why i spend most of my time inside and alone
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!"