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by Gayle Haarr

[Gayle Geek]

Confessions of an Accident Prone Blonde

Hello, I 'm Gayle, for all of you who don't already know me. I'll start off by telling you that I am both accident prone and blonde. If you have ever seen a picture of me, you would agree that the first part of that profound statement is probably easier to believe than the second. Despite what it looks like and what the majority of people around me say, I am blonde. For some unexplainable reason, without dies, bleaches, or any other harsh chemical treatments, my roots are brownish and the my ends are blonde. Oh well, enough said about my hair color and on to my life and my many accidents!

I have to confess that I have been accident prone since I was just a wee little tot! I couldn't even walk when I had my first few accidents. The first accident I only know about because my loving family reminds me of it often. Mom had sent my brother and sister out to play with me for a fun filled afternoon of excitement. I should mention my brother and sister are significantly older than me. Anyway, my brother had a little pedal powered sports car that he and my sister would ride in. Since Mom sent me out to play, they plopped me in a crate attached to the back of the luxury cruiser.

He started pedaling, and we were on our way. Next thing you know, I found some holes in the bottom of this wonderful Pepsi crate. Like any other kid who finds little holes, I stuck my fingers them. My little, pudgy fingers were being pinched between the crate and the sidewalk. You can imagine the holler that came out of my mouth as we cruised down the sidewalk. There you have it folks! Accident #1 - I scrapped my fingers up pretty badly on the sidewalk. It gets better, the next day happened to be baby picture day at the local department store. Boy, did I look cute. I was all decked out with my giraffe dress, barrette in my few strands of thin white hair, and some of the nastiest looking fingers ever.

My next accident had a greater effect than just some messed up baby pictures. I don't remember this accident either, just all the wonderful stories told around the kitchen table. Bear in mind, this one was not my fault at all. My mother took my brother, sister, and three cousins to the Putt-Putt miniature golf course. The Putt-Putt man was explaining to my cousin just how you play. I was innocently sitting in my stroller, disinterested in the whole golf game, when out of the blue a blue golf ball struck me.

My cousin had knocked that ball nice and hard. The ball ricocheted right off Yogi Bear's big old belly and into my little soft head. Accident #2 - I was struck in the back of my head where my eyes are controlled by a golf ball. I guess I was oblivious to all that had happened to me. I didn't make a single peep until everyone started to fuss over me. Then out it came the scream of terror! No detectable damage occurred at that time. A few years later though, I needed eye surgery in order to correct my messed up vision. Actually, this little episode also caused plenty of other screwy looking childhood pictures. From the time of the accident until I had my surgery, every picture of me as a child has one eye closed and a pretty goofy looking face. I was a constant squinter! I guess I can't really blame the goofy face on the blue golf ball, though.

The next entertaining thing that happened to me was in a round about sort of way due to that golf ball, also. I had come home from spending a few days in the hospital after my eye surgery. I was only five years old at the time and thrilled to be out of the hospital. I'm sure most of you can relate to my next problem, because almost everyone has experienced double vision at one time or another. My problem was worse: multiple vision. I was seeing three to five of everything for a while after surgery. The bad part was, I was so excited to be home and back to my own bed that I went running and took one giant leap. I jumped on what I thought was my bed. Not a smart idea! I took a chance and went for the middle bed, never do that with multiple vision. Looks can be deceiving. Accident #3 - A giant belly flop onto nothing! Don't worry I didn't have to go back to the hospital or anything with that one. No permanent damage, at least that we are aware of yet.

Now I think I'll let you know how I react to the this pain caused by all of these injuries. I would walk by my brother, as a young kid, and he would give me Charlie Horses. So, of course I would fall down and cry. Well, that certainly wasn't the smartest thing to do because then my mother would yell at my brother. In the end, I would just get tormented in some other way. I finally got a clue and learned that if I just laughed, he would leave me alone. No fun to hit someone if it doesn't hurt. To make a long story short, now when I hurt myself, I laugh hysterically. The worse the pain is, the harder I laugh!

Well, back to my accidents. The next major one was due to being grounded by the folks. I was misbehaving in one way or another, so of course, I was sent to my room. Any other night this might have been okay, but this was Friday night. Prime time! And I was missing the "Dukes of Hazard!" If you were a kid in the early 1980's or had young kids then, you would know this was one of the worst possible punishments. I had to entertain myself somehow to forget about the fact I was missing my absolute favorite TV show.

My brilliant solution, was to do flips across my bed. Surprise, surprise! I over flipped! I completely missed the bed, but oh boy, I certainly found the night stand! I managed to cut the side of my head on the tiny corner of the nightstand as I plunged towards the floor. I was rushed off to the hospital by Mom and Dad. Accident #4 - Many, many stitches right above my eye. Well, I was never sent to my room again by Mom and Dad, but it certainly wasn't worth it. (Kids please don't try this one at home, find something better to do to entertain yourself.)

Next came the bicycle! We got a great and wonderful tandem bicycle from my Grandparents. My friend and I decided one day that this might be a cool new toy, so we readjusted the seats. The big question was, "who would steer?" Well, we tossed a coin and I came up the big loser. No big surprise. So, we mounted up and took off for the park.

I can't even blame this one on being young, just ignorant. We rode over freshly laid blacktop. I want you to understand that when I say freshly laid blacktop, I mean the trucks and workers just drove away. We should have never tried to ride this crazy contraption because we didn't make it! We fell, and of course in a matter of seconds, I had burned a hole through my jeans and my flesh. Accident #5 - Burned by asphalt! My friend had to pedal us home to Mom for a quick fix me up. Well, I have a nice big scar on my knee from that one.

It only gets better: on to middle school. I was a innocent bystander in this one, also. If you haven't figured it out yet, I tend to have really bad timing. My friends and I were all sitting having lunch in a big cafeteria. I was talking to friends -- like the social butterfly that I am -- when a good friend of mine called my name. I quickly turned my head. Bam! From the total other side of the room came a flying foreign object. It was part of an Oreo cookie! Not a whole one though: someone decided to eat the creamy filling, eat half of it, and take a bite out of the remaining half before they flung it.

Well, this little morsel hit me smack dab in the eye ball. Of course, I just put my head down and started laughing. Nobody even knew what had happened to me. I sat up and my eye was swollen almost completely shut, and bleeding. Accident #5 -Temporary blindness by an Oreo cookie! Well, this one only left some emotional scars. I had to spend a week and a half at home, lying flat on the couch, with patches over both my eyes. The only things I could get up for were the bathroom and the daily trip to the eye doctor. Oh boy was I bored! When I went back to school, I got picked on something awful. To this day, the people who know about this still pick on me about it.

From that point until college it was just minor bumps and bruises. I broke my finger playing with a balloon and dropped a baton on my nose. I fell off the top of a human pyramid in cheerleading. Oh, and I got stung by a bee right in the vain. It was just like a geyser. Well, as you can tell nothing major during those years.

I thought I had made it all the way through college with no memorable accidents, but I found out later that wasn't the case at all. My last major trauma came my last week of classes, during my senior year of college. I was walking back from breakfast with my roommate, completely sober, not even a hangover. I was simply walking down a path, not a paved path, a dirt path with rocks. When my foot rolled over.

Next thing I remember was standing on my foot while it was upside down and laughing. Laughing like I had never laughed before. I didn't fall down at all, which turned out to be my first problem. Accident #6 - Broke my foot walking! My second problem was I just kept laughing and walking. I walked home, up two flights of stairs, and around my dorm room for a couple of hours. My roommate's mother, who is a nurse, was up visiting and insisted that I go the hospital. I went to the hospital only to find out I was missing a large hunk of bone from my foot. All that just from walking. It turned out to be an interesting next couple of weeks, I had to go through exams, senior week, and graduation with a cast up to my knee and two crutches. I didn't look too good in that evening gown.

I am sure you can see now why I call myself accident prone. The blonde thing may still be a toss-up. The whole reason I wrote this, or was forced to write this, was because ever since I started this job, I have been a walking bruise. Hardly a day goes by when I don't bang a knee on a desk or a table. If it's not standing up, it's sitting down, or simply while walking on by. I know, pretty pathetic! Maybe one of those injuries threw my depth perception for a loop, or something. The other day, I was walking with Cajun and Andrew and I rammed into a guard rail. I can still feel the welt on my knee from that one. The most pathetic part of my confessions happened just yesterday. Andrew came up to talk to me about this article, I was just sitting there talking to him with my head cocked. When I turned back around, I pinched a nerve in my neck and was in terrible pain for a couple of minutes. Today, I got a paper cut cut handing this to Andrew. That is my life as an accident prone blonde!

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