Tuesday, April 1, 2014

On This Day in History

I believe it was 29 years ago that I dropped to the ground three houses from mine, crawled down the sidewalk and up the stairs to my house, where I plopped down on the stoop, rang the doorbell, and then slumped over.  My mother came to the door, saw me nearly listless, and with anxiety in her voice, asked me what had happened.  I quietly gasped to her that I had slipped on a patch of ice on my way home from the community center (incidentally, there had been no school that day because of a massive snowstorm the day before--go for it, fact-checkers; try me), and had fallen onto a sharp pencil in my jeans jacket pocket that had somehow gotten lodged deep into my abdomen.  She said she needed to see it, but I pleaded that I didn't want her to, and when she asked why, I whispered that it was because it was April Fools' Day.  It was a perfect performance, of the if-there's-a-hell-you-will-certainly-burn-in-it variety.  

I was the absolute worst.  When my mother finished screaming her head off at me 30 minutes later, I took stock:
I had been to the ER two times over the past six months: once because I had glass deep in my foot, and once because my brother had stepped on my face while we were fighting and my jaw had mysteriously become locked open.  I had also had a real kidney stone, one freak ankle fracture, and a good collection of spectacular boy-versus-immovable-object bicycle wipeouts.  So the death-by-pencil seemed perfectly plausible, and my poor mother was in a heightened state of alert from reality.  She was really, truly terrified that something awful was going to happen to me.

So, like any good son, I alerted my older brother to my mother's vulnerability, and together we plotted a course of emotional torture, consisting of staged fork-stabbings, fake I-just-lost-my-left-hand-in-the-blender disasters, and improbable beheadings by the freezer door.  Eventually, she caught on, and then of course, karma caught up with me one summer morning, when I accidentally pierced all the way through one of my fingers with the long blade of a large kitchen scissors, which actually pinned two of my fingers together in a gruesome and Hollywoodlike display.  That one was so bizarre, even the neighbors thought it had to be fake, as the blood sprayed out of my fingers on the lawn.  But it wasn't.

Anyway, sorry mom.  Since then, I have kind of taken it easy on April Fools' Day.

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