stranger than fiction – part 1
i have a peculiar tendency to injure myself in very bizarre ways. i’m not necessarily a klutz (only occasionally), but i do get my fair share of bumps and bruises. that’s not extraordinary. what is remarkable is the curious manner in which i manage to incur real damage to myself. it’s weird in the way that causes medical professionals to blink at me in disbelief and glance around for hidden cameras. today you get one such example; tomorrow i’ll offer another.
the first weird wound i recall occurred during a high school musical performance (which also happened to be my 15th birthday.) the show that year was “barnum” and in the very last scene the stage is filled with nearly the entire cast performing a variety of circus-y acts in a colorful, chaotic musical number. i was dressed in red sequins and twirling a long ribbon, and thrilled to have a position atop one of the tall platforms beside the female lead.
i should tell you that our music and drama teachers did not direct half-hearted performances. our sets were always large and impressive. from my spot on the towering platform i could reach up and touch the top of the curtains – and i am not a tall girl. so there i twirled, stage right (high), mere feet from the barrel of a confetti cannon in the wings that would cap off the final song with a burst of paper bits to rain down on the stage. like i said, we put on all-out shows.
now, i’m not sure if there are different calibers of confetti cannons, but this one was powerful. when we tested it during rehearsal, a cluster of paper bits shot across the room without breaking up and took a chunk out of the wall. the first night of the show Miss Lead and i were stunned by the mass of confetti as it whooshed past us, and requested a forward scoot of the platform to avoid the assault in the following shows. i think you see where i’m going with this.
during our last show i was happily spinning my ribbon with my right hand with my left arm wrapped behind me, when the dramatic ending sent the confetti flying behind us. feeling a sharp pain in my left hand, i withdrew my arm to see blood dripping down my wrist and onto my sparkly ballet shoes.
immediately light-headed, i braced myself on my cast-mate so as not to plunge eight feet to the stage below, and tried to smile until the curtains closed. i made it down the ladder with one hand, got cleaned up, determined that i didn’t need stitches, and still managed to have a great birthday…but just imagine the doctor’s face when i said, “i was shot by a confetti cannon.”
i couldn’t make this stuff up if i tried. (tune in tomorrow for the second case study from my bizarre injury history.)