Fear of Falling Funny, Too!

Blogger’s Note: A friend recently wrote a blog post on the humor he finds in people falling down. It was not a mean-spirited piece, and inspired a lengthy comment from me. I enjoyed writing the comment enough that I decided to post it here. You can find his post at Future Priests of the Third Millenium.

I say without any ego that I rarely fall down. It is not due to natural grace in any typical sense of the notion, but rather a steadfast determination (born of years as a lesser wrestler) not to go down.

As a result, with me you see:

The Slip-Stop, in which every second or third step results in loss of footing with one foot and quick regaining with the other, like a dance with no rhythm.

The Windmill-Stomp, in which I miss a step, catch a toe, or otherwise find myself falling rapidly forward and windmilling both arms while throwing my size 13s out in front of me in grim determination to stay vertical.

The Finger-Tipper, in which my gyrations bring me close enough to falling that the fingertips of one hand are all that stands between me and utter sprawl.

The Corkscrew, in which I wind up vertical but off-center, facing some other direction that the one from which I started, and with various parts strewn about me.*

All of these can be immensely entertaining to watch, as well, judging from the response of frequent audience members such as my wife and children. And they are increasingly painful — the Windmill Stomp and Corkscrew, in particular, tend to result in pulled muscles in my neck, back and hamstrings.

I do actually hit the ground every so often. Generally it’s a Slip-Stop transformed into a reverse Windmill Stomp — much more difficult to execute backwards, especially with a Slip-Stop already underway.

When this happens, I generally pretend to make snow angels while I search the sky for my lost wind …
*Like a NASCAR crash, shedding parts dissipates much of the energy your body might otherwise absorb on impact …

5 thoughts on “Fear of Falling Funny, Too!

  1. That is a hoot and gave me some hilarious visual images! I am clumsy as all get out and can relate to the windmill thingy but usually end up flat on it anyway!

    That “falling is funny” thing is such weird phenomenon with kids. My kids LOVE those scenes when they are watching Funniest Home Videos.


  2. I'm a big fan of the Travelling Flip, in which I am headed, say, north, trip, fly several feet, duck my head and somehow roll, ending up sitting up facing the same direction I was headed.

    And falling is hilarious. The more flailing the better.


  3. I enjoyed the story although not much input on where the story should or should not go. Just have some info about a church that had another use… when I was in my wandering years and was in Scotland I came upon a hostel of sorts that used to be a church. The upstairs became the sleeping area and the basement a pub and breakfast area for the guests that stayed there. Not sure how history worked itself out for churches to become other things like a bar in SD to a hostel in Scotland… oh if the walls could talk 🙂

    Always enjoy your stories…
    -Kristine (Minnie)


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