so many!!

Comment by Robin

Onion’s owner has refused to show her again,

********** LOL!!!! No sense of humour!!!!

I’ll have to add more, there are so many!!

********** Yes please!

 
Comment by Susan from Athens

“Gosh, I’ll have to add more, there are so many!!”

pretty please! And Jodi too is keeping a low profile. Is there no klutz-pizazz in ferret ownership? For my own self, just living in Athens is an invitation to take interesting dives to the ground, the pavements are so bad. And for a while, when I was being re-aligned through one of the more hands-on therapies I’ve had (Rolfing) my sense of proprioception was so off I kept falling like timber. Luckily I always seemed to catch myself with minimal damage. Until the times I didn’t. Sigh…

I am having fun reading this, but the cost, in pain, irritation, doctors’ and vets’ bills is horrendous. If only pratfalls were like they are in the movies. It looks horrendous and there are no repercussions!

Comment by Robin

What did you think of Rolfing?

 
 
Comment by southdowner

I’ve already mentioned being fired into a riding school wall headfirst at a gallop, leaving my neck several inches shorter for a few days? And attaching myself so firmly to my bicycle with pedal clips that when arriving at my youth hostel, in front of an admiring (hollow laugh!) crowd, I fell over sideways into a bed of nettles, still attached to my bike?
No need to dwell further on these.

On Monday, at dog class a dog shot off and I went to step on the trailing lead, but stepped on the metal clasp, which acted as a banana skin, sliding after the pooch, with my foot connected. At one point I was about to do the splits, but then luckily one knee folded and I landed on a particularly well cushioned part of my anatomy. About to count my blessings on avoiding a possible rupture, I was suddenly unable to see as another dog decided I was on the floor so I MUST want to play, and head butted me while inserting several feet of tongue as far as my tonsils.
Owners trying very hard to look concerned, bless them, but hardly able to suppress tears of laughter. now I have another bruise to add to all the bruises which make me say “How did I get that?”

And I was going to tell of bicycles and horses – next time :)

Comment by Robin

the real reason for the Klutz Klub is because I ENJOY crying with laughter. . . .

 
 
Comment by Susan from Athens

“What did you think of Rolfing?”
Well it had its good points, in that it did help realign me to some extent and I had one major breakthrough with it, but I found it extremely hard as a technique. Painful, at times extremely painful and at times agonisingly so.

When Rolfing my face, and the Rolfer had his finger all the way up my nose I completely broke down, and couldn’t breathe, but basically relived a near-drowning experience I had as a teenager (talk about klutzim) which had left me completely unable to swim at an place where I was out of my depth. It took a while for me to realise this had taken place and it was a great benefit (I still can’t stick my head underwater, but I can swim with my head above water – looking a bit rubber-duckish, but tough luck).

I would say now that there are other less intrusive techniques to get fascia moving and get changes on a deep psycho-somatic level, however, I also feel, quite strongly, that one encounters and accepts what one is prepared to accept at a particular moment in my life. And in that point in my life I wouldn’t have gone for a gentler more long-term approach. It was fourteen years ago and I’ve never been re-Rolfed (I did the basic ten sessions). I’d have to meet a Rolfer I really trusted before I put myself in his / her hands again. And it costs a bomb. But I think the fact that I’ve never gone back to it speaks more than anything else, because any other technique I’ve had good results with (Reflexology, Reiki, Craniosacral therapy, Fascia release) I have gone back to, even when the process has been disturbing, but Rolfing I have never gone back to at all.

(Sorry for a rather long and meandering response.)

Comment by Robin

Not at all. Thank you. It’s been recommended to me more than once as a possibility for getting Really Stuck Stuff loosened up enough to deal with. But it has always sounded rather too hard and rather too invasive to me.

 
 
 
 
Comment by Judy-in-NY

Wow. I never thought I’d find a club where I really belong.
I’d always thought I’d outgrow walking into door frames instead of through the doors or stop rolling down flights of stairs, but then by my late teens realized the thing was hopeless. Now I make sure to keep my calcium intake high so that I can fall and crash into things with impunity, if not grace. Mostly I just keep proving that gravity works, even when most of the other laws of the universe have taken the day off.

The fall with the most moving parts was when I foolishly decided to try skiing. Not only did I fall off the lift (tow rope lift) on the bunny slope, but I wiped out two people behind me and then sailed down the hill headfirst on my back and as I reached the bottom, the lad in charge yelled “WATCH OUT FOR THE—” but by then I was already trapped under the fence, looking up at him. And my skis, ski poles, hat, gloves, and scarf were up the hill a-ways. My younger stepson-the-athlete really loved this one.

Mostly I don’t get hurt. I think I’ve fallen so often that I must fall like a baby or a drunk–sort of loose and Oh how did I end up down here? (A friend with better reflexes got into more trouble: when HE fell down the bus steps he tried to stop himself and tore both shoulders out.) One of the rare times I got into trouble was in a hotel room with four steps up to the bathroom. In the middle of the night, I walked up four and walked down three and somehow flew straight up into the air before landing on my back on the stairs. I had the most remarkable stair-edge shaped black-and-blue mark, but by all rights should have broken my back on that one.

It’s not just that I somehow up-ended the coffee filter full of coffee and boiling water onto my arm, but that I couldn’t quite believe I’d done it and thus just stared at it until someone else started yelling. Made a beaut of a scar.

And then I backed the rented car into the side of the rented house. Neither the house nor the car liked it much.

Do not hire me to paint your ceiling. I have tried. But I didn’t manage to upset the paint tray over my head: the hired painter did that. Over his, I mean.

Only time I almost made the newspapers: I was working in a bookstore and rolling the tall ladder (with which we retrieved overstock) across the floor on its rollers and suddenly another staff member threw herself in front of me, because I was about to run over Woody Allen.

I have read many of these stories and will read all, but one common theme is that many of us don’t know where our limbs are if we’re not paying close attention to the matter, otherwise known as being unable to walk and chew gum at the same time. The one time I went rock climbing–or I guess more like rock leaping, from rock to rock, many hundreds of feet in the air–I did NOT fall: I seemed to transfer all my brain into my feet. But under normal circumstances (walking down the hall), I’ll trip over a dust mote.

And so on.

Hope there are still some membership cards left!

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Comment by Robin

Only time I almost made the newspapers: I was working in a bookstore and rolling the tall ladder (with which we retrieved overstock) across the floor on its rollers and suddenly another staff member threw herself in front of me, because I was about to run over Woody Allen.

*********** LOL!

 
 
Comment by Dana

I went to college at the University of Georgia (who solidly smacked Arizona State last night, by the way, sorry) and being a certified band geek, joined the Redcoat Marching Band. For those of you who are not band geeks, the Redcoats are one of the finest bands in the country. High caliber. I was lucky to get in and very determined that I would live up to the high reputation.

My very first game, in the very first song, I am marching happily along when we get to this part where everyone snaps their instruments down in a nice flashy piece of choreography. Except for me.

Poor freshman me, I was so excited, I snapped my piccolo down so hard that it flew out of my hands into the grass about 10 yards to the right. And we immediately take off across the field in the opposite direction. No way to retrieve it without breaking formation, which is, of course, ananthema.

I’m sure the music was a little off that night cause most of the twenty or so people around me couldn’t play, because they were all laughing so hard.

Lucky for me, one of the band staff members saw what had happened from the sidelines and retrieved my precious piccolo from the field…. even luckier, there no damage done beyond a little grass stuck here and there…. but I never lived it down.

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Comment by holmes44

when i was 6 years old our neighbor cut a tree down on his front lawn and then it rained that night.the next day a group of us were playing follow the leader on it when i slipped and fell down face first. my mom took me to the hospital because i split my nose open but the doctor said that it would heal by itself.2 days later i was going [running] up the post office steps when i fell and cut my eyebrow open, back to the hospital i went,sitting in the hall, waiting to see the doctor and getting strange looks from people going by because now i had a cut nose ,a black eye and a cut nose and looking like i had been in a prize fight and lost.

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Comment by Stella

Hmmm. I actually am relatively accident-free, but I do burn myself A LOT. Welding and cooking and blacksmithing. I’ll spare you the details.
Instead, I have a few minor incidents to share…when I was eleven I broke my little toe by chasing my little brother in such a fury that I caught it on an unsuspecting bookshelf. Toes that break seem to re-break quite frequently, as I discovered when I caught it on the leg of a metal rolling desk chair this summer, and it was sore for months (summer lasts a LONG time in Texas). Spider-legged chairs with metal tines on unforgiving carpet are TERRIBLY painful.
Here’s a much more entertaining one, from my accident-prone mother; I think I actually may have posted this before…she REALLY deserves a membership; maybe I’ll give her a card (she loves your books as well, Robin).
She was seven years old and, like one does, thought it would be THE COOLEST to ride her bike all the way down a steep hill. She hit a rock, and flipped off with her arms straight out in front of her going about 40 mph, and broke them both. If I thought she would forgive me, I’d share an image of the article her local newspaper wrote about her, showing her kicking a football in her grandparents’ front yard with both arms in casts, claiming (with more than a little journalistic license) that she’d “given up on being a wide receiver and was concentrating on becoming a field-goal kicker.” (remember, this was small-town Texas, where not only is this news-worthy, but where EVERYTHING comes back to football). Six months later the casts came off, and the first thing she did was vault on top of her (very, very uncooperative) horse, overshooting completely, and breaking both her legs on the other side. There are photographs of this to prove it is NOT an exaggeration.

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Comment by Susan in Melbourne

Context
Important meeting with new clients in company XYZ boardroom.
Characters
Clients, assorted senior management, including Susan in her best meet-the-clients clobber (ie suit, with skirt)
Situation
I went to see what had happened to the refreshments, leaving the boardroom doors open behind me. Assisted carrying tray of cups, water, sugar, etc down stairs from the kitchen.
Heel came off my shoe on the second stair, and I and my tray did a face-first perfect swan dive down the rest
Outcome
Utter humiliation. I am a woman of substance (not the slip of a girl I used to be) and I think I rattled the building to its foundation. Certainly, heads popped out of offices everywhere saying, “What the f*** was that?” The afore-mentioned clients and senior management had a ringside view through the open boardroom door, and they all came rushing out to pick up me, the scattered chocolate biscuits, cups rolling around, etc.
I nobly restrained myself from snarling at the CEO to piss off and stop trying to pull me up, because I was perfectly ALL RIGHT (probably not a good career move, and I do have a mortgage).
We then all re-adjourned to the boardroom and proceeded to try to convince the clients to do business with company XYZ, despite the Project Director being a complete KLUTZ!

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Comment by Robin

No, no! The heel came off your shoe! Industrial espionage, clearly!!!

 
 
Comment by Charlotte

I slammed my nose in a car door.

And it is not a very big nose. I was rummaging on the floor of the car for smothinging, and, upon finding it, thought I could save time by slamming the door while pulling my head out. Sadly, I got the timing wrong. I bled, but not enough to get the sympathy I deserved.

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Comment by Susan from Athens

I’ve closed the door on my shin (most uncomfortable) and on another occasion slammed it onto my forehead. I was reading a book at the time and wasn’t actually either looking at what my hands and feet and head was doing, but yowza did it hurt.

Comment by Lissy

I was walking along once reading a book (yes, on a public street. It was a very good book!) when I walked straight into a small metal pole, one of those ones that hold up street signs. Ouch. And a big bruise on my forehead for a week. Fortunately the resy of me was protected by the hardcover book! I eased off on the reading-while-walking after that.

 
 
 
Comment by Surly Temple

A couple of my friends and I were sitting around in my living room, complaining about how bored we were and how there was nothing to do, no good movies to go see, and a whole long evening stretching ahead. That’s really the last thing I remember. There’s a several hour gap missing in my memory, which is why they decided to take me to the hospital emergency room.
Yeah.
Apparently–and this is hearsay, but it sounds like something I’d do, so I’m not fighting it–I was doing a demonstration of a particularly stupid dance I’d seen in a movie, when I flung myself out of the folding chair I was utilizing and smacked head-backwards onto a very, very hard floor. I don’t remember it. There are a very few memories which I have logged in:
The first shot is a very, very dark room and my head hurting horribly and being unable to move my left arm or leg.
Shot the second is being in my bathroom with its Pepto-bismol pink tile walls, looking in the mirror at my pupils.
The final really clear memory is sitting on the floor and quietly trying to figure out what I did for a living. (I was, incidentally, pretty sure that I was a teacher so if ever I disappear it’s patently obvious that I’ve headed for the public system.)
At no point do I remember asking every minute and a half,
“Now, what was I doing?”
“You were doing a chair dance like Elizabeth Berkeley gives Kyle McLachlan in the movie “Showgirls” to show us how stupid it was and you fell out of a chair.”
“Oh, okay. Right.” (Carrie has pointed out her favorite part, which is that I would take this with the calm assurance that of course I had been doing something like that.)
So after about forty minutes they decided I was quite obviously not okay, so they bundled me up and took me to the hospital, where they had to explain that no, I hadn’t been drinking, I’m actually this stupid in real life. I got a CAT scan, which I don’t remember, and a clean bill of health from the doctor, whom I also don’t remember. Apparently I was very gracious to everyone, and when they came to get me for the CAT scan I stood up and said “I’ll handle this!” and then strode from the room with the doctor.

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Comment by Sarah O

I’ve had my memory knocked out of me too, only I was about 10 (a sledding accident, Little Sarah (I was Big Sarah on our street) ran over me with a GT snow racer). You seem to have handled yourself with aplomb! And can I just say, the fact that you were doing a Showgirls dance, rather than say, Donald O’Connor’s running-wall-flip from Singin’ In the Rain is AWESOME.

 
 
Comment by Wenna

I think I messed up and emailed incorrectly. So I’ll redo it here, more concisely.

To take stock of my current bruises, I have three – one on my upper arm, one on my wrist and one black and blue one on my hindquarters that is the size of a salad plate. I have no idea how any of them got there.

Eight years ago I was snowmobiling with some friends. I had their three year old daughter in front of me on the machine, and her mother behind me. I was going very slowly, the three year old’s safety in mind. It was a complete fluke when the machine tipped over. My friend got off, I handed her the daughter, and looked at my foot, now trapped between the snow (soft snow – it was nearly 50 degrees outside) and the machine’s track. Naturally, Klutz that I am, I pulled. The snow was soft, and I should have slipped right out. Instead, I heard a pop, and it turned out my leg was broken in two places, after the ambulance arrived two hours later and I was transported to the hospital another two hours away. I spent the next month and a half in bed, in a cast, because I couldn’t walk on crutches. To do stairs, I had to sit down and slide on my butt.

I was on the way to a friend’s funeral and stepped off the sidewalk in a pair of flat shoes and sprained my ankle. I could understand heels, but flats?

When I was in second grade and learning to ice skate the first time I pushed away from the wall I fell and fractured my shoulder.

At least my leg warns me when it’s going to rain or snow now… it’s nice to have a weatherwise ache!

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Comment by Jeanne Marie

Oh, I remembered another one!

I was sitting around waiting for my mom to pick me up after high school. Specifically, I was sitting down cross-legged on the concrete, talking with a cute boy. Now, I generally make a point to shift position frequently while sitting on the ground, but, remember this is a cute boy…so, I just sat, cross-legged, for about 45 minutes, being fetching.

Mom’s car arrived, and I stood up gracefully, in that “rising-from-cross-legged-position” kind of standing up motion, uncrossed my legs, slung my backpack over my should, and started walking…or at least, tried to start walking, but my feet were both solidly asleep (this would be why I usually make a point of shifting position…)!

I stumbled over my snoring feet, righted one leg, but the other foot was still bent as I tried to step on it (how I didn’t break the thing, i do not know), so it just scraped along the concrete, and in trying to right that foot, I succeeded in kicking off my shoe (towards my mom’s car, luckily).

Cute boy didn’t so much work out…
JM in KC

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Comment by Erika in Colorado

OK! This is the club for me! Not only was I born to be a Klutz, but I am also in very good company. Now, unlike some of you, I have no grand broken bone or penguin tank tales; however, I have some small but amazingly klutzy event at least once a day. I don’t just have one fluke accident, I live Klutzy every day.

Here are a few recent examples. A couple weeks ago, early in the morning, I groggily got out of bed to use the bathroom and managed to put two puncture holes on the top of my foot with the underside of the bed frame. The next day at church I forgot and wore a pair of sandals that exactlly rubbed one of the holes. After church I went to the in-laws and brought a different pair of sandals to change into. Guess what! They were in the perfect spot to rub the other hole. The next morning, I got out of bed and managed to put a matching puncture on the top of the other foot.

Last summer, while taking off socks to go to bed, I managed to cut my ankle with my fingernail. This happened several times and managed to leave a small scar.

I’ve had lots of lovely theatre moments as well (being an actor). Let’s see…. There was the time I found a great dress for a class scene–a lovely red evening gown for a Noel Coward scene–and I melted a hole at the hemline trying to iron it for the performance. (It was long enough I was able to re-hem it, but my iron has never been the same.) The other good theatre one was when I was doing Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. In one scene, we had to come out with battery operated candles that had Christmas-type bulbs; when you wanted to turn it on, you had to screw the bulb in. My bulb broke as I was turning it off in the dressing room and somehow I cut myself with it; blood spurted all over the dressing room, so being thoughtful, I cleaned it up as quick as I could so as not to gross out the others. I, however, had about two minutes to change costumes and get back onstage; there were no bandages handy, so I duct taped a tissue to my cut under my (luckily) red gloves. When I was done with the scene I had a little while before the next time I was onstage and thought I’d better rinse the gloves so they wouldn’t stain; let’s just say that the duct tape bandage didn’t do much.

And this last story, I couldn’t leave out, as it contains both a beloved pet and a rosebush. In my newly married years, we lived in an odd apartment building in a sort of “L” shape. The building was surrounded by parking lot and busy street. My cat, Donovan, was an indoor cat who thought he should be an outdoor cat and he frequently made a break for it; I couldn’t allow this, as the cars nearby would go to fast to break for a foolish kitty. On this particular summer day, Donovan got out and was at the other end of the “L” before I could get to him; the traffic was now right around the corner. I grabbed his tail. He pulled me up right between a brick wall and a rosebush under someone’s low deck. He pulled again, and ducked down as I was, I lost my balance and ran my thumb right into a thorn. He got away, and as I tried to catch him again, I tripped over the hem of my sarong, bent my sandal in half, and fell to the ground where I bloodied my knee. Luckily, my laughing husband caught the cat. I still have a scar on my thumb eight years later.

So, if you please, I’ll take my card now.

Erika in Colorado

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Comment by skating librarian

I’ve already mentioned a certain amount of klutzi-ness when the topic first came up, but there is the cactus thorn stuck forever in the sole of my foot, picked up through the sole of my hiking boots …

and then there’s a sewing needle, broken off in the joint where my big toe joins the foot … it fell out of the sewing basket, landed in the stairs to the second floor, went through the sole of my running shoe and a thick sock, and broke off. I didn’t feel it enough to think anything of it. Later (with a painfully swollen foot) I used my “Taking Care of Yourself” Book to diagnose gout. Luckily the PA in my doctor’s office could actually see the bottom of my foot clearly and made the proper diagnosis.

The orthopedist said he’d just mess up my foot if he tried to get it out and sent me home to hobble for a couple of weeks. My folks took me in and transported me to the beach daily so I could get some exercise and let the salt water work it’s magic.

And here’s an instance of klutz redeemed … a few months ago I discovered that lacing my ice skates differently allowed me to do all sorts of moves I’ve struggled with for years.

Last but not least was a high school friend whose name was Krista Klutz …

Do I make it???? Hunh, hunh, pretty please?

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Comment by Robin

If any of your baggage starts giving you trouble, homeopathic silica is so good at driving foreign objects out that people with pacemakers are routinely NOT given it.

 
 
Comment by ChrisW

Well, I’m not very klutzy, but for the following event I had a lot of help from an Albanian waiter named Marsed.

I’m a professional Middle Eastern dancer (belly dancer). I was performing at a Moroccan restaurant in Philadelphia. My performance involved a long sheer chiffon veil (about 4.5 yards) as a prop. I had it wrapped several times around my neck. This way it hung down my back when I wasn’t using it, but I could grab it when I wanted to gesture, etc. so that the veil looked like butterfly wings. Very pretty when flicked.

I was in a VERY deep backbend. The veil was gracefully draping to the floor. Both my hands were reaching over my head, and I was doing very beautiful hand rolls and flutters.

My music gave a great swell during which I attempted to fling myself out of the backbend into a turn. I did not realize that Marsed had walked up behind me to take a drink order inadvertently stepping on my veil.

I was able to fling myself about 5 inches, before choking and falling onto my back and butt on the floor. Marsed did not realize what happened until I punched him in the ankle to get him off my veil. Everyone in the restaurant (about 40 people) burst out laughing.

I was halfway through a 20 minute set and had to spend the next 10 minutes performing to an audience that could not stop laughing at me.

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Comment by Robin

I think possibly this story is going to HAUNT me. . . .

 
 
Comment by Nema

Sadly, a great many of my klutz stories belong to Klutz Club: Vampire Edition, and involve blood. Although there was the dodgeball incident where I accidentally hit another girl in the face, she threatened to beat me up, and I started to cry (however, when asked why I was crying by the teacher, I did not tell. Coincidentally, I also did not get beaten up). I also trip–a lot, over just about anything, usually when somebody I’d like to have think well of me is watching. Luggage carts and me wearing sandals at the airport always end badly…
-Nema

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Comment by Nema

I just remembered one of my most spectacular klutz incidents:
The Scene: Organic Chemistry lab. We were doing an extraction, and I had forgotten to write down the boiling point of ethanol, which was part of the reaction mixture. So naturally, I heated my test tube to above the boiling point, didn’t recognize it was boiling (it just *glopped*), thought it was exploding, panicked, slammed the glass door on the front of my hood down, called over the TA, and…
got laughed at. (There was enough sample left to do GC with. Fortunately.)
Then there was the time I went to kick a soccer ball, on a wet field…and ended up flat on my back in the mud, in front of the entire gym class.
-Nema

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Comment by Lianne

Oh dear. Reading through these comments is both making me feel like a whiner and making me wince with sympathy.

By and large I am another of the casual klutzes: I routinely run into doorjams, doorknobs, rail corners, banisters, bookcases, desks, etc. I am incredibly good at cutting corners too close and slamming into an inanimate object that despite my accusations has really not moved and I should know the placement of very well: it’s my own house that hurts me the most! I pick up bruises and scratches and don’t know where they came from. I sometimes find my fingers or arms bleeding with no recollection of what I might have scraped against. My boyfriend sometimes jokes that people will think he’s beating me.

I also stumble a lot, since I have a nasty habit of not picking up my feet when I walk. I’m kind of a shuffler. I trip on a lot of concrete seams. I found another person like that once when I was on a month-long college course studying whales. We did a lot of hiking, and I started walking behind him whenever I could (we weren’t really friends, so that wasn’t weird). Whenever he tripped, I picked up my feet. =)

Reading about the tow-rope ski incident made me think back to one of mine: I was preparing to get on a regular lift where the seats come around behind you and you sit down and are swooped up into the air. Yeah, I missed the seat, got caught on the edge, and fell backwards with the next seat coming right at me. I wasn’t hurt, but there was great embarrassment. I did get my worst injury to date from skiing, though: I was on a mild hill, just getting ready to start up, and I still can’t figure out exactly what happened, and I was barely moving, but suddenly I was falling backwards. My skis didn’t pop off as they were designed to do, and I ended up tearing the ligament in my knee. I can’t pinpoint anything stupid that I was doing, so I guess I have to chalk it up to flukes and klutziness. I know those were the culprits for my 8th grade sprained ankle and broken wrist: we had a week-long field trip with an aerobics class where there was a stepping exercise (step up, step down, step up, step down), and I stepped up, stepped down, twisted my ankle, fell on my wrist, and was on muddle-headed painkillers for the rest of that week.

But most of my klutziness is the bump and scrape kind. :) Somehow, after reading these stories… I’m glad!

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Comment by Stephanie

I have to claim the distinction of being both klutzy and woefully unprepared for emergencies. One New Years Eve, I went for an illicit moonlight sled ride, bounced too hard on an icy patch (think luge run) and broke a bone in my hand. I was stone cold sober at the time, and quite enjoyed visiting the ER on New Years Eve, convincing the nice young doctor that the “boxer’s fracture” hadn’t occurred due to me hitting anyone. Even better though, was the day that I planned to take my son to the park after school. I thought, well, I’ll just get all sweaty and stuff anyways, so I’ll wait all day and take a shower after we get home. When he came home from school, I made him put on old, ripped pants because I know he plays kind of rough and I didn’t want him to rip the knees out of his new pants. and unfortunately, that was the day that Mike fell while using the monkey bars and broke his arm. Clearly, obviously, completely broke his arm. So we raced off to the Children’s hospital, Mike with his shoes, socks and ripped pants covered inside and out with mulch, me with my greasy hair and never-wear-out-of-the-house tank top (well, we were just going to the park). So Klutzy and woefully underdressed, that’s me – can I be a member too? THanks!

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Comment by /Karen/

I routinely bump into things. My husband, although he finds it endearing, has on occasion said to me, “I don’t understand why you’re not more careful!”. Neither do I.

Anyway, I recently bought Wii Fit (which, for those who don’t know, is an exercise game for the Nintendo Wii console). It was to encourage me to exercise because I hate exercise passionately and will not do it. But I know I ought to—especially as I have high cholesterol, inherited from both my parents.

It took a couple of weeks, but I finally had my first go at it. The first thing I had to do was its body test, where it asks me for my height, asks me roughly how much my clothes weigh, and then works out my weight (from standing on the balance board which comes with the game), then my body mass index (from my weight and height) and then how my centre of gravity has shifted (also from the balance board).

Depressing thing #1: the size of your avatar (your Mii) changes according to your weight. So instead of being slim, mine ended up rather chunky!

Depressing thing #2: being unfit, my balance was not that good. I played a few of the balance games with dismal results. There’s this one where other Miis line up to kick soccer balls at you, and you have to shift your weight on the balance board in order to get your Mii to hit the balls with her head. Unfortunately sometimes the Miis throw shoes and panda heads at you too, and if they hit you, you lose points.

I did so badly, Wii Fit ranked me as ‘unbalanced’ and asked me if I often find myself tripping over!

Well, in the last two months, I have—twice. The first time was in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, Australia. My friends and I went away for the weekend to have an Olympic party (i.e. rent out a nice house and watch the opening ceremony, eat lots of junk food and go shopping). We also went to this Japanese bathhouse in Mount Victoria, which boasted Tudor architecture and a paddock full of sheep out the back. Anyway, we were moving around between the sauna, the indoor hot spa and the outdoor hot spa (the indoor cool spa we avoided because, even though it said the temperature was a mere 18 degrees Celsius, it felt more like 12), and as my friends and I were walking through the Japanese zen garden near the outdoor hot spring, dressed in nothing but our swimming costumes, I slipped on the bridge and landed smack bang on my bottom right in front of everyone! So much for Zen-ness.

The second time was this weekend past. I was away with my in-laws in the Southern Highlands, which is where the Scots must have settled because all the place names are reminiscent of Scotland, even though the climate is anything but! We were staying in this charming little cottage on the edge of a 25-hectare property which boasted a few alpacas, donkeys and some horses. I was following my parents-in-law out into the paddock bearing carrots, then my foot slipped in the mud and, once again, I ended up on my backside with mud all over the back of my jeans!

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Comment by Robin

Oh, gods, *exercise*! NOBODY likes exercise! You ahve to find something you LIKE DOING!

 
 
Comment by BlueRose

Oooh I so deserve a card! The highlights…..

Age 6 ish – teaching myself to ride a bike and lose it in loose gravel and get AWESOME road rash – I was picking gravel out of that scab for WEEKS!

Age 7 ish – leaping over old fenceplanks and guess who finds the only one with a nail still in it – goes thru my left jandal and foot. Yay for tetanus injections

Age 8 ish – smashed my top lip against my sisters head and split it open

Age 11 – fell off a horse, landed on head, had *brain surgery* and broke left ankle

Age 12 ish – broke left big toe in paddling pool

Age 15 * broke right big toe and got an enormous blood blister under toenail afer dropping a full bottle of milk on it

Then follows many years of asstd amounts of cutting myself in various silly ways, burning my hands in new and interesting ways (steam out of an autoclave is 121 deg C and burns VERY QUICKLY)

My left foot got stood on by my horse and had at least two toes broken 2 weeks before I went on holiday in Hawaii

( and the little on on that foot has been broken so many times its rotated around 90 deg – a nurse friend was most impressed LOL)

So where do I collect *my* card ROFL

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Comment by Robin

BRAIN SURGERY????

Comment by bluerose

Yes brain surgery. I landed on my head and got a bloodclot on my brain (subdural neural haematoma) which they had to open up my skull to remove before it burst (strokes are the effect of blood vessels bursting in your brain I think – it would have been bad)

I missed telling you about the fun times I had as a lab technician, finding new fun interesting ways to splash conc sulphuric acid on myself, burning myself on various appliances but my special SPECIAL super power was magically making various types of (usually quite expensive and ALWAYS difficult to replace) glassware explode if I got with about 3 feet of it.

I remember knocking over a rack of specially calibrated bottles that averaged out at about $50 each – the rack was half full and it held about 40 bottles. Bottles specially made in Germany that were shipped out by tortoise delivery…..

Oh and best of all, I *successfully* attempted to burn the lab down on at least 3 occasions!

Comment by Robin

. . . um . . . I hope you’re doing something SOFT for a living now??

 
 
Comment by Susan from Athens

I feel for you. One of my chemistry underground stunts (well, badly or not at all – supervised research with a couple of co-culprits) ended up with them having to evacuate the entire chemistry building. It REALLY wasn’t our fault that our reaction was producing hydrogen sulphide at a rate higher than the hoods could cope with. It was the building infrastructure that was at fault. We were more than a little pissed with all the people coming in and asking disingenuously, “do you know it smells in here?” We knew, we had the windowns open, all the hoods going 100% but there was no way of terminating the reaction. We were sent home to drink a lot of milk. A whole lot of milk. We like to think no brain damage ensued.

Comment by Robin

Good gods. I knew there was a reason chemistry class scared me. (Indeed for EXACTLY reasons like this. And then there was the day I pipetted a mouthful of sulphuric acid. . . . )

 
 
Comment by Susan from Athens

“And then there was the day I pipetted a mouthful of sulphuric acid. . . . )”

I can see you that and up it one more: I pipetted a mouthful of arsenic :)

Comment by Robin

Good gods. Well, presumably you spat it out again successfully. Did you have unusually shiny eyes and shiny hair for a while afterward–? I lost a fair amount of mouth-lining. . . .

 
 
Comment by Susan from Athens

“Did you have unusually shiny eyes and shiny hair for a while afterward–? ”

Why Robin, my hair is always shining and my eyes are always sparkling LOL!

 
 
 
Comment by Creek

Ah, klutziness, how wonderful you are. Let me count the ways!

It was the summer between second and third grade and my neighbor, my sister and I decided we’d go for a bike ride. All three of us on my banana seat bike. We went to the steepest hill in our neighborhood and decided to go down it. We didn’t even make it halfway down the hill before we totally crashed. All three of us were totally scraped up. One of our neighbors saw it and came to offer us a ride home but my sister and I were scared that we’d get in trouble for taking the ride so we walked home. When we arrived home and our parents saw us we were taken to the ER to have our wounds bandaged. Our neighbor was not so lucky, when we went to visit her later she answered the door in only her underwear and completely covered in band-aids. My sister and I both still have scars from that crash and it was over 20 years ago!

One night, during college, I decided to go from my dorm room (on the second floor) to visit my boyfriend in his dorm room (on the seventh floor). There was too much traffic by the elevators so I decided to take the stairs. I got to my boyfriend’s room but I didn’t stay long. Within five minutes of being there my ankle started throbbing in pain. I decided to go back to my room and put ice on it. By the time I walked from his room to the elevator I couldn’t put any weight on my foot. Somehow in the walking UP five flights of stairs I managed to sprain my ankle. I still, to this day, cannot figure out how I accomplished that.

Another time during college, I was at the theatre (I am a techie!) and we were hanging some flying scenery. Specifically we were standing on a platform two feet above the ground and hanging a wall that ran the width of the stage. I was standing there with 7 or 8 others holding the wall while we waited for the boss to hoist it up into the air. When he did, I managed to get knocked over by the flying wall and sent flying off of the platform. Luckily I was more shaken than hurt during that event.

I (rather frequently) get random bruises on my legs that I cannot account for. When I find a new one I sit and wonder what I possibly could have run into to give myself that bruise.

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Comment by Charismitaine

I live a life fraught with danger–between Abby (the Anatolian Shepherd) and Duncan (the Irish Wolfhound) there’s always the danger that the furry speedbump you’re stepping over may move at anytime, knocking you off your feet, or that one of them will feel the need for attention and head-butt you in the stomach while you’re carrying something (especially if it’s something that stains). Then add in the cats (Sabriel and Caspian) and their tendency to race around the house in MUST ATTACK ANYTHING THAT MOVES OR MIGHT CONCEIVABLY MOVE OR JUST LOOKS FUNNY mode and the fact that the thing they attack might just be your leg, and it’s practically a war zone.

Particularly spectacular tumbles, though….

When I was 7 or 8 or 9 (I remember events based on where we were stationed, rather than my age) we lived midway down a very steep hill in Warner Robins, GA. I liked to take my brother’s old bike to the top of the hill and ride it down the hill, swerving into our driveway and onto the grass to stop. It worked every time.
Until I got a brand new bike for my birthday–a shiny, bright pink bike with actual handlebar brakes. Of course the first thing I did was push it to the top of the hill.
Inexplicably, it when rather faster than Brad’s old bike, and I found myself careening in terror towards the lake (and the trees I would have to crash through to get to it) at the bottom of the hill. I completely forgot about the handlebar breaks.
At the last minute my dad came sprinting out of the house, ran into the street, and caught my bike by the handlebars–which I promptly flew over, landing on my head on the pavement. And that, boys and girls, is why you should always wear your helmet (fortunately I was).

Several years went by, full of minor embarrassments (ripping my shorts in front of the entire homeschool choir, tripping on stage, falling down in the lap of an innocent bystander on a Japanese train), until I was in my last year of college and working as a student assistant in the alumni office. Part of my job was to do the mail run around campus, picking up and dropping off various things. It was summer, so I had worn flip-flops to class and forgotten to bring office shoes, and for this the god of office appropriate footwear decided to smite me–as I went down the steps into the lobby of one of the dorms-turned-offices my feet were suddenly no longer beneath me and my tailbone and my elbow were both protesting that they did not WANT to be friends with the stairs. All I could do was lie there, laughing hysterically and still clutching the bundle of mail while the receptionist tried to find out if I was dying.

-Charis

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Comment by Robin

their tendency to race around the house in MUST ATTACK ANYTHING THAT MOVES OR MIGHT CONCEIVABLY MOVE OR JUST LOOKS FUNNY mode and the fact that the thing they attack might just be your leg, and it’s practically a war zone.

********** Yes! Chaos gets into Must Bite Something mode!

(I remember events based on where we were stationed, rather than my age)

********** Me too!

 
 
Comment by Ryl

Not only am I a klutz, for the main part of my klutzy years I bruised very, very easily so everyone could see it. Out of all the stories, the most memorable one is the time I fell on nothing and split my knee wide open. This, of course, happened back when my family lived way out in the country where going to the grocery store was a half-day experience. And of course I had to go to the emergency room to have my klutziness evaluated.

It was the first warm shorts-wearing day of the year. I was running through the apple orchard next to the house. I was going along an old wire fence behind the our still-unplanted vegetable garden when I tripped and landed full on my right knee. I got up and kept going before realizing “Hey, that’s blood. That’s a LOT of blood.” Fortunately I didn’t have far to limp back to the house.

My mom took one look at me and sent me into the bathroom to clean up. The bleeding wouldn’t stop. I stuck my knee under the tub faucet to rinse the blood off and everyone got a good look at the cut. It was decreed that I needed to go to the hospital, so we piled into the car and drove thirty minutes down the road, me holding a washcloth to my knee the whole way.

We went to the emergency room and proceeded to wait for hours and hours and HOURS. By the time the doctor got to me, my knee had started to heal up a bit. He tried to pull the wound apart to make it deeper so I could get stitches, but it wouldn’t cooperate (and neither would I). He slapped a couple of pieces of tape and an Ace bandage around it and sent me home. The next day my leg swelled up because he tied the bandage too darn tight. It took two days for the cut to stop bleeding completely.

A couple of days later I went back to the fence where I fell. I looked at the ground, but the only thing that was remotely knee-cutty where I had fallen was a bit of crabgrass and it wasn’t near hard enough to cause that kind of damage to my knee. I got a nice scar from all of this and a touch of arthritis whenever the seasons change too damply.

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Comment by Shalea

Although certainly very klutzy, I don’t tend to injure myself in ways that make good stories. There’s the habitual walking into walls even in very familiar places (I swear they move!), the inevitable catching a hip on the corner of a counter or table, the tripping over the baby gate (or the dog, or the cat, or the dust mote), etc. And some brilliant shining one-offs, of course, in a number of categories:

General:
Taking the first step down the (very new and slightly frosted) front steps and somehow ending up sitting on the sidewalk at the bottom wondering what the **$#$#@ happened in the meantime (apparently one of the things which happened was a collision between my head and one of the rails of the new steps). Shutting my head in the car door. Whacking myself in the eye with a doorknob (really!).

Cooking:
Answering a question at just the wrong moment and thus missing the sound of the hot chocolate switching from steaming up nicely to boiling over my hand. Pulling out the coffee filter basket which hadn’t actually finished draining into the pot yet and sloshing not-quite-boiling coffee grounds over the back of the other hand. Deciding that it would be a good idea to clean the stove after taking the nice hot biscuits off the baking stove, and oh, if I just pick up the baking stone (by the metal handles, and with my bare hands) I could clean underneath.

Pets/Animals:
Uncountable collisions between chin and top of dog skull. Looking in one direction at the exact moment that the normally-quite-laid-back greyhound bolted in the other while standing on the dew-damp hill in front of my house early in the morning (luckily he stopped as soon as he realized). Walking smack into the giant prehistoric spiderweb strung across the end of my driveway on the way to get the paper in my bathrobe and (so far as I can tell) TELEPORTING backwards ten feet while attempting to make sure there was NO SPIDER ON ME (the neighbor was kind and simply asked “Spider?”). Finding the hornet’s nest in the most unpleasant way imaginable while mowing the grass.

So can (kan?) I be in the Klub?

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Comment by Bethany

This story is one of many, but is probably the most memorable and happened last year. (The blood and pain aren’t too serious.)

Our cats are not allowed in the basement – once down there they have a tendency to play hide-and-seek, eat unidentifiable things, and view the carpet as a litterbox. As a result of their banishment, the basement is their favorite place and they sneak down there as often as possible (usually between my legs as I carry a large load of laundry). In this instance, my husband was at a gig with his jazz band when our cat Beef sneaks by me into the unfinished part. I grumble, set down the laundry, and proceed to give chase. This involves darting around, half hunched over trying to find a cat with an uncanny ability to blend into dark spots. I duck to miss the furnace and nail my forehead on the edge of the (large, white, very obvious) water heater. Ow. Breathe, breathe. Forgetting Beef, I race upstairs to the bathroom where I notice that part of my forehead moves independently from the rest. Oooh – I think I need to go the hospital. I put a washcloth on my forehead and call my husband. No answer, he’s still on the gig, which just ended. I panic and call the guitar player who luckily turned his phone on. By the time he answers, I’m crying and incoherent and can barely sob out that I need my husband home RIGHT NOW. He races home, we go to the hospital, and I get glued (!) together. In the excitement, Beef spent the night in the basement though, presumably chasing dust dunnies.

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Comment by Robin

WE ASSUME YOU’RE ALL RIGHT????

 
 
Comment by alix

I used to ride my bike everywhere when I was growing up. To school, to piano lessons, to soccer practice… I would crash it all the time. Once I was riding with my eyes closed, just gliding down the hill at the end of my block, confident that I would FEEL the leveling out of the street that indicates I’m about to ride into traffic. But I didn’t. So I rode out into traffic and was promptly hit by a poor kid just a few years older than I, driving with his brand new permit, and far more upset than I was. A middle-aged lady got out of her car screaming about how the boy ran me down and she saw the whole thing. The boy is crying, and I’m sitting there, rumpled heap of a bike all bent out of shape, with a small scrape on elbows and knees trying to reassure him that I did in fact ride out into the middle of the street, completely ignoring the stop sign or the fact that he was right there…

I’ve also hit parked cars, been clotheslined by downed telephone wires, been hit in the back by flying trashcans during windstorms (I really don’t understand the philosophy of the weather doing a lot of damage so send the kids home in it), ridden without gloves in hailstorms so that my hands are covered in blood, etc. And that’s just the bike riding.

Now, I mostly stick to my feet. Which doesn’t stop me from trying to fly. A few months ago, I had the biggest crash ever. It was crazy. I was walking, and my ankle sort of collapsed and I stumbled, so I tried to catch myself so I wouldn’t fall. Next thing I know my arms are pinwheeling out of control and I’m going faster and faster, before I’m sprawled out on the ground face first, a good five feet from where the ankle collapse/stumble first happened.

I closed my finger in the bathroom door at the Bed and Breakfast I was staying at to celebrate my honeymoon. My ring finger is still black under the fingernail. I’m just lucky I didn’t lose the nail.

I crashed face first into a beer glass wielded by a friend and wound up shattering the glass on my cheekbone. There was lots of blood and tiny shards of glass. And now a classy little scar on my cheek.

I tried to walk through a set of double doors with a group of friends and crashed into the metal bar that the double doors latch into in the middle. Face first.

But usually it’s small things. A twisted ankle here, a small crash there. Luckily I’m a really good driver. :)

Alix

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Comment by Robin
 
 
Comment by frabjouslinz

Oh, dear. I think maybe I fit in with this club too well. My best friend from childhood and I regularly called ourselves “Klutz of the world” from the time we were eight. With reason. I’m pretty sure my mom enrolled me in dance and gymnastics party as a way to combat my natural tendencies (the falling down ones).

I trip a lot. Due to the gymnastics and the dance classes, I don’t fall down as much as I used to. But I can trip over anything anywhere for any reason. Even if the thing I’m tripping over exists in a parallel universe. It always looks very pretty. If this happens on stairs, though, I fall down. Lots of falling down stairs anecdotes. Walls and doors and random furniture jump out to hit me as I walk by. I stumbled in the way of another gymnast flipping through the air and she landed on my head. Me: black eye. Her: I’m not sure. Definitely sprained foot, if not broken something. I didn’t know her, it was a meet. I have lost a permanent tooth due to running into the back of some kid’s head during recess, which has caused all sorts of fun dental procedures. And also led to other klutziness. (I once lost the retainer with the temporary tooth on it on an airplane. The entire airplane service staff had to look through the garbage for it. I was 11. I was humiliated.) I have been accidentally used as a sled down the side of a mountain for what seemed like hundreds of yards. Although technically that was my mother’s fault. Clearly it’s genetic. I have accidentally lit myself on fire, and thereby ended up with a black eye. (It’s…a long story.) I think my pets think it’s funny to watch me try not to step on them if they stand right under my feet. I once did a flying super-man fall onto my front because I was walking too fast and tripped on uneven sidewalk. Why was I in a hurry? I was going to buy some toe shoes for a ballet class I wanted to take. I walked into the store with bloody palms and elbows and knees scraped through my jeans *and tights*, although the material was still sound. Oh, and some kind passers-by had to bring me my shoes, as I’d left them a good six feet behind me. Somehow.

Um, that’s probably enough klutz of the world for one post, anyway. :p

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Comment by Alannaeowyn

Oooooh! I want one! Let’s see…..when I was learning to ride my bike we were coming home from a ride more or less around the block. I was racing my brothers home, and winning, but I was so occupied with going fast I guess I forgot how to steer? Anyway, I rode straight into the basketball hoop by the driveway and had an interesting bruise on my cheekbone for weeks.

When I was around eight my brothers and I decided it would be fun to have regular access to the roof of the shed. It’s a small shed, three-sided facing south, and it once housed a horse. More recently it’s sheltered goats and pigs. Anyway, we constructed a rickety, climbable-by-a-monkey sort of ladder of a pallet and a spiky branch with footholds. I made it up twice, but I had some trouble with down. The first time I got off lightly, just a scrape or two, but the second time…I’m not clear on what happened. Maybe I slipped. But I got a nice gash across my palm that hurt so much I didn’t even notice the chunk taken out of my (then rather chubby) calf. Anyway, that was the first time I needed stitches.

A few weeks ago I was taking alfalfa to the kids.One was penned because he always stole milk, and the other because he needed to be fed up. The entire herd was following the interesting and yummy hay, and I was concentrating on not letting it get stolen. So naturally I forget about the ram. You ever wonder where the verb “ram” comes from? Yeah. One minute I’m walking along, hoping I’ll make it to the gate, and the next I’m staring up at the sky, wondering how I got there. Ouch. Reinforcements arrived shortly, because Dad had been looking out the window and sent my little brothers out, but I was pretty shaky. My lower back was wrenched or something (gimme back the short little ram that only got my butt!) and there were some mystifying scrapes up my feet and shins. They’ve mostly healed now, but I still haven’t figured out exactly how they got there.

Do I qualify?

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Comment by Anonymous

. . . and then there was the time I was riding my bike with Small Son in the child seat behind me, and a dog ran in front of me (off lead, of course). My bike hit the dog and stopped; I did not. I landed on my left front upper tooth, knocking it completely out (and knocking askew several others) and SHATTERING my upper jaw. I also drove my lower teeth through my upper lip. It didn’t bleed much, and didn’t hurt at the time, but the surgery to repair everything was more painful than natural childbirth without drugs.

Small Son, aged 2, got a little scratch on his cheek.

My husband, who faints at the sight of other people’s blood, had to drive me to the emergency room. I had to cover my face with a towel so he couldn’t see the extent of the damage.

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Comment by Meredith B.

My story starts out normally enough. I was about seventeen years old, and wearing a pair of heels, which is an enormous mistake for me– my mother even questioned the decision as I was leaving the house in them that morning, but they were so cute! So naturally I fell down a flight of stairs. But it was the first of two flights, and I actually made it half-way down the second as well before I fetched up.

Which wouldn’t have been so embarrassing if it hadn’t happened on the steps down to the atrium of the church I was a member of at the time– a very large church– and it was between the two most popular services, and so I swear about half the congregation — we’re talking maybe four hundred people– saw it.

The damage was two sprained ankles, a pulled achilles tendon, and a massively bruised ego. I had to be carried out– which was so humiliating. I turn red just thinking about it even now, and this was about nine years ago. Incidentally, why do men think it’s so romantic for girls to be rescued by men and carried to safety? The truth is that it’s a bit humiliating, although I can laugh about it now.

The really ironic thing is that I teach ballet in my spare time! This kind of thing would be forgivable– not even necessarily kluzy– in anyone else, but ballerinas are expected to be models of grace and elegance. Yeah, right! The thing to remember about swans is that they are as gangly on land as they are graceful in the water.

It’s a running joke among my friends that I can trip on a perfectly flat surface, and turn my ankle even without the benefit of heels– I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve sprained an ankle, and I pack my ankle braces if I’m going to be out of town for any length of time. I’m fine in a studio and even passable on a stage, but the minute I’m not in my ballet shoes my coordination takes flight! If my students’ parents had seen me at the moment I fell down that flight of stairs, they would never pay good money for my services.

After that incident I didn’t dare to wear heels for five years, and even now I only put them on for weddings and funerals, and do so with fear and trembling– and carry a spare pair of flats just in case!

So am I klutzy enough?

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Comment by Rebecca WinkleBeam

My own stories aren’t all that interesting. So I’ll tell some about my heroine, my mother.

Her farm family didn’t have so much money so she wore her older brother’s jeans, folded up at the bottoms. One week before Easter little four year old Ann climbed over a wooden fence with her friend, and slipped. The cuff of her pants caught on the fence post and there she hung, upside down. ‘let me down’ she cried to her friend. One little lift of the cuff and Ann went down … right on her left arm. The neighbor who was watching the children took her to the hospital.

Ann couldn’t understand why they had to put her arm in a cast. When her dolls broke their arms they weren’t attached any more. Her arm was attached, therefor it wasn’t broken. Besides, she couldn’t wear her Easter dress if she had a cast on. So while the doctor tried to cover her arm in cotton she picked it off and threw it at him! (Yes, they did get it on eventually and she did get to wear her dress)

My Grandpa was a cowboy and my mother grew up on his tales. One day she and her brother decided that they wanted to ride a cow like a bull rider. So Grandpa took a heifer, tied a rope around her belly and asked who was first. Naturally Ann jumped on the heifer’s back and two seconds later landed in the manure pile! Her bother never did get on a cow after that.

hum. I guess that last one doesn’t have so much klutz in it. But it did help me realize why I try everything once. Inheritance from the women who at 66 is in better shape that I am at 33.

Rebecca WinkleBeam

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Comment by Aerin

My first comment on the blog. Being the human to a cat, have a number of klutz incidents that Scorn induced over the years. When we lived in a two story house, there was a catwalk that ran along beside the stairs with a railing. The top of it was mostly flat and about three inches wide. Scorn loved to show off by walking back and forth on top of it. One night when we were eating dinner, she slipped and fell down to the stairs, about ten feet. I ran over to see if she was all right, but more embarrassed than hurt, she raced back up the stairs to hide under my covers. In the process, she tripped me and sent me back down three steps. Bumps and bruises, of course, and I was more injured than she was. The next day, she was right back up on the banister.

Another Scorn-induced incident that I remember was caused by playing on my bed. She started to fall off, and I leaned way over to catch her. Of course, we both fell off the bed. She landed on her feet, but I landed on my rear.

I also walk around reading and have tripped a number of times doing that, but that doesn’t make for such a funny story.

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Comment by Robin

My first comment on the blog

********* Excellent! :)

 
 
Comment by Nicole

I can hardly walk across a flat surface without tripping over, falling down, banging into, or stubbing some part of my anatomy (doorways are particular lethal). So living in Wisconsin, where there is so much ice that they can’t put down any more salt without harming the environment, is extremely hazardous to my health. I am, in fact, the Queen of the Wipe-Out.

Just the winter before last (well actually it was technically spring, but the weather was still pretending it was winter), I managed to wipe out at a party on a bit of ice no bigger than a hand. In front of twenty people, with an open bottle of Bacardi Razz in my hand, while wearing a tank top. Needless to say I rode the bus home smelling like a lush and with a bleeding arm.

But this last winter I managed not to wipe out once! So the ice, miffed that it couldn’t drink my blood, retaliated. Instead of falling on the ice, the ice fell on me. I just barely bumped into a five foot icicle hanging off my roof, after banging my head (for the 501st time) on my hanging bird feeder. The whole reason for going out onto my balcony (with only socks on, in the middle of winter) was to refill that damn thing. The icicle decided at that exact moment to fall, showering my body with large chucks of ice. It broke three of my toes and bruised my tibia. Then of course I had to explain to everyone how I broke my toes, which was rather mortifying because nobody believed me. Most people just looked at my foot and said “How did you fall this time…” and when I explained that I wasn’t the one doing the falling they just raised their eyebrows and looked at me suspiciously.

But at least now I’m not alone, my cat is just as klutzy as I am, perhaps even more so because I don’t slip back off the bed when I get into it. Probably 4 out the 5 times she jumps onto something she misses (and lands on me) and if she does make it she usually ends up falling back off of it. She likes to fall off things when I’m trying to sleep. Like last night when she fell off the window sill onto my bedside table knocking over my lamp, alarm clock, and a glass of water. I thought cats were supposed to always land on their feet…

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Comment by Lianne

I hadn’t considered these really “klutzy” until I was reading some more of the entries, but now I think they might qualify. :-)

I MUST have something in reach of the bed to drink at night. It’s been necessary since I was old enough to hold a sippy cup. But these days the only thing allowed is a reclosable bottle of water. Aside from the cat ever so gracefully stepping around everything else, but managing to knock the full glass of water over to spill on the phone, into the sock drawer, into the kleenex, and onto my laptop (also now never allowed to sit near my nightstand), I have had two experiences that I will never forget:

1) I used to keep a bottle of hand lotion on my nightstand. No more. One night when I groggily reached for my drink, as I often do, I managed to grab the bottle of lotion instead and chugged it for a few seconds before I woke up enough to realize what was going on. For the record, lotion tastes NASTY.

2) I had again gotten thirsty in the middle of the night, but this particular night I had a glass of orange juice. I picked it up, but then forgot I was thirsty and kind of spaced out just holding it. When my awareness came back and I realized I was holding something, I turned it over in curiosity. Aaaand orange juice poured all over me and the bed. Not the best way to wake up, and I woke up really fast. :P

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Comment by Robin

For the record, lotion tastes NASTY.

********* This is a real spitting-tea-on-the-keyboard, wake-hellhounds-up anecdote.

 
 
Comment by Lisabella

Oh, dear. My entry must have been either (a) one of those entries eaten by WordPress or (b) not up to snuff. I wrote a shockingly clever tale of walking into a wall while talking (flirting, really) with a boy-at church-in front of the entire adult Sunday School class. But I have other klutzim qualifications–dropping a gallon of milk on the sidewalk and who knew that plastic could shatter? It does-and did-and milk went everywhere. Then there are the times that I try to pour my smoothies into a cup and the smoothie goes everywhere on the counter, except into a cup. And the peppercorns that I spilled all over the kitchen floor while trying to operate a peppergrinder. Oh, and the time I was changing a baby’s diaper, while babysitting, and accidentally let the *child* fall on the floor-that’s a bit more serious than spilled milk or smoothies or peppercorns, I dare say.

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Comment by Robin

I assume the baby is/was all right?!??

I wouldn’t delete you for being insufficiently klutzy–either WordPress ate it or it played its other trick, which is to decline to approve.

 
 
Comment by Kate S.

Most of my really awful moments tend to involve falling off things or throwing myself off things while trying to do something else.

You’d think my parents would have been warned when at the age of 18 months I took off in my little saucer/walker thing and cheerfully ran across the apartment, through the open door, and down two flights of stairs, burbling merrily all the way, but no. I’ve somehow managed to avoid really serious damage to either myself or the things and small animals around me, but stairs are still not my friends.

When I was about 15, I managed to break my baby toe on a cardboard box full of plastic bags. Now, in my defense, it was at the bottom of a (very short) flight of stairs, and I was running, but still. (This doesn’t count as major damage, since the main effect was “oh, look, my foot is turning *colors*!”)

A couple years later, in uni, I had my own car. It was very warm, and I tend to wear short-shorts when it’s really hot out. Somehow, getting out of the car, I managed to bump into the door in mid-thigh. Not hard, mind, just a sort of “oh, ow, where did that door come from” kind of thing. (I suppose it says something about me that I think that’s a normal thing to think.) I didn’t realize that I had managed to bruise up until a very nice Little Old Lady(tm) came up to me and very sincerely informed me that I didn’t have to put up with that sort of treatment and that I should tell my young man to treat me better or else. I didn’t even realize what she was talking about, and I can’t imagine which one of us was more embarrassed at the end!

I’ve had to start explaining to my friends about the pre-emptive “ow” — if something surprising happens, I tend to react automatically by saying “ow,” on the theory that it probably hurt, and if it didn’t then ow is at least non-profane. People tend to find this surprising the first few times, so I suspect it’s a sign that I hurt myself (in minor ways) a lot more often than most.

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Comment by Reading Angel

Kate! I say “ow” as my automatic response too! I have been mocked for it, and some of them think of it as a running joke(now if J even pokes me I’m expected to say “ow”, or even comes near to poking me)…

As I read all these other posts I keep thinking – Hey! Me too! and then when I come to post something I draw a blank again. My favourite klutz story actually involves my brother Jonny, but it’s a priceless story about how You Shouldn’t Be Arrogant.

My dad decided to teach me and Charismitaine and her brother how to fish at the lake at the bottom of the hill they lived on in Georgia*. So, my dad sets about explaining about casting and putting the bait on the hook and stuff and my brother is all swaggering because he has already learned how to fish. So then Jonny says “Hey guys, watch this!” He casts but forgets to let go of the button that actually sends the fishing line outward, so he swings his fishing pole and ends up catching his own nose! Charismitaine and her brother were absolutely mortified and I don’t believe they’ve been fishing since that day. The really funny thing was, a few months later we went fishing with uncles and cousins and Jonny caught his own forehead doing the exact same thing.

*the same one she was careening down in her bike story

Comment by Anonymous

I did go fishing one other time. AND EXACTLY THE SAME THING HAPPENED. I obviously carry bad fishing karma, and have never gone near any kind of fishing again. And in addition to that, as some point I developed a severe aversion to fish *shudder*

 
 
 
Comment by Shannon

Gidday

My most klutzy incident occurred the first (and last!!) time I went skiing. New Zealanders are mad for skiing – and after this, I consider the nation just mad! After mucking about on the baby slope for an hour the instructor forced us all to use the tow rope to go to the top of the slope then ski down. Well, I got to the top ok…. Halfway down I realised I was travelling at a velocity that fighter pilots only dreamed about and attempted to slow my descent. I met with success if you can count success as… sheering off sideways and scopping a small girl up on my ski’s, continued rapid descent – with child – and perplexed papa racing along behind, managing to shunt the child off to the side moments before my double cartwheel. What, you thought these were impossible to do in ski’s? Alas, I have disproved this theory. As my poor self finally shuddered to a halt ski’s at a nice horizontal angle to the slope a snowboarder hits my ski’s and catapaults overme. What happened to her? Who cares! I slunk off the slopes (pausing only to apologise the my kidnapee’s father) and tossed my ski’s away forever!

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Comment by Kathy_S

Somersaulting from a bicycle over an unmarked police car and breaking a shoulder was Not My Fault. And OK, I did break a wrist while watering hanging baskets — but surely my falling through rather than off the chair suggests a defective chair. However, I still can’t explain breaking a leg while running to catch the bus last year. Nor is there a non-klutzy excuse for the rather spectacular catching-hair-on-fire-while-blowing-out-birthday-candles. Plus, of course, the daily consequences of pitiful depth perception.

Actually, I suppose I could claim prior official recognition of my klutziness, as the bearer of the Klutz Pin for most of my career as a camp counselor. Said pin changed hands only when the bearer spied someone else engaging in acts of klutzdom. I don’t much remember the individual acts that kept bringing me this honor, other than missing the bridge and taking a mudslide into the creek between Evergreen Glen and the Infirmary, but it’s been a while. I doubt one could find a duck-headed diaper pin to serve as the award these days….

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Comment by Robin

Somersaulting from a bicycle over an unmarked police car and breaking a shoulder

******* Okay, I’m impressed. :)

 
 
Comment by danceswithpahis

Oh, so many stories…. There are of course the usual walking into walls, doorways, etc. And the European door handles (for those who haven’t seen them, they come straight out from the door for an inch or three and then go right at a 90 degree angle for maybe five inches) are my nemesis; somehow they always manage to catch onto my clothing and yank me off-balance, even if I’m trying to pay attention. I could also mention my bike, which since I have started riding more has chosen to beat me up on a regular basis (I now have what I call bike bite marks in multiple places on my right leg from my gear wheel nipping at me when I drop my bike). But those are more mundane.

One of my oldest such moments I don’t remember. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had this small, discreet scars on my upper lip. At one point in time I decided to ask my father what they were from. He couldn’t remember at first, and then he said (bonus points to all who pick out why his answer doesn’t work), “Oh, once when you were little you fell of the top bunk of a bunk bed and hit the back of your head really hard.”

(Okay, did you notice the problem with my dad’s story? Like, say, the fact that hitting the BACK of my head wouldn’t have scarred my LIP?? When I pointed this out he said something about having fallen off a [toy] horse another time. And then admitted that he wasn’t sure. Unfortunately, my mom had already died by this point in time and couldn’t tell me.)

I’ve had a few impressive falling incidents. I inherited bad ankles, and so have managed to sprain them a number of times (which of course makes them even weaker). The worst was when I was on tour with my folkdancing group*, and we had to wear character shoes (i.e., with heels). I had never worn heels, because I knew my ankles and I knew my limits, but I loved folkdancing so much that I decided to do my best with them. Well, we were in the middle of one of our performances, and my foot landed wrong and I fell. It was rather painful, although fortunately I had only twisted it instead of a sprain; since it was the middle of a performance I dragged myself back to my feet (fortunately I was at the back of the stage at the time so I can hope that most of the audience missed it) and made it through the rest of the dance without too much limping.

There was also the time in Romania when I was with a team. Part of my job there involved working with American/Canadian teams that would come work for 2-6 weeks with our orphans, and I had to look after them wherever they went. We were leaving Bucharest to return to our main location, and had to catch a train. All of us rushed down the subway stairs to the gates, and I took a ticket and passed everyone through, since most of the team members had never used a subway card before and this wasn’t the time to learn. The subway train was just pulling up, and so we were trying to hurry (since if we missed it and through horribly bad luck had to wait a long time for the next one and then for our connecting subway train we could have missed our normal train since we didn’t have tickets yet). Now, my Romanian housemate was also on my team, and was perfectly capable of keeping the team together and buying the tickets should I have missed this subway and needed to catch up with them at the train station. I, however, was rushing too much to think this through, and as I was letting everyone else through I was the last one. I tried to sprint through the turnstile… only to be thrown to the floor. I had my backpacking backpack on my back, full of lots of heavy things that I was taking with me for the month or so that we would be gone; one of its straps caught in the turnstile and I fell heavily on my thigh (much more so than usual because I was off-balance from my pack).

The adrenaline was racing strongly enough that I managed to pick myself up and RUN onto the subway, making it through the doors just before they closed. After this, however, the adrenaline went away and I could barely walk for the next day because of the pain. Thankfully it was only a horribly nasty bruise instead of anything worse. However, the day after this happened I had to walk all over town to run important errands; normally I would have asked my co-leader, that Romanian housemate I mentioned earlier, if she could take over because it hurt a lot to walk. However, she had gotten very sick (part of my running around involved getting her medicine, which took multiple stops in various locations) and so couldn’t. In the long run it was a good thing – walking it out made it heal better – but that was NOT my favorite day ever.

And finally, because I can’t let Black Bear have the only good zoo story… Last year when I was just starting at the zoo, I had to go meet my supervisor so she could show me around one of our supply closets. I had taken more time at something else than I should have, and I was still a bit nervous about making a good impression, so I decided to run down the hill towards our meeting place. Unbeknownst to me, a bee was flying about its own business in a bit of a hurry, in the same general vicinity as me. We collided at my lip, and as startled bees will do, she stung me. On the lip.

I was so surprised that I called my supervisor on the radio and stammered what had just happened, and she stammered back in an equally surprised manner that she’d bring up an ice pack. She was ready to send me home, but it didn’t hurt that badly (not sure why exactly) and I needed the hours, so instead I got to sit and chat with her for the next half an hour or so with an ice pack on my lip (which two activities do not combine particularly well; I wouldn’t recommend them). At the end of this she suggested that I put an Otter Pop on my lip as more ice. Now, you must understand that I had just spent the last several years living in Romania, and was behind on American brand names. Plus, when I was a kid we got Flavor Ices, not Otter Pops. So I thought she was refering to the frozen fish-sicles that we give the sea otters for enrichment. Not too crazy about this idea until she explained.

As an entertaining note to finish the bee story, my supervisor had to fill out an incident report. Among the questions she had to answer was one about the cause. “Wrong place, wrong time” wasn’t on there, so we went through all the options. Her first suggestion was, “Well, you did say you were running; perhaps this one about improper speed?” But the one that was our favorite was, “Not wearing appropriate protective gear.” We decided that from here on out, all education interpreters** would wear full-body protective bee gear at all times while outside, just in case.

So I hope that qualifies me! :)

danceswithpahis

*Anyone who wanted to go on tour could, so this wasn’t a sign of amazing dance ability or anything.

** Also called docents in most places.

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Comment by glinda

Heh. There are so very very many instances of my klutziness that they don’t even register when they happen, sort of an “oops” and blip! they’re gone from my memory in seconds.

One classic, when I was about 13 and we were at the lake. The dock didn’t connect to the shore, by about three or four feet, so I was backing up on the dock, toward the end, so I could run the length of the dock and then jump that three or four feet of water to land on shore. Right. I kept backing up, and backing up, and backed myself right off the dock and into the water. Still have a scar on my leg from that one.

I’m always all over bruises, don’t even remember what I did to earn them usually.

Today, though… made pancakes. Flipped one a bit … almost off the griddle. Salvaged it. In the process of that, knocked over the bottle of raspberry syrup. Said bottle was, of course, open. Oh, and that bottle going over took out, in an almost domino effect, my full cup of sumatra roast coffee.

Yeah, I’m a klutz. Always have been, always will be. At least, now that I’ve got peripheral neuropathy associated with the fibromyalgia, I’ve got an excuse of sorts. Doesn’t explain all those other occasions, though.

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Comment by dandelion_diva

When I was a kid, the main place to *be* at my grandparents’ house was the kitchen. That table had two chairs and two long benches. My Nana would sit on the left in a chair and I’d sit on the bench. Eventually, I’d forget that I was sitting on a bench, lean back and fall off. This happened *many* times, till I finally got it through my head that the bench really wasn’t going to grow a back.

We moved here at the end of June…I got the very bright idea to pack nearly all my bowls (cereal/soup, not mixing) in a box that used to hold two big bags of cereal. Our new home has hardwood floors throughout. As I was walking through the dining room to the kitchen, the bottom of the box (it was folded, not glued and I’d never thought to check) opened and a rain of bowls fell. Not one survived. Even worse, the dust pan was at the old place! On the good side, we got things cleaned up and there were no cuts. On the bad side, I will *miss* those penguin bowls.

When I was five or six, I started taking ballet and tumbling lessons. At the end of the course, my teacher gently suggested to my mother that, perhaps tap would be better, as I wasn’t really graceful enough for ballet.

Odd, I can’t think of anything else right now. And yet, I know there’s more. Oh well, I suppose I’ll go with quality over quantity this time. :)

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Comment by Susan in Melbourne

Reading Southdowner’s contribution about a badly-behaved show dog has just given me a blast from the past.
About 25 years ago, I was showing my Gordon Setter, Meg, at a country agricultural show. She was young and not particularly well-trained at the time. I was young and slim, and looked very fetching in a halter-neck summer dress with a tight bodice with three buttons down the front.
Into the show ring, Meg started playing up to the extent that she lay down and rolled on her back as the judge came to her. I bent over to pull her upright, and in the exertion, I popped off the top two buttons on my bodice. Halter-neck = no bra. Covered with confusion, but not much else, I desperately tried to wrestle the dog into submission with one hand, using the other to clutch my dress together.
In the end, the judge had to hold the dog while I used the show number badge to pin the dress back together, and we then carried on with judging. We didn’t win anything. Hmmm…….

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Comment by Robin

Male or female judge? :)

Comment by southdowner

ROFLOL! How I empathise!

 
 
 
Comment by TinaB

My usual is to fall. Down stairs. On flat surfaces. One time I went on both knees on a cement floor. They were so injured that the sports doctor forbade kneeling or stooping for a year. Of course within that year I fell again, and to avoid creaming the injured knees I locked them so I went down on my front — taking all the skin off both hands. It still hurts to kneel, and it has been 20 years.

Every time I go to WorldCon I fall. Down stairs in San Diego. Over a hole in the brick sidewalk in Toronto.

And then there was the time my car door knocked me over as the car rolled backward across the street. Argh!

Down stairs in a mall. Down the hill on a firend’s lawn, which knocked my hip out and shortened my stride to 8″.

Chiropracter: “When did you fall.”
Me: (stupidly) “Fall?”
Chiro: “Yes, fall. Your hip is way out of alignment.”
Me: “Oh. Last December, I think.”

There are dozens and dozens more. Of course.

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Comment by Rebecca

My favorite klutz moment occurred in college during my battle of wits to the death with a cute guy on the floor below me. It was more of a serious of events, culminating in me claiming victory because he had tripped over the table, or some similar minor bout of clumsiness, and clearly clumsiness shows a lack of wits. This, of course and unbeknownst to him, was preceeded by my WHOLE day of clumsiness, including cutting my hand pretty badly while making snowflakes (I had the genius idea to make paper snowflakes and then dangle them from my ceiling) and slamming my other hand in the door. I just sat on my hands and he had no idea.

That same year, one of my friends fell up the stairs onto the boys’ floor and managed to unbutton her top 5 buttons. If I was still in touch with her, I’d nominate her.

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Comment by Robin

a serious of events

********* It certainly was! :)

one of my friends fell up the stairs onto the boys’ floor and managed to unbutton her top 5 buttons

********* !!!!!!!!!

 
 
Comment by Loramir

I am not “disgustingly neat, coordinated, focused and fault-free,” but all of my klutz moments are decidedly dull. Most relate to my habit of inadvertently walking over curbs and steps, and the fact that I used to live a bedroom with ceilings that slanted down to about 3 feet above the floor (I’m 5’10).

So I’m going the “domestic animal” route, because cats being clumsy is pretty much always funny! :)

My cat, Sparkle, though she has gotten slightly more graceful now that she’s almost 2, was extremely clumsy as a kitten and young adult, and I have enjoyed numerous laughs at her expense. She still has a tendency to misjudge jumps. We now live at my parents’ house, which has wood floors. She loves to chase toys and balls, but has trouble getting traction on the slippery floors, which has resulted in more amusing incidents.

Back when we lived in my college apartment, she was even worse. Frequently, in the way of weird cats everywhere, Sparkle enjoyed feline frenzies around our small apartment, tearing around like a hellcat, caroming off of every piece of furniture, and making maximum noise by catching her claws in the carpet with every step. In this apartment we had a low coffee table covered in books, magazines, and various papers (syllabi and drafts of papers, mostly, seeing as two of us were English majors). Often (ridiculously often, actually – you would think she’d learn), Sparkle would bounce off some other piece of furniture and make a flying leap onto the coffee table. Landing on a pile of glossy magazines and paperbacks at considerable speed and force, she would coast atop a magazine, usually all the way across the table and onto the floor. Eventually, we got tired of picking up all the books and magazines she knocked off and started keeping them in a basket.

Also, on frenzies around my bedroom, she’d attempt to jump across my bed into a favorite hiding place, the crack between the bed and the wall (usually using my head as a mid-jump bouncing point), but many times she’d overshoot her jump, and rather than jumping directly into the crack, she’d jump directly into the wall, bounce off, and fall inelegantly into the crack.

The funniest episode of cat clumsiness, however, was the time she fell from the top of the spiral staircase in our apartment. When we were sitting around the dining table doing homework, Sparkle liked to sit at the top of the stairs, regarding us like a queen surveying her minions. Usually after sitting for a while, she’d decide to roll around on the step, playing with the dangling threads from the cheap carpet and playing hide and seek over the edge of the stairs. One night as I was eating and watching my roommate the math major do insane math problems, Sparks was rolling around on the top step when she suddenly just rolled off the edge! She didn’t land on her feet, but immediately picked herself up and strode off purposefully toward the kitchen as if to say, “This was my intention all along; I was just taking a short cut!”

I have to admire cats’ ability to brush off an embarrassing klutz moment and act as though it was part of their plan the whole time. When I do something clumsy in front of people I am mortified and remember it for years afterward with just as much humiliation when it happened. This sounds rather like something from one of those cheesy “Everything I need to know in life I learned from my cat” books, but it’s true! It’s probably the only thing I’ve learned from my cat, anyway, seeing as she’s usually certifiably insane.

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Comment by Robin

Insane critters are the best, though. :)

 
 
Comment by A. Bear

In some families it’s genetic, you know.

A few years ago I had decided to try a divine-sounding Apple Cider pie at Christmas. (Basically you take a gallon of cider and reduce it forever until it’s just enough to fill the pie – with ginger meringue….oooooh YUM!!!!) We always do these gatherings at my dad’s place because they have space, and we don’t. All was well – I’d even managed to get the pie into the oven in my best pyrex pan with the contents intact (fully covered-and-sealed ice cube trays were made for ME) and it baked up beautifully. I had my hands in something or other when it was done, so my dad took it out of the oven and set it on an empty burner to cool. Just at the moment I was going to tell him “Dad, that burner is hot!” the pan exploded, firing pyrex shrapnel across the kitchen, into the dining room and hallway, while the crust collapsed, and the semi-gelatinous mass of filling sank slowly in the West, and rapidly into the space under the burner and drip pan. AAAARGH!!! No injuries, but we found glass in odd places all night. (I tasted the drippage. It was absolutely wonderful – and had an odd crunch here and there…)

My Dearly Beloved had rheumatic fever as a kid, and it left him with a profound deficit in the sense the neurologists call “proprioception.” It’s the inherent sense of where your body and all its parts are. If you close your eyes, you still know where your hand is. He doesn’t. My good dishes will always be Corelle, and my “fancy” glassware will be cheap barware. (I used to visit the Wedgwood “strawberries” pattern in the store every once in awhile just to feed my soul.) He’s fallen down the basement stairs several times because he kept moving when he looked up to be sure he wasn’t going to hit his head – and in so doing, he “lost” his feet.

Me? I have the quilting disease, and I’ve been known to efficiently stitch my finger into my work with some frequency…

Let’s not even go into questions of grace or athletic ability. I drove my high school gym teacher to distraction batting my tennis racket over *here* when the balls were over *there*. And God Did Not Build This Body To Run. It’s downright comical; more of me goes up and down than forward.

Our children are doomed; we told them long ago that if they wanted to be tall and graceful, they should have chosen different parents. When she was six, my daughter replied that we (her parents) were “Blue Light specials, almost as good as the real thing.” Needless to say, we are so proud of her. She’s a klutz just like her parents.

But ya know, ya does what you gotta does, and you makes the best of it. I am never going to be tall, long legged or graceful, and I know what I look like in a swimsuit. But long after the slim, athletic, tanned and gorgeous people have done their three laps and gotten out, I’m finishing my mile. And then I waddle out and go home. :)

There are not too many benefits to being “squat” but I can think of two: I can buy some capris and they fit me as full length pants, and and I have PLENTY of legroom on commercial airplanes. Mind you, I am well accustomed to the **smack** of my laptop bag falling down as I trip over the lines in the air going down the jetway or into the plane, but I have room to stretch once I get to my slot.

Can i please have a FAMILY membership?

Lots of love from a klutz – but a reasonably well-adjusted one.

Sharon

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Comment by Robin

SNORK. I like it that your two gene groups FOUND each other. At least I THINK I like it. I’m worried about your children. :)

Comment by Anonymous

Don’t worry. (ominous music) Be afraid… Be very afraid!!!!
[dissolves into fit of giggles] Actually, the kids are fine. The scales and antlers barely show in the Christmas pictures.

Comment by Robin

Um, we’re obviously mid-something here. User name please?

 
 
Comment by A.Bear

Sorry – I’m not used to the format yet. Some of these blogs “know” you, and some don’t. Please excuse!

BTW, I can relate to your Hellhounds. We’ve had our current dog for about 8 months. She was a twice-rescue, and we found one another at the Humane Society. She’s about 2 now. Mommy was a french mastiff. Daddy was a greyhound. She takes almost entirely after Daddy, except for the head, which is definitely not greyhound. She has the longest legs of anybody in the house (see above). It’s rather like walking a deer. A deer that lunges after anything that moves – love those sighthounds! Never walked without a leash, not even in the yard; she could clear the fence in a heartbeat. We have her in a “figure-8” collar, because from her shoulders to her nose is almost a perfect cone, and plain collars come right off if she puts her head down and shakes – and she knows it.

Combine a dog of this nature with our natural lack of grace… after a few wild walks, it became apparent that when walking with dog and children, whoever had the leash needed to be IN FRONT to avoid clotheslining/garrotting various kidlets as one spun to avoid being super-lassoed.

Comment by Robin

I FEEL for you! Fortunately my guys are only 80 pounds the TWO of them!

 
 
 
 
Comment by anne_d

What a kalamitous kollection of klutzy katastrophes. Perhaps we should kreate a kommune or kolony of klutzes, or a klutz kibbutz, for kollective komforting of our kountless injuries.

(Sorry, ran out of ks.)

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Comment by Robin

Ksure, Kabsolutely! :) Kwe KARE kthe Klutzim Kibbutz! :)

Comment by anne_d

Kapital! Kgive kthat kwoman ka kookie! Khocolate khip? :-)

Comment by Robin

Kyes Yplease. :) (Remember pig Latin? :))

 
 
Comment by anne_d

I remember pig Latin, and I am very grateful that the demihellgoddesses (aka The Daughters) never learned it.

[Passes plate of cookies to Robin]

Comment by Robin

[which Robin accepts]

 
 
Comment by southdowner

****** (Remember pig Latin? :))

Arpoo yarpes! Sarpouthdarpownarper harpere Larpol!

Now it’s official! I’m nuts – I used to walk to school singing in pig latin – ever tried Yellow Submarine? (Needs to be sung very fast at times :))

Comment by Robin

Oh, eep! This isn’t the pig Latin I know! I know the -ay variety!

 
 
 
 
Comment by handyhunter

I think falling off a horse at the halt takes some special skills. No alcohol or drugs involved either.

It was the end of our ride and a bunch of us were standing around the middle of the indoor ring, chatting, and the horses were standing relaxed on a loose rein. Then snow fell off the roof, as it had been doing all day, and the horse I was on startled and stepped sideways. I did not go with her and ended up seated on the ground, right where she’d been standing. It was such a quiet involuntary dismount too; the mare just stood there, a few feet away, looking somewhat surprised. It took a few minutes for someone to notice that we’d parted company. I think one of them had turned around to ask me a question, only to find me no longer in the saddle.

As falls go, this is probably the best way to do it, surprised and boneless. You don’t get enough time to panic or stiffen up so you hit the ground hard(er). That fall didn’t even leave a bruise. The worst kind is when you know you’re going to fall off and don’t (or can’t) do anything about it and you get launched, and spend several moments in the air thinking about how much it’s going to hurt when the ground comes back up to meet you.

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Comment by Robin

YES. (Also, LOL! :))

 
 
Comment by Kenaressa

A couple years ago, I was working in Japan and I often had to ride my bicycle to the train station. One day I was in a hurry (as one often is when trying to make a certain train) and was going through a big intersection near my apartment perhaps a bit faster than I should have…halfway through (one street crossed but not the other) I had to stop suddenly for the changing light. This wouldn’t have been a problem except that recently my town had put in all sorts of new “traffic safety” features, including cement barrier/kerbs on some intersections that were about 6 inches high and 4 or so wide. As I brought my bike to a rather sudden stop, it came to my attention that I was way too close to one of these barriers…and I had no way to stop myself tipping over it. Being as close as I was, my leg got caught between the cement and my bike, pinning it and pitching me off sideways into the street (fortunately no cars were going by just then). Even though I was wearing gloves I scraped up the palms of both hands and through my pants I scraped my shin (on the leg that was caught) so badly that the veins were clearly visible before the bleeding started.

Afterwards, with dignity bruised but not actually hurting yet, I limped across the street to a 7-11 (which are wonderful places in Japan) and freaked out the attendant by showing him my wounds…he gave me free first aid, even though my language skills weren’t good enough to ask for it. And, I made my train. ^_^

Even though it was a bit over two years ago, I still have an indented scar on my shin, about the length of my index finger…it seems than anytime I do lasting damage to myself, a bicycle is involved.

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Comment by Emily in NM (or right now, UT)

Two weeks ago I managed to shut the right side of my rear end in a car door. The resulting bruise is still making it virtually impossible for me to sit for any length of time. (No, I’m not sure how I managed to do it, which is the case with just about all of my many klutz moments.)

Once I managed to extract myself from the car door, and shut it again (not on any body parts this time), I noticed that the second time, I shut my CAR KEY (that is, the key I would need to open the door of the car to get the keys out) in the door.

I don’t know how I did that either.

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Comment by rouan

I have a few I can think of off the top of my head. Literally, in fact! When I was 3 or 4 years old, we lived in a wonderful, old house that my siblings and I still talk about. My father was in the basement talking to some man who had come over. We had all been told to stay away from the basement door, but I wanted to hear what they were talking about and got too close to the stairs, lost my balance and fell down the flight of steps, splitting my chin open and bleeding all over the place. My father picked me up, spanked me for disobeying, and raced me to the hospital (Apparently I had done a fine job on myself, he told me much later that he could see down to the bone). I distinctly remember lying on an operating table with a cloth over my eyes to protect them from the bright light while they stiched my chin up and screaming “I want Daddy”. The scar on my chin is still evident…

Maybe a year later, still at the same house (we lived there maybe a year and a half) I was out in the yard and saw a stone that I thought was very interesting. I picked it up and decided to see how high it would go if I threw (did I spell that right?) it into the air. I know, you already know what happened…. it landed on the back of my head. It didn’t knock me out, but I have a small bald spot where it landed.

A few years later, at a new house, I cut my toe on something and then went “swimming” in the cow pond with the neighboring farmer’s daughter. F case of blood poisining issued and I was warned to stay out of the cow pond at all costs. (another scar remains to this day.)

hmmm, I seem to have a lot of small scars from these occurences. I’ll skip forward many years to a few years ago. My DH and I went hiking in one of our favorite places. We walked up a stream bed, climbed many waterfalls and just before we reached the last one, I slipped on a wet rock. Yes, I had on hiking shoes, but sometimes even hiking shoes aren’t enough and I landed on my behind. Unfortunately, when I went down, my little finger just caught the edge of a sharp rock and was sliced open. We had to hike out (about half an hour) with me holding a tissue over the finger to try to contain the bleeding. A visit to the emergency room (this was over a holiday weekend, no regular dr offices were open) was necessary. I had to walk in there with a muddy behind and wait to be taken care of. Several stitches and a tetanus shot later, I was finally able to go home and change into something more comfortable.

Oh yeah, there’s also the time when I intercepted one of my cats trying to attack one of the others and getting the bite meant for the other cat. The next day, my hand was swollen and red. I had the men in installing my new kitchen floor and I left them there, saying I was going to have my hand looked at. The urgent care facility wouldn’t take me, they sent me directly to the emergency room where I had to have an iv drip with major antibiotics. They wanted to admit me overnight but I told them I had to go home since I had left men installing my new kitchen floor. The emergency dr drew a line with a black marker on my arm and said if the swelling went past the line I HAD to come back and be admitted. He said I could potentially lose that arm if the infection went any higher. I very meekly agreed and made it home just as the men were finishing my floor. Fortunately, the swelling started going down and I didn’t lose the arm. (Be very careful about cat bites, I hadn’t realized they could be so potent!)

Does this qualify me for the klub?

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Comment by Grinkler

I unfortunately don’t have any huge, spectacular stories…but I do have quite a few small ones:

There’s a park behind my neighborhood which has (technically) two entrances from the front of the neighborhood: 1) a nice little sidewalk all paved out just for children who want to get to said park, and 2) a decidedly less nice opening between two rows of houses that is overgrown with tall trees, blocking out quite a bit of sunlight. My friends and I (of COURSE) preferred the latter path since the collection of tree roots jutting up out of the ground made the trip to the playground almost as exciting as being at the playground itself. So one day during the daily Race to the Park, I tripped on a tree root and cut my knee open on another. I still have the scar, which actually looks like a cigar burn. *sigh*

In the sixth grade I managed to get another mark on myself, this time on the bridge of my nose: While coming back inside from recess one day I was swinging my jacket around. We had to pass these huge…concrete blocks (I honestly don’t know how else to describe them and frankly, I still have no idea why they were there). I found that when I closed my eyes on this fine sunny day and passed my hand over my closed eyes, the resulting shadow was actually entertaining. My jacket’s shadow was even MORE interesting. And so it was that I managed to walk straight into one of the large evil concrete objects with my eyes closed. The proof is clearly visible in my sixth grade photo.

Once at soccer practice I ran straight at a STATIONARY SOCCER BALL, tripped over it instead of kicking it, and scraped up my right arm and that side of my face. My teammates declared it was a good thing that I now had battle scars…unfortunately the battle was against something which I theoretically should have won.

Another occasion I was bent over the desk on which we kept the family computer because my notes were in my lap. My forehead was about an inch from the edge of the desk when the most deadly sneeze I have ever experienced came out of nowhere and BAM! my forehead smacked right into the desk…somehow I don’t think I ever quite recovered from that one.

And this last one (as if I haven’t bored you enough) I guess wasn’t actually my fault, but it’s another Scar Story: At my All-Night Grad Party on the night I graduated from high school, the DJ who’d been hired was tossing prizes out to us graduates. I admittedly wanted some of those fuzzy dice (they would probably cause a car accident for me, but that doesn’t change the fact that I WANT them) so I stuck out my hand to catch them. In the space of about a split-second five or so girls with claws as sharp as a feline’s slammed into me, grappling for the dice and cutting up the inside of my right arm. I sat on the ground speechless for a moment before I went to the bathroom to spend the next ten minutes washing off my wound. Someday perhaps I’ll have my Sweet Revenge.

Hopefully my escapades incited some laughs instead of some yawns…But I hope this is enough to admit me to the jolly old Klutz Klub! :)

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Comment by Julia

Hmm. Reposting as my first try seems not to have gone through [from a week or two ago. Can’t really remember. Doesn’t really matter.]
I believe that I described my day full of klutziness when this was first discussed, but I suppose I must post something else here to qualify. [remember, Robin, you said, and I quote: “You qualify for a FREE LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP. Now please *stay alive.*” ] http://robinmckinleysblog.com/2008/08/03/october-in-august/
:)
SO-
I am constantly walking into things, falling over nothing, randomly stumbling or collapsing, falling up stairs even more often than I fall down them, etc etc etc.

I broke my toe when I ran into a wall a few years ago. Actually it was slightly ridiculous, because it was a Friday the 13th [I don’t remember what month though].

Um. When I was little [like three or four. Maybe five] I was sitting on my mom’s lap and slid down her legs and smacked into the corner of the coffee table and cracked open my head and had to get stitches and such. What else. I have had bad knees since forever- had surgery in 2nd grade and physical therapy for years, but that is no fault of my own and thus not really klutz-ish.
Let’s see, now. I have a burn scar on my leg from a flying marshmallow that hit my leg and stuck there… and it was on fire. which hurt. a lot.

But mostly I am just klutz-ish on a day-to-day basis. Lots of suddenly crumpling to the floor, running into trees and doors and things. Falling out of trees. Falling off bikes. Falling out of my chair. Falling over my feet.
Oh! And I was running down the hill in front of my house trying to fly a kite [I think this was freshman year of high school], being silly and having a good time, when all of the sudden I was no longer running, but flipping head over heels and THUMP OW UGH pain- I gave myself a concussion flying a kite. Good fun, that.
I am one of those people who is constantly discovering bruises and cuts and things and generally not having the foggiest idea how they got there, as I so often fall or run into things like corners and doorknobs and walls and rocks and dust motes and bookshelves……………..

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Comment by Robin

Ow! Be NICE to yourself!

Comment by Julia

I am. I promise.
So? Did I post in time? Do I qualify?
Because I sent you an email at 2am -ish, right after posting here, with my address here at school.

: )

Hugs and so on.

Comment by Robin

If I’ve got your street address, you’ll get your card. :) I’m not doing this at the blistering speed of light, you know . . .

 
 
Comment by Julia

I know. I wasn’t whining or complaining or anything. Far from it!
It is just that everyone else has actual stories. I just fall down a lot. A LOT. Nothing special about that.
:)
And since so many people have already done their bit posting here right away, and you said there was a limited number of cards…..

Pay no heed to my ramblings- I have a lecture that my Anthropology professor said we get extra credit for attending, and I still need to eat, so I’m dashing away.
[well, maybe I’ll dash after I get outside. There are two flights of stairs that I need to go down first, which are just waiting for me to fall down them if I try to run.) :)

Hugs etc.
–Julia

Comment by Robin

DO NOT FALL DOWN ANY STAIRS. THAT’S AN *ORDER*.

I’ve still got a lot of cards left. Well, relatively a lot. I’ll probably post about this in another week or so in case anybody hasn’t bothered to post because they think it’s too late.

 
 
Comment by Angelia

I’ve emailed my story, but I don’t think it ever got through. I do have the right address, no?
nuraddin@robinmckinley.com

Comment by Robin

Yes, that’s right. You mean you’ve posted it here and never seen it turn up? **Keep trying.** But remember I’m not getting the membership cards out very fast (ahem). There’s a pile on the corner of my desk now waiting for me to go to the PO and *buy more stamps.*

 
 
Comment by Angelia

I hadn’t posted this here; I thought it was supposed to go through email. . . ah well–perhaps later I can send my address

I was staying in a hotel for a conference, and in the middle of the night, I got up to go—well, you know. I didn’t bother closing the bathroom door—I was the only person staying in the room. I also didn’t bother turning on the light. Big mistake. After finishing my business, I was feeling my way out of the bathroom with my hands in front of me in the approved fashion, when WHAM! I hit the door edge on—I had managed to feel my way right into it. Black eye, bloody nose, and I even kicked the d***ed door and stubbed my toe. Try explaining that sort of towering klutziness at a conference where you are supposed to be learned and scholarly! Needless to say, I have learned a lesson. No, I still don’t turn on the light, but I cross my thumbs in front of me when feeling my way in the dark so nothing can slip past me.

 
 
 
Comment by Jax

I’m not sure how klutzy I am tbh, but the few times that I’ve really injured myself, it’s been in slightly embarrassing ways. Like the time when I was 14 when I was riding my friend’s pony back to the field (bareback, because we didn’t want to have to carry the saddle back to the stables, it was a long walk) and the pony decided he would like to be there a lot faster, so bolted with me, even jumping a pile of brush in the way and I stuck on no problems, right until he turned into the gateway to a field, and slowed to a trot and I bounced right off the side of him. Landed on one arm, one knee and my head, grazed my nose, which really hurt, but didn’t discover I’d broken my arm (which just didn’t seem to want to work) until at the hospital they tried to take my jumper off and I tensed and everything suddenly really hurt. It was black and completely the wrong shape, and they said, oh yes, that’s broken and I said, but it can’t be, I have a violin exam, and they said, not any more you don’t.

Does that qualify me? Sending address in hope.

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Comment by Othella

While I have had many moments of klutzy behavior, such as losing my grip on my laptop while taking it up to my dorm room and watching it tumble it’s way down two flights of stairs (it was ok… that was three years ago, and it’s what I’m using right now!), falling down the stairs in my house, doing the splits on the slippery floor in the bathroom because my brother moved the rug (OW!!), doing the splits on the lake when my friend and I decided to walk across it in the winter to save over a mile off of our walk home after we missed the bus home from school, and the numerous times I’ve sprained my wrists and ankles while roller blading, running or walking on ice, the one moment that actually stays with me best is one where no one was harmed or hurt – unless you count my pride.

I was visiting my boyfriend at his new apt. and was making us a simple meal, just cereal, and oranges. Well, they don’t have a table, and his knee was injured, so he was sitting down at his desk in the livingroom and I was going to take everything out there.

Instead of taking two trips with the two bowls of dry cereal, plate of cut up oranges and the jug of milk, I decided to be really clever and take it all out at once. It was working just fine until I realized that I still needed to turn off the light in the kitchen (his roommate would throw a huge fit if any lights were on for even a moment after you were no longer in that room.) So I have the jug of milk and plate of oranges in one hand and the bowls of cereal stacked with the spoons in the other. That’s the hand I chose to try to flick the switch. Of course the top bowl falls off, and cereal goes everywhere, and I look up and he’d seen the whole thing!

I rushed to set everything down on the coffee table and ran back to scoop up the cereal, by this time the cats have joined to help get it all up – not a good thing as they are both not supposed to have human food or they get really sick. My boyfriend got up and came over and got down on his hands and knees to help scoop up the big stuff, even as I’m begging him not to for his knee’s sake (he got jumped on his way out to his car after work and the attacker completely blew out the knee to the point that he’s not supposed to stand on it and it needs to be replaced as there’s only 1 or 2 ligaments left holding it together on one side), but of course, he’s the big tough man and insists on helping.

I’m still thoroughly embarrassed about it and chide myself for the stupidity and vanity of the moment. If I’d just taken two trips or even just turned the light out before I picked everything else up, it wouldn’t have happened.

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Comment by redzils

I have lots of Klutzim stories, but this one still makes me cackle when I think of it.

Long ago and far away, I wanted to make it onto the varsity cross country skiing team, so I agreed to join the cross country running team. I was slow, and cranky, and terrifically miserable, but I could usually keep up for a little while at the beginning, before all those sighthound types disappeared into the distance.

So, one day with lots of witnesses – a girl running on each side of me and two boys behind us – I dropped out of the conversation. I mean, literally. I was running along and managed to put my right foot through the rabbit ear of my left shoelace bow, and WHAM! down I went. Fortunately the guys behind me were on the track team too, as they had to *hurdle jump* over my prone, bloody self, lying in the road. There was a lot of blood and a lot of damaged teenage ego, but I lived and continue Klutzing to this day!

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Comment by Megan

I don’t know if this counts as klutzy, but when I was two, my dad put me in my high-chair. He turned away to get the little tray that, significantly, as served as a LOCK to keep tiny, apparently active, me from falling out of the chair. In the intervening seconds, I took advantage of my lack of restraint. I apparently decided I needed to get down, or wanted to practice my gymnastic skills, so I decided to get down. I ended up catching my chin on the table, and probably causing mass panic within my parents. They rushed me to the emergency room and several stitches, and lots of blood later, I had a lovely souvenir of the experience. I don’t even remember the experience, but the scar’s still there and it raises up when I get cold :)

When I was in high-school, I made routine trips to the eye-glass guy to get my glasses straightened. The volleyball apparently liked my face more than my arms, where it was SUPPOSE to land. I eventually learned to perform minor surgery on my lenses so that I didn’t have to head to the doctors every time I got hit in the face. Basketball also seemed to think my face or my was the appropriate place to rebound off. I learned that my fingers mimic pregnant purple boa constrictors nicely; they swelled up so bad, I couldn’t even play the piano.

As an adult, I’ve continued the wonderful tradition. I work at a library, and bruises the exact height of the table adorn my hips quite frequently. I also know how to make lots of noise by dropping stacks of cds on the floor. Paper cuts are also facts of life, coming with the territory of working with wonderful books. All of us who work there do it, so we decided that it’s product of the library-induced klutziness and our own klutzy skills. We can’t possibly be that klutzy on our own! :)

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Comment by Grinkler

Why hello again! Your post about how you still have spare membership cards prompted me to post again, since I wasn’t really sure if the fact that there was no response to my first post last week or so meant that I qualified…so here I am with a few more stories which my friends were outraged I did not include in my first post:

As I was walking around downtown Osaka (Japan) with my friends this summer, I was (understandably) distracted by all of the outrageously decorative advertisements surrounding us. All over Japanese streets are these weird little poles (whose function I have to say I don’t understand) that are just about as high as my waist. As I absentmindedly followed my friends, gaping up at all the pretty colors, I walked RIGHT into one of the poles (yes, right in the groin area). But instead of just stopping and stepping back in pain (I did manage to give out a loud OOF), I walked RIGHT OVER THE POLE, which a couple of my friends managed to turn around just in time to see. Considering that this is now an inside joke, I don’t think I’ll ever live that one down.

While at an academic competition being held at a local college (which is actually the school I go to now, woo!), some of my friends were walking back to the competition rooms from lunch. I had a chocolate milk in my hand leftover from lunch that I didn’t want to throw away as we got onto the elevator. I was in the middle of telling a story, and I tend to talk with my hands. The chocolate milk was still in one of those hands (I SWEAR the cap was ON! I swear!) so right as I made a particularly violently jerky hand motion, the cap of on the milk decided to FLY OFF, spraying chocolate milk all over the elevator and all over my friends, who proceeded to scream at the tops of their lungs (the girls did, that is. The guys simply stood there in amazed silence.) as I yelled, “I’M SORRY, I’M SORRY!!!” over and over again. To this day I wonder if the people in the elevator shaft next to us thought I had accidentally murdered someone.

And finally: During high school orchestra rehearsal one day, the spot where I had placed my chair was a bit…uneven. We were rehearsing on the stage that day, so the cello section was literally on the very edge of the stage. I put a pile of papers and folders under one leg of the chair to keep it steady during rehearsal, but at the end of rehearsal when I was putting the papers back in my backpack, I sort of…forgot that the chair would wobble without their support. So I leaned back on the chair to reach for something, and over the chair went, bringing me and my cello with it (thank GOD I was using one of the school’s cellos and not mine which costs more than a car). I heard an awful twang of the cello as I went sailing over the side of the stage and tumbled down the steps after the chair. I have to admit this was all very exciting, but when I hit the bottom I was so shocked that I didn’t move for a few seconds. I realized as I was lying there that everyone had STOPPED what they were doing. I also realized that the cello had made such a horrible noise, so I scrambled back up the steps (still on hands and knees, mind you) to pluck the cello’s strings and see if it was okay. I proceeded to get yelled at for caring more about the cello’s condition than my own (hey, you would too if it were a wooden instrument more fragile than your own body).

I can’t think of any other stories which deserved to be put up here…And I also think I’m not too clear on the Klub procedure, so I guess I should go ahead and e-mail you my information in the next couple of days…?

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Comment by Laura in Brooklyn, NY

Well, this isn’t a specific occurrence, because I’ve been lucky enough (so far) not to injure myself enough to need hospital attention. It’s really more a way of life.
But this is something with which my sister and I are both afflicted. When we laugh, if something is really truly hilarious, we fall down. Bam: the legs turn into noodles and my husband dashes over to get a chair under me, or bodily drags me to a chair, whichever is easier, before I collapse in a puddle on the floor. My sister is even better: before she falls, she freezes, which leads to all sorts of fun mimicry on our part of the strange face and position into which she has frozen, which only compounds her laughter and frozenness before she slowly keels over onto the floor.
Then there are the “minor” klutz issues; I don’t have a particularly developed sense of spatial relationships, so I am constantly nearly dislocating my shoulders against doorframes when I attempt to walk through them. I am also able to lose my balance while standing still.

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Comment by Laura in Brooklyn, NY

Oh, and once I sprained my ankle while walking the dog home from the vet. Apparently a runt sheltie is strong enough to pull me off balance significantly so that my entire ankle cracks.
We were just crossing the street! (Well, stepping up to the curb after crossing the street). Poor Libby didn’t understand why we had to limp down the driveway when she was so excited to be going home.

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Comment by Sarah_W

I am convinced that my superpower is the ability to hook sleeves and purse straps and pockets and anything else of that kind neatly over doorknobs, handles, or pretty much any other inanimate protuberance that I walk past, *even up to two feet away.* I am often jerked to a halt by this and have torn pockets and sleeves in pants and jackets. And I actually snapped a balloon string once.

i figure this qualifies me alone, but whenever the topic of klutzinesscomes up, I tell this story:

When we lived in a small, poor newlywed college students’ apartment, our cat MacLoed (may he rest in peace), a large stately twenty-pound gentleman, used to invite himself to share my breakfast every morning. It was difficult to use a spoon with this enormous cat head in the way, and there was just no table room to simply shoo him away, supposing he would allow himself to be shooed. If we knocked him off, a feat in itself, he’d just jump up again, which also interrupted the process of eating.

We bought a squirt bottle with a trigger and filled it with water, not in the effort to train the cat (heaven help the arrogant who try), but to aid in the defense of the food supply and to extend the life of the poor cheap table which was starting to list to one side from having twenty pounds of determined feline land on it several times a day. It worked pretty well, unless you were eating canteloupe, but this is a Klutz story, not a weird cat story, so I digress. . .

One morning about two weeks after we started using this method, I sat down with my cereal, and Mac jumped up on cue. I grabbed the bottle, took aim . . . and squirted myself right in the face. I shook off the water, peered at the trigger head, adjusted my grip . . . and squirted myself again.

Mac jumped off the table, probably in sheer confusion, but maybe because rolling off while laughing wouldn’t suit his dignified image.

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Comment by jmeadows

Golly. I guess I should finally post mine, and hopefully one day I will have a chance to catch up on this monster thread. What a bunch of klutzes we all are!

Well, I have already told you the tale of my glass-breaking. But that was only last week. I have, before that been in the middle of washing a glass — indeed, my hand inside it! — when it cracked apart and sliced me right open. Yow.

But my main thing is burns.

My first job was at Wendy’s in Cedar Park, Texas. The job they shove on all new people is french fries, because it’s hard to mess that up. It’s quite easy to burn oneself, though! My first summer there, I accidentally dropped a chicken nugget into the fryer and the oil splashed up — on to the back of my hand. Covered my knuckles, turned them red, blistered.

I bore the scars for a year…until the very next summer I was just filling in on the fryers (by this time I had learned other, somewhat safer jobs there), and the very same thing happened! Same hand, same knuckles. Burnt the old scars off, though sometimes when it gets very cold or hot, you can see a slight discoloration where I was burned.

There was also the time I was on the grill (I know it’s a boy job, but there were times with only girls on a shift, so someone had to step up), and as I was pressing the burger on the grill, a splatter of grease flew up…into my eye. It hit my contact, fortunately, so I wasn’t blinded or anything unfortunate. I was a lot more careful after that. (Having recently seared the skin off my knuckles, you know.)

Finally (well, not finally, but the last major thing), there was my job at Don Pablo’s, a Mexican food restaurant. Mexican food = fajitas. Yummy, smokey fajitas served on cast iron skillets with fresh tortillas. (Erm, I do still have a scar where I burnt myself on the tortilla press, sigh.)

So I was serving a table their fajitas. We had these socks that go over the handle of the skillet so you don’t burn yourself, but you’re supposed to wait until you need them to put them on the skillet, otherwise they get hot, too. Because I’m an idiot, I forgot to put the sock on the skillet. And I grabbed the handle hard (because it’s kind of heavy and skinny-armed girls need to use some force), realizing a moment too late that the handle was naked, as was my palm–

I did not scream and swear in front of the customers, in spite of my bright red and quickly blistering hand and fingers. I did start to cry a little, but I got the sock on the skillet, served the rest of their food, and asked if they needed anything else. At no point did they ask if I was okay! Jerks.

My boss let me go home after that, though. As soon as she wrapped it up.

All the same hand, too. I guess I’m pretty lucky I still have it!

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Comment by Hannah

As a very young child, I fell down the stairs over and over and over again. Apparently, I would stand at the top of the stairs and then suddenly tumble down them. One day, as my mother held me after a particularly nasty fall, she said, “Falling down the stairs hurts, doesn’t it, Hannah?”

“Yes.”

“Then why don’t you stop doing it?”

“Ok.”

I never fell down the stairs again, at least not in the dramatic full-stair-tumbling way (I still slip on stairs when they exist). That was the beginning of a lifetime of non-coordination.

Walls are a problem. Walls are a major problem. They always appear to be several inches further in than they are, and then they reach out and bite me with unnerving frequency. The kitchen wall is particularly evil – it attacks my shoulder every time I use that particular portal.

My most embarrassing clumsy-moment story looks likely to afflict me the rest of my life. A year and a quarter ago, I neglected to tie the shoelaces all the way up on my new hiking boots, tripped over the laces, straightened, got the laces hooked on the little hooks, and tumbled down. My wrist continues to plague me – it’s a very good icebreaker. People ask me why I can’t pick something up, or why I have suddenly clutched my wrist and hissed, and I have to say, “Umm… I tripped over my own bootlaces and then did it again.”

Once, I fell down the stairs at Biltmore. In front of many people.

You know those loops on jeans, where the belt is supposed to go through? Even with a belt in, I get them hooked on doors – bathroom doors, car doors, room doors, cupboard doors, despite the fact that they are very closely attached to my body and should therefore be reasonably hard to catch on things. I’ve done the step-on-a-rake thing and the falling-out-of-my-chair thing. Yoga has recently enabled me to remove myself from predicaments wherein it seems I might be permanently stuck, but it doesn’t seem to be very useful about stopping me from getting in the predicaments to begin with. Anything at hip-height and some things that aren’t leaves mysterious bruises. For a while, my mom thought I might have some terrible disease because I was so bruised up and had no idea where any of the bruises came from.

Oddly enough, I’ve never been seriously injured.

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Comment by anne_d

All this pain and angst is making me want to curl up in a corner in the fetal position, put my thumb in my mouth, and never come out again. Except that I’d (a) run into the wall, (b) bump my head on the wall, (c) throw my back out curling up, and (d) bite my own thumb, and that’s just for starters. It’s all too horrifyingly familiar.

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Comment by Lucy Coats

Hmmmn. It’s really rather terrifying how I fit in here on this lovely Robinbloggiething. I believe I qualify for a Klutzim membership on the following grounds:

The time I was given my heart’s desire (a red Swiss Army Penknife–well I was 9, ok). I opened it to carve my name on a tree and promptly sliced the top of my right index finger OFF while closing it again. We were going on holiday next day, so my father stuck it back on, tied a bandage on it, and off we went. I still have the scar.

I was pulling ragwort (horses don’t do well with ragwort in fields). It was hot. The field was dry, and the ragwort roots tenacious. I was a stubborn teenager. I did not bend my legs. The ragwort came out of the ground with an unexpected rush, I fell on my ass and slipped two discs in my lower back. I crawled back to the house, whereupon I was told that ‘teenagers do not have bad backs’. Anyone getting the unsympathetic parent vibe here?

I was raking stuff in the garden (this fairly recently), stepped on the rake, whereupon it rose up like Jehu and banged me on the nose, causing Much Blood. Why is it that inanimate objects are so vicious?

I was carrying very hot coffee to the nice men who’d come to fix the wall, tripped over my own feet, fell down the brick steps and managed not only to scald myself, but also to sprain both my writing wrist and the other non-writing partner. All I will say is that you just try using loo paper after that situation. Ouch!

Knocking coffee into the keyboard? Regularly. Tripping over the dogs? Too often to count.

Kids and husband sighing at the latest instance of klutziness–boringly frequent.

Enough already?

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Comment by Joanna K

When I was seven, I broke eight dishes. I broke them all at once. These dishes claim to be nearly indestructable.

During gym class in the first grade, I tripped onto the running track when I was headed to the drinking fountain. This resulted in an ER visit, and stitches in my forehead.

When you are young and hyperactive, a long hallway with a smooth floor is impossible to ignore. It is even harder to ignore if you have slippery socks. So when these factors came together, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

I put on my socks and took my position at the end of the hallway. I began to run. About three quarters down the hallway, I stopped running. I started sliding the last fifteen feet. What I didn’t consider was the difficulty of stopping. I also forgot that there was a filing cabinet near the end.
I tried to stop, but I didn’t have enough time and slid, full force, into the heavy aluminum filing cabinet. I had a limp for the next two weeks.

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