Here we go with yet another klutz adventure! I’m on my way to work today—really—in the office and everything. I had forgotten that I would be attending a co-worker’s father’s funeral and Had dressed like I was marching in the Mardi Gras parade. Neon pinks and greens, white pants. I couldn’t have been any more obvious unless I had added those bright colored beads that women get in New Orleans when they flash their boobs at men.
I might not have mentioned that I was almost 60 miles from home. In Des Moines, which is where I commute to when I am in town. Most of you can picture me driving along in the car at 72 mph, radio blaring, wind whipping my hair up through the moon roof of the car, singing off-key to some country song I don’t really know the words to. I’m five minutes from work and in the left lane of traffic when I realize I’ve forgotten proper attire. I see the exit for Mills Civic Parkway, (Walmart lives there and is the only store open at 6:40a.m.) Without so much as a concern for anybody around me, I crank the wheel hard to the right and cross two lanes of bumper-to-bumper traffic, careening off the exit like I had it planned all along. Trust me, I could read the many gestures and lips other drivers sent my way.
I dash from my car and begin a quick chase through the store looking for anything appropriate for the event. I gather a black dress & top to cover the bulges, nylons (it’s like 100 degrees) and a pair of flat shoes that looks like a snake swallowed my feet. All totaled I spent about $4.37, but I certainly was more presentable.
Well then I get to work and my work partner, Anna says it’s getting to be time to go.
“I have to change. I’ll just be a minute,” I say and head off to the bathroom with my new garb.
I fling open the bathroom door, put my rubber soled shoe onto the shiny tile and begin a slow split to the floor, whacking my head on the wall in front of me and sending my new duds flying across the room. My right knee slams to the ground, while my left leg heads west. I come down hard on my right elbow and all !@#@! pounds splay across the bathroom like a newly butchered chicken!
And there I lay surrounded by my Wal-Mart clothes and thinking, “What just happened?” I mutter a few words like, “You are such a klutz” and “Get up, you fool, get up!” Like most people would do, I look back at the floor. I feel a pop in my back. I’m blaming the floor, but I don’t have my glasses on so I can’t see anything there. I pat my hand all over the tile then think, “I better get up in case someone comes in and sees me splayed across the room like bad carpet.” I rise slowly, accessing the aches and pains I am already feeling, but content that I neither have outward scars or blood and nobody has caught me looking like Andy Rooney!
Two seconds later, from a stall at the back of the room I hear, “Did somebody fall? Are you okay?” Then from another stall, “It wasn’t me, I think it was Ginger! Are you okay, Ginger?” Then they begin chattering back and forth about my fall. I hear the toilets flush and duck into the first stall more out of embarrassment than anything.
These women are terrific, but have me all but dead. I assure them I’m fine and get on with my changing. Before I am out the door, HR is there with a hundred forms for me to fill out. They all but call an ambulance!
I slink back to my desk and Anna who is waiting our departure. I explain what happened, sending her into stitches and promptly to our boss. We finally get to where we are going. We greet our co0worker amidst a room full of co-workers and his family. I give him a big hug with my condolences. Anna saddles up to me and whispers in my ear.
“You might want to pull off the price tag.”
“Price tag?” I say. “Where?”
“The one dangling under your armpit,” she says. I saw it across the room when you gave Rod a hug. So did everyone else,” she giggles.
I stumble my way to the car, as the pointed toes of my cheap shoes catch on every carpet thread in the funeral home and every stone in the driveway. I look like a bum after a big night of drinking. I head home. No sense fighting my bad luck anymore today. I put the window down and let my hair fly around the car. I stick my arm out the window and make waves in the passing wind.
WHACK! A field beetle doing about 200mph slaps me right in the nook of my arm. I jerk the arm in the window so fast; I hit myself in the face. I decided to pull over to the side of the road, roll up the windows and call Michael. I’m going to sit here until he comes and gets me. So if I don’t answer your phone calls for the next few days, I’m probably still waiting for him. I’ll get a blog out though! It will be from my Ipad
Now for the latest contest from Hope Clark at Funds for Writer's. (You really should subscribe!)
THE CHARITON REVIEW SHORT FICTION PRIZE
$20 ENTRY FEE
Deadline September 30, 2010. An annual award for the best
unpublished short fiction on any theme up to 5,000 words in
English. The author will receive $1,000, and the winning story
will be published in The Chariton Review. Three finalists will
also be published in the Spring issue. All U.S. entrants will
receive a complimentary copy of the Spring prize issue.