Now, I’m afraid this entry has nothing to do with the town of Bognor Regis, so if you are from there and were looking forward to reading all about your home town, or you were planning on holidaying in Bognor this summer and keen to find out more about it, I am sorry to disappoint you.
The truth is, I have a long list of these terrible ‘blog’ based puns to get through, and since I do not intend to ever write about the seaside resorts of West Sussex, and have nothing better to adequately reflect what follows, this seemed as good a time as any to get this one out of the way.
So, to summarise what you have learned about me so far – I am a grumpy, unfit, unmanly, Stockport County-supporting solicitor, who dislikes most things and most people – especially drivers of white BMWs, and the majority of the Facebook-using population. Not you though, obviously. You’re lovely.
Next on the list, then, is my inherent clumsiness.
There is not a day goes by when I do not injure some part of my anatomy, usually in comedic circumstances. Well, comedic for everyone else, it seems, but bloody painful – and not funny in the slightest – for me. This often happens at work, where I have in the past (amongst other mishaps) fallen down the stairs, ripped a fingernail off whilst trying to photocopy something, flicked an elastic band into my own nipple, and hit my head more times than I could possibly care to remember. Oh, and I once opened a door into my own face.
Indeed, it has become so bad, that we now have two accident books in the office – one for me, and one for the rest of the firm. Were it not for the fact that our designated Health and Safety officer would always rather laugh at me hysterically than actually record the accident, I fear I might have filled the book by now.
My clumsiness is not restricted to the office though. Two weeks ago, I took Ollie swimming, and he always insists on getting changed in one of the ridiculously-tiny cubicles, despite the fact they aren’t big enough for one person, let alone one-and-a-half. Having struggled to get him dry and dressed first, I then started to attend to my own towelling needs, and – for reasons which still remain a mystery – I managed to slice my knee open on the door lock. Christ knows what bizarre drying technique I was attempting at the time, but there was such a disproportionate amount of blood, for what ultimately transpired to be quite a small cut, that I slightly panicked.
Backing Ollie as far into the corner as I could, I had no choice other than to use my semi-damp towel to try and stem the flow of blood. In other circumstances, I would have tried to obtain a plaster from reception, but I rather got the impression that the girls stationed there wouldn’t appreciate a dripping-wet naked man turning up, so I had to sort it out myself – while Ollie pestered me for a KitKat from the vending machine.
In my defence, I am 6’3” and approximately 93% limbs, so it should come as no surprise that bits of me fly out unexpectedly and damage themselves on nearby objects, furniture and other people. Yet, every time this happens, I curse the Heavens that I have been landed with such an ungainly and uncoordinated body (supremely well-endowed as it may be).
It was not until a couple of years ago, however, that I realised the source of my problem and, as suspected, it is indeed my height. Now, you might think this is self-explanatory, if not blindingly obvious, because clearly someone of my loftiness is more at risk of banging their head on an open cupboard door than, say, someone of wife’s stature (she’s 5’3”, so there is a clear foot between us and, as I always joke, it’s usually hers).
So you might think that my height is obviously the problem, but that still doesn’t explain why I continue to injure my ankles and feet – which were roughly the same distance off the ground as everyone else’s the last time I checked – at a disproportionate rate too.
Then, during a routine visit to the opticians a couple of years ago, I was given the answer.
If you read blog entry #16 – entitled “Ehh, What’s Up Blog?” (now, that was a clever title) – you might recall that this particular routine eye test did not exactly go according to plan, as I collapsed shortly after being given some eye drops and ended up being rushed to A&E in an ambulance. To cut a long story short, a small amount of the muscle-relaxant in the eye-drops had got into my blood stream, and slowed my heart rate down to such an extent, that there was no blood getting to my brain, and I fell to the ground faster than Ashley Young in a penalty area.
It was only then, having had this explained to me by a Consultant at the Hospital, that the relatively simple concept (which would explain my clumsiness) dawned on me: I’m too tall to be co-ordinated. The problem, you see, is that my brain is so much farther from my outer extremities, when compared to the vast majority of the population, that it takes that bit longer to get the message across.
Messages like: “Hey, feet, watch out for that corner of the sofa, it’ll fucking hurt if one of you catches a toe on that”, or “For God’s sake don’t stand up now, do you not remember opening that cupboard door thirty seconds ago, you dozy pillock?”, or even “You do realise, that if you continue dancing towards the kitchen at this speed, you’re most likely going to catch your dangly-bits on that open stair gate, right?….. Well it’s no good doubling up in the foetal position and crying now, I did try to warn you…”
Because I live my life at a fast pace, mostly due to my impatience and frustration with everything and everyone, my brain simply doesn’t have the time to co-ordinate the rest of me and avoid hazardous situations. For obvious reasons, it is my lower limbs that are injured far more than my upper ones, but they are still damaged disproportionately to everyone else I know as well.
The only upside to discovering the source of my ungainliness, is that I now have a valid excuse for being a terrible dancer. This is only generally called into question once a year at the office Christmas party, as my clubbing days are long-since over (indeed, there is a marginally greater chance of me going seal clubbing, than ever setting foot in 5th Avenue in Manchester ever again) but at least I can now gracefully (well, kind of gracefully) bow out of being called onto a dance floor. I shall simply sit the drunken idiot who is dragging me in that direction down, and carefully explain to them that, by the time my now alcohol-soaked brain has told my feet how to respond to Come on Eileen, the DJ will have already moved on to Fairytale of New York and I’ll look a tit.
Get this though: despite my extreme clumsiness, I have never broken a single bone in my body. Not one. I can only assume, on that basis, that I am invincible/immortal, as Heaven knows I’ve had enough accidents over the years to break more or less every bone in my body. However, I do not wish to test this theory of my invincibility by doing something stupid like jumping out of a plane or bungee-jumping, because I am also an almighty coward.
Sadly, it looks as though my clumsiness is hereditary too. Ollie is forever running into, tripping over, or damn-near decapitating himself on inanimate objects, and already Isaac is showing signs of banging his head more than you would ordinarily expect from a one year old. Even the dog, with whom I share no genetic material whatsoever, is just about the clumsiest canine you will ever meet. I thought dogs were meant to pee up lampposts, not run headlong into them and bounce off towards an oncoming car. We are, in short, an accident-prone mess.
Usually, the cause of our accidents is embarrassingly avoidable too. Only last week, Ollie came running into the lounge in tears and, when we asked him why he was so upset, he explained that he had been “singing and dancing… and then fell over”.
Been there son, been there.