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Saturday, May 05, 2007

why i spend most of my time inside and alone

i am still on crutches. the doctor seemed to think i'd be walking about two weeks ago. but the swelling in my knee hasn't gone down really and at last measure the furthest i could bend my knee was 87 degrees. now, stop right this second and look at your legs. i'd be willing to wager that both of your knees are bent at an angle greater than 90 degrees. further than a right angle. i am no euclidian geometry wiz, but i believe the correct term for this type of angle is an acutely obfuscated angle. look it up.

anyway. you try going a day without bending your knee more than 90 degrees. it sucks. it makes a body grumpy. and you know what else makes a body grumpy? when total strangers walk up to a body and ask that body "HEY WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU?"

i cannot begin to explain to you how i have grown to hate this question. of course i understand why people ask it -- i am a dashingly handsome, vibrantly healthy young man. what could possibly have put such a godly specimen on crutches? why has caused his knee to balloon freakishly to three times it's normal size? it's a natural curiosity. i do not begrudge the question itself.

i begrudge the answer. most people just want a quick easy reply--usually they just assume i tore my ACL or overdid it with my morning squat thrusts at the Y. most of the time, folks are just being nice--they don't actually want or even care about the truth.

i figure, though, that whether or not a stranger really cares about why i am on crutches, i owe him or her an answer. and depending on how cute he or she is, i figure these answers are the options i have open to me:
  • "oh, there was no actual precipitating injury, per se. due to compartmental deterioration stemming from a meniscectomy i had a decade ago, i was advised to undergo a medial meniscal allograft by my exceedingly handsome orthopaedist." this answer, while true, makes me sound like an asshole. also it only complicates the situation for both of us because then i have to spend the next 380 minutes explaining what i just said.
  • "i had some dead guy's knee junk stuck into my leg." also technically true but a little offputting. also requires the next 380 minutes to explain.
  • "i am dying of a chronic leg disease and the only thing keeping me alive is whiskey. please help me." this is not as effective as it reads on paper. or blog. whatever. not a single dram has been proffered.
  • "my wife told me to go fuck myself and i didn't realize she was being rhetorical. nearly snapped my leg off trying." man, this cracks me up! why aren't you laughing?
  • "what happened to my knee? more like WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR FACE?" in the comedy trade, this putdown is usually puncuated by a silent (or incredibly vocal) BOOYA! it's a matter of personal taste.
  • "eh? no speakie nosey douchebag." oh yes i did!
  • "i had this hot drunken one night stand. when i woke up i was in the motel bathtub, which was filled with ice. scrawled on the mirror, in lipstick, were the words CALL 911 - I TOOK YOUR MENISCUS." i couldn't believe this was happening to me, so i checked on snopes and it turned out that it was!
  • "oh you mean the crutches? it's part of a new exercise fad: the south brooklyn diet. i lost 90 pounds in two weeks walking like this and i get to eat whatever i want!" i totally would have had a multi-million dollar book deal years ago if i had only thought of this sooner.
  • "is that you mummy? i can't see so well any more ... god bless us, every one." this tiny tim routine actually scares people away with a quickness. very handy.
  • "i was rescuing a family of orphans and puppies from a burning warehouse when a crossbeam fell on my leg. and now i need regular hugs of awkwardly long duration." a very popular answer with the ladies.
  • "you don't have to yell -- i'm on crutches, not deaf." you'd be surprised how useful this is.
  • "artificial knee insemination. i'm due in july. i'm naming her after you." this is creepy and i probably wouldn't have thought of it if i didn't have a chronic leg disease that required massive consumption of whiskey.

and so on. when my neighbor saw me over the weekend he did a double take and said "you must be accident prone! what happened to you, accident prone dude?" i figured he needed an answer tailor-made just for him. i looked him in the eye and said: "i blew out my knee while i was beating my wife during one of my 72-hour drug-huffing and child-bellowing binges. i know you know what that's like!"


Anonymous L.A. Daddy said...

After my motorcycle accident in November, I had the same problem. When I was all bandaged up, limping like Doctor House, I got the question a lot.

My pat answer, "I was injured in a small combine accident..."

5/05/2007 11:40 PM  
Anonymous mel said...

you did NOT say that to the neighbor.

is that THE neighbor? the one who's moving? aren't they gone yet?

5/06/2007 9:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok I may have peed myself a little.

Holy crap that was a good read.

5/07/2007 6:40 PM  
Anonymous monkeyaker said...

Hey! It seems that MD is trying to upstage your new meniscus with his "chest pains"!! What's with that??!

Are you two in a race for the "oldest" middle-aged man award, or what?

5/09/2007 6:25 PM  

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