Clumsiness causes wary looks from strangers

Published 12:37 pm Friday, April 22, 2011

Here’s the deal: if you’re a woman, particularly in the south, sporting any sort of facial injury, it’s immediately assumed a guy’s decked you.

How sexist is that?

And if you’re built like me, towering over 6 feet and composed of angular knees and elbows, you are nearly always smacking into something.

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I have created enormous lumps on my hip bone from not clearing the corner of the kitchen island in the middle of the night and actually shattering a light fixture in the bathroom with my hand when, not thinking, I extended my arm sharply upwards while blow-drying the back of my hair.

But none of these prepared me for a recent experience after I was nipped on the forearm by a horse, resulting in a massive blue-back bruise on my bicep and catching the side of my cheek on the same day with the chrome snap of a lead rope (don’t ask – I couldn’t do it again if you paid me a million dollars).

So, relatively used to appearing like a bruised apple, I didn’t hesitate to ride with Paul over to Tractor Supply to price some electric fans for the barn and replace something that had snapped on the bush hog.

Standing in line at the cash register I became aware of two pairs of eyes taking stock of my exposed arm and face.

As the women glanced at me and then one another, their eyes narrowed as they at last rested upon their hapless target: Paul, who began to feel a touch uneasy.

“You battering bully!” glared one pair of eyes.

“Abusive jerk!” said another.

Paul, now distinctly feeling this unjust accusation, mumbled to me,

“Come stand by me.”

You’ll have to forgive me for what I did next. Once a stand-up comic, always a stand-up comic, and the temptation to throw your partner under the bus is simply too delicious to resist.

“OK,” I said, quivering, and flung up an arm as if to ward off an incoming blow.

“Stop that!” he said, horrified. “Stop!”

“Oh…” I repeated. “OK. Sorry honey!” And continued to feign my act through checkout and all the way across the parking lot.

“I am never, ever, going back to that store,” Paul fumed, firing up the truck. “Ever. I hope you’re satisfied. That stuff is nothing to joke about!”

He’s right. It is nothing to joke about. And I’ll never do it again.

Well, maybe…

Comedienne Pam Stone writes her column for The Tryon Daily Bulletin twice each month from her office at her home in Gowensville.