Hachiman wandered out of the bathroom, staring at his phone, on which he was playing a riveting game of Words With Friends with a college roommate. The bathroom was at the top of the stairs down to his man cave, which was where he was spending most of his time these days — to the point where his wife and kids barely saw him anymore. He failed to notice a barbell his wife had placed at the top of the stairs, and his right foot caught under it, to the point where his shin hit up against it.
He instantly realized his error, but it was still far too late to head off the tragedy that awaited him. His head banged off the bannister, then hit the third step down as his feet swatted the ceiling above the top step, and he rolled end-over-end all the way down. When he got to the bottom, he tried to get up and walk, which is when he noticed that his left foot was pointing about 45 degrees to the right of where it had pointed less than a minute prior.
“Ilena!” he shouted to his wife. Silence. “Ilena! Hey, I need help!”
“What is it?” she yelled back. “If you’re out of beer, come get one. I’m not going to bring you one.”
“I tripped over that goddamn barbell! Why the hell is it at the top of the stairs?”
“Quit living in the past!” she shouted back. “If our house were on fire, instead of trying to get people out, you’d be yelling about how it’s my fault, and we’d all die.”
“Ilena, I broke my leg! I need to go to the hospital!”
Ilena walked to the opening and looked down at her husband. “Jesus, your foot is pointed the wrong way!”
“No shit!” he yelled back. “Can you please take me to the hospital?”
“Oh, sure,” she said. “You sit down there and drink beer and watch sports all day and night, and now you need us when your leg is broken. Why don’t you ask your phone for help?”
“Fine, I will,” he said, dialing 911. “Hello? Yes, I broke my leg and need an ambulance. … Yes, my wife is here. … No, she refuses to help me. … Because I watch sports. … 12830 Lalenda Lane. … Thank you.”
Hachiman looked up at his wife. “Well, that’s going to cost us about $2,000. But at least you made me feel bad.”
Ilena stood there for a minute. “Yeah, I guess that’s worth it,” she said. “I’m going to go watch ‘This Is Us.’ Don’t tell me if you need anything.”