Occasionally I have admitted to a fall or two:
— off a ladder while I was holding a full gallon of paint (Garage 1: Z 0)
— from a low hanging branch which beaned me (who was wearing a baseball cap)
— from a flat-back rake which attacked me in the garage after I stepped on the tines
— from….well, you get the idea.
But never had I executed the Perfect Pratfall, that straight-spine dead-drop.
Until last week. The three of us were walking in the forest along a level black road with no traffic. All was well until I stepped onto a small patch of ice disguised as a skiff of snow and my feet skiied forward while my head inscribed a backwards arc. I went down like a felled tree, straight as a board, limbs fluttering helplessly and landed on my trunk (note extended metaphor). In that last split second before my head cracked onto the pavement, I wondered if Protestants can be given last rites. It also struck me that, if I had any marbles, they had probably fallen out and rolled away.
Somewhat reassured that I could still remember my name, I had two immediate questions: What works? What DOESN’T work? Deciding to check sooner rather than later because Theodore was about to wash my face, I sat up, stood up and, like a Canadian Lazarus, walked. Luddites with Google, we checked out “signs of concussion” as soon as we got back to the car. To our amazement I had none of the eleven so we decided against the ER and went home instead. Home is always the desirable destination in such situations.
Days Two and Three were more eventful. I had to support my head with both hands to lift it out of bed because my neck muscles had turned me in to the Soft Tissue Police. I am ever so grateful not to have a cold (Gesundheit-Shriek!! Cough-Double-up-Scream!!). My glass is definitely half-full. The old body is outdoing itself in replastering and repainting. I yelped only once yesterday.
Having satisfied the claims of European philosophy and dramatic training, I am now content to rest on my laurels. I have also decided, as a way of honouring the perfected pratfall (No more practice, yippee!!!), to hang this self-portrait on its side in future. It just seems right.