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Improbable Sports Injuries

My dad managed to break his wrist a few days ago. . . playing golf. Amazing. The man has played hockey goalie and still has all his teeth, he's played catcher for a couple of different kinds of baseball, he runs -- not jogs, runs -- insane distances, and how does he manage to hurt himself? Playing golf. In typical Dad Pony fashion, he let me know by e-mailing me a news story about a guy who committed suicide by jumping under an el train in Chicago in the neighborhood where I used to live, and in the little bit where you're allowed to attach your own remarks, he wrote that he had broken his wrist playing golf, but some people really had it tough.

Have I ever mentioned that my family consists of deeply weird human beings?

He's okay, and the people at the golf course were really nice about it and gave him a rain check, since this happened on the very first hole. Mainly he feels like an idiot. Maybe he ought to take up a safer sport, like prizefighting.


( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 27th, 2005 05:56 am (UTC)
Ouchies. Hope it's not a bad break, and that it heals all on its own.

Amazing that you can like, mountain climb, and sky dive, and whatever, and then do the equivalent of hurting yourself crossing from one side of the bedroom to the other, right?

Sighs..life's odd.

Jun. 27th, 2005 12:05 pm (UTC)
I talked to him on the phone yesterday, and it looks like the doctors have it pretty well under control.

I'm still in shock that he's taken up golf at all, since, in my mind, it has this indelible association with old fogeys. And then, Dad manages to go and get himself a sports injury from the fogey game.
Jun. 29th, 2005 01:42 am (UTC)
Yeah, I can understand that..fogey association. Though, it's also for doctors and such. My brother in law plays, as does my sister, at times, though she is far more into riding, and breeding horses.

Good that it's under control. Still, owie!

Jun. 27th, 2005 09:21 am (UTC)
Haha *snort*

I like your dad. Hope the broken wrist doesn't pain him. How long until it heals?
Jun. 27th, 2005 12:08 pm (UTC)
I like my dad, too. The thing with the e-mail alternately frustrates and amuses me, because if I had broken my wrist, I might do something similar to tell my parents so they wouldn't have the "oh, poor baby" fit.

Dad's got a splint on right now, and he'll get a cast later on, so I guess it'll take the wrist a couple of weeks to heal. Meanwhile, both my mom and my sister have announced their intentions to sign the cast.
Jun. 27th, 2005 01:52 pm (UTC)

I hope he heals swiftly, cleanly and completely!

But I have to admit, I did giggle.... Golf. *face-palms* d'oh! And your family's way of informing people of things sounds... suspiciously the way things go in the Jastaverse.... *snicker*

Anyway, I hope he feels much better very soon with no side-effects!

Jun. 27th, 2005 05:54 pm (UTC)
He'll get better. He's in excellent health, and he'll be bouncing golf balls off of trees again pretty soon. I told him golf was an old-fogey game, but I was under the impression that it wasn't that dangerous. . .

And, hey, at least he did inform me. My parents don't always tell me things, even if I need to know them. That's why I became so good at Finding Things Out. Maybe one day I'll tell you the story of how I uncovered Secret Family Machinations only because my German is better than my parents'.
Jun. 27th, 2005 08:13 pm (UTC)
That sounds a tale well worth sharing, FP.

My younger son broke a bone in his foot walking round a swimming pool. (And I know he was walking, because I was there and we were only there to spectate at my daughter's swimming club.)

And, of course, because he didn't even fall, we told him not to be wet when he complained it hurt - and didn't take him to hospital until the next day. Such cruel parents the poor boy had.
Jun. 27th, 2005 10:15 pm (UTC)
You mean the story about the Secret Family Machinations and my mad German skillz? But it's not even light and humorous. Wouldn't you prefer the one about Pony And The Lecherous Frenchman instead?

I trust your son turned out okay in the end. . . and that he reminds you of this occasion every chance he gets.
Jun. 28th, 2005 04:01 am (UTC)
Both. Secret Family Machinations and Lecherous Frenchman. They both sound worth sharing! You lead an exciting-sounding life!
Jun. 28th, 2005 01:11 pm (UTC)
Secret Family Machinations
I graduated high school at age seventeen in 1994. Then I went off for a gap year to Germany, to improve my German and do an extra year of high school. I wanted to see Germany again, and my parents thought that I could use the extra year to mature before going to college, so everyone was happy. I would be living with a family who, at the time, were family friends of ours.

I could go on about this family for weeks. They'd changed a lot since the last time we saw them (1986), and had apparently gone completely psychotic, as a group. There were family problems, they really didn't want me around, they thought I had been brought up in a barn (nope; just the U.S. of A.), and they turned out to be pretty anti-Semitic, just to crown everything off. There was no actual violence, but I found myself living in a situation that one might call child abuse, if you can apply that term to someone who had just turned eighteen. By December, we'd already had one major incident which nearly resulted in me getting tossed out into the snow. But I'd handled that, and in my infinite eighteen-year-old wisdom, decided not to tell my parents.

We were having even worse problems by April, but I was determined to stick it out and show the German family that I could be polite and useful. Then one day in school, my English teacher, who was also the head of the upper school, asked me for my parents' phone number. I asked her why she needed that, when she knew that I wasn't living with them, but with this psycho family. She wouldn't tell me, and I knew something was up. The parentals were taking a sabbatical in New Jersey that year, and their phone number was different. I told Frau John quite truthfully that I'd have to go home and look it up, and I'd have it for her the next day.

Well, of course I went home and, in secret late that night, called my parents (collect). What's going on here? I wanted to know. Why is my school interested in you?

Well. It seemed that my German family had, without telling me, written them a letter explaining what a horrible person I was, that the father had taken a temporary job in Berlin, the two older girls were away at college, and they were packing the third daughter off to England, which would leave me home alone with the mother -- who was the family member who hated me the most. Terribly sorry, the father said. Can you take the little Jewish barbarian back? We don't want her.

My parents had decided not to tell me about this. Instead, they'd called my school to talk to the headmaster and find out if I was having problems there. The headmaster had been out when the call from America came in, and so they'd left a callback number. Their number that year had a couple of 2's and 3's in it. In German, these two numbers sound similar, zwei and drei. When you talk on the phone and you want to say 2, you say zwo instead. My parents' German was extremely rusty, and they'd forgotten that little detail, and the headmaster hadn't been able to make out the phone number. So he'd asked Frau John to get the number from me. . . without telling me why, so as not to worry me, I suppose.

Anyway, because of that, I ended up speaking to them that very night, and learned quite a bit of news that I didn't know, mostly about The Letter. And that my parents had found out about what had happened between me and the German family. Once we were all on the same page, we began to plan how to save the rest of the year. In the end, I wound up moving in with one of my school friends for the last couple of months, which were much nicer, because the school friend and her family were actually normal, non-psychotic people. Her parents were even members of Germany's foster care network, and they figured that I'd just be one more kid in need of a temporary foster home.

So that story does have a happy ending, at least, though it's not light and humorous.
Jun. 29th, 2005 01:47 am (UTC)
Re: Secret Family Machinations
What awful people. I am so sorry that you had to deal with something like that. It sounds like there was nothing wrong with you, though! (And I'm sure, there wasn't, from what I've seen of you here. You're always so very polite!)

I am so glad that it worked out for you in the end, and that you wound up somewhere you could even enjoy! Do you keep in touch with that friend? I hope so!

Jun. 29th, 2005 01:37 pm (UTC)
Re: Secret Family Machinations
It sounds like there was nothing wrong with you, though! (And I'm sure, there wasn't, from what I've seen of you here. You're always so very polite!)

Thanks. Probably the only really lingering side effect of that year is that I still need to hear things like that every now and then. One of the worst things about a situation like that is that a warped outlook on life slowly starts to become reality, and you don't even notice the change. Even though I was eighteen and old enough to know better, by the time I left them, I had become nearly convinced that I was a little born-in-a-barn savage.
Jun. 29th, 2005 07:01 am (UTC)
Re: Secret Family Machinations
What a nasty bunch. You never know quite what you are getting into in these situations until you are stuck under the same roof - I'm only sorry you had such a wretched experience with them. I wonder what changed them - the reunification of Germany and all the immigrants from the east? - or whether they were always nasty-minded, mean-spirited bigots and you and your family just didn't notice when the acquaintance was more casual.

I suppose you could look on it as a growing experience - one that has left you able to cope in almost any situation. But still . . .

The school friend and her parents seem a much better solution to living in Germany.

Jun. 29th, 2005 01:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Secret Family Machinations
I think their family was messed up long ago -- way back into the 1940s and earlier, to believe people who know the clan. There was a lot wrong with them that reunification had no effect on. I think that the mother, in addition to being a mean old witch, had a lot of psychological problems. When we visited them in 1986, I think she was at the happiest, most comfortable time of her life and was much more secure and less mean-spirited than in 1994-5.
Jun. 28th, 2005 01:12 pm (UTC)
Sorry to hear about your Dad, FP. Who would have guessed you could break your wrist on the first round of golf! You do have a great family though. You must tell these stories sometime. :-)
Jun. 28th, 2005 01:19 pm (UTC)
Oh look! There is appeared in the time it took me to type two sentences. And what a story!
Jun. 28th, 2005 01:30 pm (UTC)
Your wish is my command.

I thought that the two concepts of "broken wrist" and "golf" didn't really go together either. But he managed it. Gotta love him.
Jun. 28th, 2005 01:27 pm (UTC)
Pony And The Lecherous Frenchman
After I graduated college in May of 1999, two of our choirs went on tour through Austria and Italy. After the tour was over, I stayed in Europe for another month or so, traveling around, as a graduation present. First stop after leaving the choir in Milan was Paris (the trip from Milan to Paris is yet another story). Once I got to Paris, I located a youth hostel and checked in. However, I needed francs. I had AmEx traveler's checks, but it was Sunday, and most AmEx offices were closed. The clerk at the hostel did know of one that might be open, near the Opera. He pointed me to the nearest Metro station, and off I went, in my merry, non-French-speaking way.

I'm good at subways -- I'd figured out the New York subway two years earlier, thankyouverymuch -- and I found the map, found my station, found the station near the Opera, and was in the process of determining which train I needed to take to get there, when I felt a tug at my sleeve. I looked down to see this little teeny tiny elderly Frenchman in a beret. He must have been at least eighty, and he had this insane grin on his face. He spoke to me in this mixture of French and heavily accented English, and if I were telling you this story in person, I'd imitate his speech, because that just made it funnier. But you'll have to imagine.

Frenchman: Perdu? Perdu Are you lost?

Me: Non. Non. I am not lost. There is a map two feet from my face.

Frenchman: Come! I will show you ze train!

Me: I can find the train myself, merci. It is very large.

But the Frenchman would not take non for an answer. He seized me by the elbow and hauled me down towards the train. I was being very polite and following him because I had been brought up to think that it was rude to smack eighty-year-old Frenchmen in subway stations.

Frenchman: Are you traveling alone? No mari? No BOYFRIEND?

Me: No mari. No boyfriend. Just a Frenchman hanging off my arm.

Frenchman: Oui! Oui!

The conversation continued like this until we reached the turnstile. The Frenchman generously showed me where the turnstile was (it was the kind with flappy saloon-style doors instead of just a bar, and it was impossible to miss) and escorted me over. Fortunately, I had already bought my Metro ticket, so when he attempted to cop a feel and stick his tongue down my throat, I reached out my hand, dropped the ticket into the chopper, the turnstile doors flapped open and shut between us, and I yelled "Au revoir, lecherous Frenchman!" before skipping off to my train.

And then I found the AmEx office and the Opera and had a lovely time in Paris before going on to have more exciting adventures on a wide swath through Europe.
Jun. 29th, 2005 01:50 am (UTC)
Re: Pony And The Lecherous Frenchman
ROFL! Oh my...you handled that so perfectly! That was just..awesome!

Jun. 29th, 2005 06:53 am (UTC)
Re: Pony And The Lecherous Frenchman
Well, there was one lecherous Frenchman who didn't realise what he was tackling. And you escaped without incapacitating an example of a French historic monument, too!
Jun. 30th, 2005 05:57 pm (UTC)
Certainly sorry to hear your father broke his wrist. That's got to be inconvenient as well as painful. But I enjoyed the story. It sounds like Dad Pony is "deeply weird" in the way my husband is--disconcerting sometimes but always entertaining.

As opposed to the "deeply weird" (i.e., psychotic) German family. Oh, Pony, what an experience. I'm glad you got out of there.
Jun. 30th, 2005 10:15 pm (UTC)
Dad now signs his e-mails "your one-handed typist." Fortunately, it's summer time, and he doesn't have to do as much writing (he's a college professor), and has some leisure time to take it easy for a bit.

The German family was just nuts. You should have seen the temper tantrum the mother threw when my aunt sent me a Hanukkah present, which I had the chutzpah to receive and open in her pious little Lutheran home.
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )


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