Sunday, May 7, 2017

My Rocking Chair Moment

Last night, after a fun evening watching Columbia Fireflies baseball, we all settled down in our pajamas in Kaitlin and Jon's living room, Kaitlin and Pam on the loveseat, Jon and Jackson on the sofa, and me in the rocking chair, with Lucy nervously walking in circles around us all, on the lookout for God knows what. I was catching up on the big league scores on my iPad. All was peaceful, everyone was chilled. Then calamity and hilarity broke out at roughly the exact same time.

The rocking chair in question has been in the family for what seems like decades. It had been banished to somebody's attic at some point, but had been given a reprieve when Kaitlin was setting up house at grad school. I have sat in this chair without incident many times. But on this night, there I was, calmly checking the Nationals box score when I heard a disturbing cracking sound. Everything that followed was in slow motion.

As I began rocking back, the crack came, then an awareness that I seemed to be going farther back than seemed normal for a rocking chair. By the time I realized that I was about at the point where the laws of motion and gravity were about to kick in, it was too late. I remember thinking, Wait...am I going to crash through the window behind me?? By the time everyone looked over in my direction, all they could see was the soles of my feet flying up in the air. It was one of those ass over tea kettle moments. I landed at the base of the dreaded window, solidly on my left hip, the chair good for nothing grander than kindling. The pain was excruciating. My loving family soon gathered around, staring down at me, spread-eagled amongst the splintered rocking chair, and all they could think to do...was laugh.

Sure, for about thirty seconds or so, they were concerned about my health status. But, as soon as they realized that there was no blood, and no broken bones, all decorum left the building. My daughter and my wife began a bout of hysterical, belly laughing...the kind that makes your face cramp up and tears fall down your face. Their eyes began to swell from all of the laughing. For a minute I thought they might suffocate themselves. Apparently, the sight of me flayed out on the floor in a pile of knarled wood was the single most hilarious thing that they had seen in years.

However, I must admit, after I had a handful of Advil in me to treat the throbbing pain in my hip, even I started in with the laughing. What is it, exactly, that is so hysterically funny about seeing someone flip over backwards in a rocking chair? Well, I don't know the answer to this question, except to say that despite all of our advancement as a society, we humans still love slapstick.


Yes, Trump is in the White House. Yes, global warming is killing the planet and we are all going to die because of corporate greed, and yes, Obamacare's repeal will result in widespread death, pestilence and destruction across the fruited plain....but, this is still funny!!