Everything Fun
Published in

Everything Fun

IT’S IN THE GENES

Trip, Slip, Stumble

All fall down!

Cartoon man is falling following a slip on a banana peel
Image by asmeyart-design from Pixabay — background by author

I have done lots of dumb stuff in my life!

I know — you find that difficult to believe. Well, you can believe this — I’m pretty sure I passed the klutz gene on to my children, and to my husband and friends. (By osmosis).

Now, I don’t expect you to know scientific stuff like I do, so for your edification:

Klutz osmosis is when you stand close to someone and your clumsy bits flow into them.
Sauce: Stupid Simple Explanations for Dummies

Now you have been edified and can read the rest of my story.

My big brother had KL, too. (Klutz Syndrome). In fact, I think he had a degree in klutziness. Sigh. How often do I have to explain — if I say it is a word, it’s a bloody word. (Look it up, plebs)!

Well, anyway, he qualified for his diploma at the tender age of eight years old. The final qualifying exam for the four-year Bachelor of Klutzidity (remember what I said last para — but don’t look it up) Diploma was to study and write about primates and their behavioural similarities to human beings.

You must understand that from the time of first steps, BB had been studying for, and blitzing, klutziness. To suggest that he was a little young for behavioural science studies is a bit hasty.

Behavioural Science — when you study behaviours and call it science.
Sauce: Stupid Simple Explanations for Dummies

Duh!.

In his keenness to finish his BSKlutz degree, BB decided he would take me for a little walk through our town to visit the local bird aviary.

Strangely, the bird aviary was built along one side of the footpath just a block from the town centre, beside a river. One walked along the sidewalk and suddenly one came upon large bird cages housing exotic (and not so exotic) birds.

Being only four years old, I thought viewing the run-down cages with rusty wire-netting (chain wire, chain-link, chainmesh), and substandard fencing was akin to a visit to Disneyland. I jumped and skipped from cage to cage, vaguely aware that BB had pulled ahead with purposeful stride.

Curious to see what he was so interested in, I caught him up.

The bird aviary had monkeys. Go figure!

Other little family groups were admiring the large, empty cage — apparently, the monkeys were out the back in their night-time quarters instead of performing on dead tree branches in the barren and grubby observation area.

“See that!” warned a mother whose child was attempting to scramble onto a low fence barrier. She pointed to a large sign and read, “Please do not climb the fences or attempt to feed the monkeys. These animals are dangerous!”

She grabbed the child who was still protesting the absence of primates and continued down the path of bedraggled bird displays.

There were three barriers to the monkey cage: A four-foot chain wire fence, inside which was another chain wire fence of about the same height, then the large mesh enclosure that housed the primates. The two small fences were less than two feet apart; the inside fence was barely inches from the monkey enclosure.

“I don’t see any monkeys!” declared BB, straining to see through the barriers.

A small wizened face peeked briefly through an opening at the back of the enclosure.

“Oh look,” I cried excitedly. “I think it’s a baby!”

“Where?” BB scrambled agilely up the first fence and balanced, sitting astride the top rail.

Not a monkey in sight.

BB strained to see through his glasses. The baby failed to reappear. BB leaned forward, peered even harder, and then lost his balance, toppling between the two outside fences.

Struggle. Struggle harder. Snared!

A child sardine in a wire trap; an enclosure that wasn’t built to accommodate sturdy eight-year-old boys.

He yelped and suddenly, the enclosure filled with large, unhappy primates.

The biggest and ugliest of them all lopped lazily over to view the prize.

“Help, help!” muttered BB in sheer terror.

The big monkey stuck his fingers through the enclosure wire and began plucking at BB’s clothes. To be fair, the primate was probably looking for the banana he thought all small boys kept in their pockets.

I was only four, remember? I did nothing — I don’t even remember being anything other than intrigued with the situation, except I figured BB was going to get in big trouble with grownups at some stage or other.

Some passers-by attempted to drag BB up and out of harm’s way but he was too firmly wedged.

A keeper who looked as unkempt as his charges suddenly appeared, flailing around in the enclosure, achieving nothing bar keeping himself out of the residents’ clutches.

“Don’t worry, boy,” he cried. “Malcolm’s gone for the Fire Brigade! I’ll try and get the monkeys into the back enclosure!”

Fortunately, Malcolm had only to cross the road to alert the fire fighters who, in turn, quickly attended the scene.

In the meantime, the keeper had finally coerced the aggressive primate back with some non-imaginary bananas.

The firies used wire-cutters and a gizmo which prized the fence apart to release my brother from harm’s way. BB was grubby and dishevelled but unhurt when he scrambled to safety, quickly dragging me from the aviary area.

A baby monkey AND a chain-wire fence all in one picture. Sauce: Stupid Simple Explanations for Dummies

I don’t ever remember there being a family discussion or any admonishments over the incident. Seemingly, our adventure went unreported.

Years later, I returned to the same small town. I had a little eighteen-month-old son and thought it would be fun to see if the aviary was still there.

It was! And so was the same grotty monkey enclosure I remembered from all those years ago. Weirdly, the sign was still hanging, (now dangling from one corner), warning people not to climb the fences.

The outer fencing was still in pieces, cut and spread apart, exactly the way we had left it when I was barely older than the child I was pushing along.

A monkey peered through the wire, examining me with curious eyes. I wondered if he was the same beast that had caused all the trouble in my childhood.

Stranger things have happened, I suppose.

flutie8211 Hmm most delicious, banana or boy? Either is nice with Sauce: Stupid Simple Explanations for Dummies.

It is here that I would like to summarize some other klutz-worthy events that involved family and friends.

When I was twelve, I invited my little sister to play hopscotch. No decent kids were around so I had to make do. Lil’ Sis was not athletic, I was. End of preamble.

Lil’ Sis was hopeless! She couldn’t hop one miserable square let alone bowl a stone into one, and then hop over to pick it up. Her task was to clear two squares, bend and retrieve the stone, (I had bowled for her). I left her snivelling in the yard while I made a quick trip to the loo.

“Jump the blinkin’ squares or you’ll never play again!” I threatened.

While sitting on the loo, I heard the heavy tread of feet taking a run-up. Odd. We weren’t long jumping. Then there was a second’s silence. A crash. A scream — I was forced to cut my ablutions short.

Lil’ Sis was sitting on the ground, bawling, with a leg all bent and twisted. I thought if she would just stand on it, mum and dad would never have to know.

That didn’t work, so I carried her to the next-door neighbour who called an ambulance.

I had been prophetic. Lil’ Sis never bothered with hopscotch again — not even several weeks later when her broken leg had healed.

Playing Barbie dolls, it seemed, was a safer option!

Freepik. Kids who don’t like standing upI think they’ve been on the Sauce: Stupid Simple Explanations for Dummies.

Not long after that event, I was playing jump from a neighbour’s front porch, over the strip garden to land and somersault on the grassy lawn.

I was being forced to play with another prissy, fashion-doll kinda girl. She didn’t want to jump. Instead, she daintily skipped down the three steps and flip-flopped around on the lawn like a wet fish.

In my defence, I didn’t touch her or berate her. I might, however, have snorted before pointing and laughing.

I’d say my derision hurt her feelings. She finally gave jumping a go.

I had no idea a garden stake could go into a child’s butt-hole (and break off)!

When I heard the news from her distraught mother, I had the decency to cringe. Understandably, I was banned from playing with the girl for quite some time.

I didn’t want to play with dolls, anyway!

Karma came and got me later in the same year!

My childhood home had a large backyard. The backyard was home to a very long, saggy, wire rope clothesline. It was saggy so that Mother could reach it to peg the clothes. When the clothes were pegged (or removed from the line), the saggy line was propped up with a long wooden pole to keep the line above head height — for extra breeze when there were clothes in situ, and for safety when they were not.

Someone left the prop off when they collected the dry washing.

I broadsided around the side of the house at my most reckless bicycle speed and promptly hung myself by the neck on the wire rope!

Incidentally, the bike kept going into the side of Father’s shed, (Note —Weeks later I blew the windows out of that shed with BB’s chemistry set) and I swayed and dangled for a few seconds before falling to the ground.

Mother made me wear a roll-neck sweater until the strangulation marks faded out — she didn’t want the neighbours to think she had garroted me in frustration!

To this day I believe she had a guilty conscience.

Ellen26 Rope to peg clothes on — Saucy chicken: Stupid Simple Explanations for Dummies. Did someone forget the clothesline prop? Watch out, chook! Kid on bicycle just around the corner.

Speaking of ropes

My twelve-year-old son, Craig, loved to play with action man figures. He and his mates would string them high up on tree branches to enact play battles in the foliage. He is his mother’s son, after all.

One night at dinner, I reminded him to be careful when climbing trees, especially when he climbed to extreme heights.

Craig looked at me pityingly. “Of course, I’m careful, Mum. I always tie a rope around the tree and round my neck in case I fall.”

That made me feel a whole lot better.

At least I didn’t have to worry about what the neighbours thought. They had made their feelings very clear over the years!

belajatiraihinfahrizi Kid with no commonsense climbing a few centimeters up a tree without a rope around his neck — Sauce: Stupid Simple Explanations for Dummies.

There have been so many incidents.

One of my children broke their front teeth on the jungle gym at school. A teacher called and said they were at a dentist getting the teeth attended to and would soon be bringing the child home. (I didn’t have a car).

While I sat on the front porch waiting anxiously for my child to arrive, the school rang to say that another of my children was on the way to a dentist — that child had also broken front teeth due to a playground accident.

jamesdecastro Not my kid in a dentist chair. All my kids have shins and feet! Sauce to call himself an artist— How to draw most of a boy: Drawing for Bloody Idiots

I have regaled you recently with a story about my pneumothorax. Hooray, I get to use the word again. Next to soupçon — thank you, Uvebruce — that is my favourite word.

When I was in hospital, my second son, Craig (20), (funny how he features more than once in these stories), called in to visit.

He was bravely trying to cheer me up despite the tubes, drips and stuff that had his mum imprisoned in a hospital bed.

We were having a lovely chat.

Then my eldest son, Dee Jnr, (22) popped in on his way home from work. He had recently started work as an accountant and looked the part, dressed smartly in a corporate suit and carrying a nifty briefcase.

I should mention here that Dee Jnr has an uber-weak stomach. If he sees a toddler messily eating a baby biscuit, he will dry-retch — we often had fun at parties to see who could make Dee Jnr vomit first.

You get the picture!

Anyhow, Dee Jnr marched smartly into the ward, spotted me, advanced to my bed to give me a greeting kiss, noted the tubes, etc., turned green and hit the deck in a dead faint! (He belted his head on the bead frame going down)!

Craig rushed to assist, began patting Dee Jnr’s face and saying all the right stuff.

Dee Jnr came around with the classic, “Where am I?”

Craig responded, “In the hospital, mate!”

Dee Jnr passed out again!

Image Mitrey Wanker I*, “What’s wrong with that kid?” Wanker II*, “You’ve met his mother!” Sauce for brains: Medical Morons’ Monthly September Issue

Did BB and I pass our klutziness onto our respective children? I don’t really know.

I do know my father stated on many occasions, as he witnessed one of my mishaps, “Cheezus, she’ll feel that in her old age!”

I didn’t have a clue what he was on about — I do now!

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Raine Lore

Raine Lore

832 Followers

Independent author on Amazon, reader, graphic artist and photographer. Dabbling in illustration and animation.