I’ve walked across many a river stepping lightly and confidently from stone to stone. Without exaggeration, I can say that I have never ever slipped and fallen off a moss-covered rock, twisted in mid-air and found myself totally submerged and dripping from head to toe. Until today.
When I, a 6’3″, 250-pound guy, fell into the river knocking both my hip and head against underwater boulders, my wife, Beth’s first reaction when I surfaced was, of course, “Are you okay?” I don’t blame her because that’s what everyone says after an accident – myself included.
Today’s dunking was not my first time experiencing this drama.
I remember when I turned head over heels on the last ski run of the day at age 12, totaled a car at 17 and broke my leg during basketball practice at 18. In each case, the pain and shock were greeted by someone who cared for me, standing over me and saying, “Are you okay?”
I think that “are you okay” really means “you shocked the hell out of me and I am not okay!” Perhaps it also means, “Is this something that’s going to require me to call 9-1-1 and likely ruin my plans for the day?” I’m half-joking, of course.
I think that the shock of seeing someone take a tumble, smack into a utility pole with their car or fall in a heap of guys after jumping for a rebound is only one step removed from a Three Stooges moment. Our reference point for these incidents, then, is slapstick comedy and to see it happen in real life is, as a result, somewhat comedic.
In case you’re wondering, though, I am okay!