Other people were descended from apes; my ancestors were monkeys. And I proved it on a regular basis.
Squatting in front of our new black and white television, I watched a trapeze lady who didn’t have a lot of clothes on. She hung by her legs and swung from side-to-side across our round screen. Hmmpf, I was only four, and could already do that. I constantly hung by my legs on the horizontal portion of our mailbox pipe (although Mom kept warning me to stop before I fell and broke my neck). My career choice became clear.
Suddenly, the trapeze lady straightened her legs and began sliding off. At the last second, she caught herself by her feet. I never thought of doing that, until then. As soon as the circus show ended, I ran outside to our mailbox. I swung by my knees on the metal pipe before slowly straightening my legs. I expected the knobs on my heels to catch me.
They weren’t knobby enough.
I crashed onto my noggin, and everything turned black with white sparks. Sight gradually returned, but my head felt woozy and confused. I staggered over to the sandbox where David sat.
“I don’t feel good,” I said, resting my head on his lap.
He couldn’t reach his trucks with my head in the way, so he whacked my neck with the carrot previously hanging out his mouth.
“Mary, David, come inside for lunch,” called Mom.
She placed peanut butter sandwiches on the table and noticed my stiff robotic head movements. The robot dance wasn’t invented yet, so I looked peculiar.
“What’s wrong? Why are you moving like that?”
Cue my hysterical crying.
“David hit me with a carrot, and now my neck won’t work!”
X-rays revealed two bones in my neck residing in a new location, and I lay in traction at the hospital for two weeks. I insisted David hurt my neck by hitting me with a carrot; the fall on my head was circumstantial. I still maintain it was mostly the carrot thug’s fault.
Between being bedridden for six weeks and in traction for two weeks, I had nothing to do but fantasize, and my already fertile imagination grew exponentially.
The constant weight of the traction pulling on my little neck was uncomfortable. I squeezed through the slats of my headboard until the weights rested on the floor. My vigilant nurse rigged a board across the slats.
The hospital scared me with its dark shadows, hushed tones, and squeaky shoes that paused outside my door before continuing on with an echo trailing behind. No scary clowns came around to cheer me up.
Despite Mom’s comments to the contrary, vegetables are not always good for you; at least, not carrots. Carrots weren’t content to break my neck; they later made a return appearance to drag me into trouble.
Now it’s your turn: Have you ever been attacked by a veggie?
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