Office Chair Betrayal – Embarrassing Myself

When Reece was very little, but before we moved here, I had one of the most (if not THE most) painful things happen to me. I’ve largely avoided serious injuries in my life, which is amazing given I’ve played sports my entire life. So of course I injure my back doing something embarrassingly normal: stepping out of the shower. It was a sharp, stabbing pain in my lower back that forced me to the ground and had to crawl to move.

Why am I bringing up my old-man back? Well, this exact back pain has happened three times since, most recently keeping me from going to Disney World with the family. But when it first happened after moving to Alabama, I thought it’d help to make a change in office furniture for my desk, so I bought a huge exercise ball to sit on instead of a chair.

For a while I thought it was helpful. I had to pump air into it every few weeks or so, but that was no big deal. It was oddly comfortable, and impossible not to lightly bounce around on. Honestly, if it had handles like the bouncy balls they used to make (maybe they still make them), I would’ve annoyed the shit out of everyone bouncing all over the office.

Then the fateful day arrived: August 25th, 2015. I recall it being sometime in the afternoon, with only a few of us at our desks at the time. I’m just sitting there, minding my damn business, and POW!!!!!!!!!!! The piece of shit ball explodes underneath my heavy, dresspant-covered ass. The noise sounded eerily close to that of a middle-school face getting demolished by an accelerating dodgeball. That gym school floor screech-type noise. It happened really fast, but every time I recall it in my head, it’s a Hollywood movie slow-mo car crash scene. I tumbled down and backwards onto the floor, with confusion and hot red anger, my arms swinging like I’m an Olympic backstroke swimmer trying to medal for the first time. And then it immediately became the funniest shit to ever happen.

Think about how funny it is when someone falls backwards from an office chair; not much is funnier than that. Now picture someone at the gym using an exercise ball COMPLETELY wrong, and you know it, but can’t bring yourself to tell them. Mash those two together and I would imagine that’s what it looked like. Nobody else saw it happen, but they definitely heard it. Here is the aftermath, which I brought home to show Jessika. Who knew my butt worked much like a switch blade.

Office Chair Betrayal - Embarrassing Myself

When it comes to my back pain, I think my problem has been how easily I forget just how bad the pain is when it happens. It eventually goes away and then becomes a past-Stephen problem. Then I lean down to pick up a laundry basket and fall directly into it, writhing in pain. Jessika was sweet enough to create this graphic for me. I thought perhaps if I had a daily reminder of what the hell the pain was like, I’d be more motivated to do something about it. And I thought it’d be funny to include a picture of my x-ray of my lower back / upper ass. My chiropractor gave me a few recommendations that could help me avoid future back pain. Jessika made it look good and framed it. 

Office Chair Betrayal - Embarrassing Myself

One last recommendation: if you want a big ball as an office chair, don’t use a cheap exercise ball. It will betray you.

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Embarrassing Story Of The Month – November

On the way to drop my son off at pre-school the other day, an embarrassing story about myself popped in my head, from many years ago, and I don’t have a clue why. As I thought about it, sharing it felt like a funny idea. This is not that story; I’m still working it out and probably share it next month. 

I’m certain I’ve embarrassed myself enough in my life to make this a regular series. Some of these embarrassing tales may only be a sentence long, because there isn’t much of a story, but still truly embarrassing to me. And hopefully I paint a clear enough picture so you can see just how much of an idiot I can be.

Location: University of Alabama. Year: 2000; probably spring time if I’m guessing. Walking to class one morning, towards the quad. (On my most recent visit to the university, despite all of the incredible growth of the school/campus, the quad hasn’t changed a bit, and I love that.)

Keep in mind, I am not deaf. I am also not blind. So I have those senses working for me, but not this day my friends. Because I don’t see, or hear, a freaking sprinkler shoot water RIGHT INTO MY DAMN FACE. And from a considerable distance. But don’t worry, an attractive girl was there walking by to see it. Luckily the water evaporated instantly off my face because I was so hot with rage and fury.

Oddly enough I can still see my best friend laughing uncontrollably after I told him what happened. It’s the kind of thing I wish I could extract a video from my memory, mainly to see how furious I was, and exactly how I tried to play it off. Because this isn’t an “oops, I tripped slightly over my feet and recover immediately” type event. Water from a landscaping sprinkler maliciously shot its dirty earth water into my face, which had to be intentional.

But I also have questions for the landscaping crew responsible for this travesty. Why in the hell were they watering the grass in the morning when students would clearly be walking to class? I’m not in the profession, but isn’t it best to water grass at night so the water doesn’t evaporate quickly in the heat? Far as I remember, it’s always been hellishly hot in Alabama, for most of the year. So if it’s spring time in Tuscaloosa, likely shorts weather during the day.

If you’re reading this and you too have been struck in the face, unexpectedly, by a landscaping sprinkler and didn’t deserve it, please share so my Idiot Meter goes from a 10 to at least an 8.