My History of Strange and (Mostly) Minor Injuries

During college I used to buy a bunch of bananas, eat all of them except for one, and let the remaining banana sit for weeks until it was brown and shrunken and rotten and soft. Then I’d gather some friends in our house parking lot and punt the banana, which exploded on impact and rained its creamy guts onto the asphalt, our heads, and sometimes a few cars. One time I punted the banana so hard that it left a scar that’s visible if the light hits my foot just right.

In first grade I was playing basketball on the playground at recess. My friend went up for a shot, and I blocked it. I chased the ball to save it from going out of bounds, when something crashed into me. I fell to the ground and felt a crunch in my shoulder. A second-grade Godzilla named Brittany had knocked me down, stepped on me, broken my collarbone, and just kept running.

Several years later I was at a middle school dance, when Brittany spotted me from across the party.

“Come here,” she mouthed, motioning with her finger.

I obeyed, partly out of curiosity but mostly out of fear. When I approached her, she grabbed the collar of my shirt, pulled it towards her, poured an entire Sprite down my bare chest, and walked away.

One time my little sister was pretending to punch me in the face but missed and instead real-punched me in the face.

One Fourth of July at a friend’s lake house, three of my friends and I decided to go tubing — at the same time. Our friend’s dad zoomed and swerved the boat around the lake and sent us all flying. I’m not entirely sure what happened, but in midair someone else’s knee — or shoulder or elbow or heel or head — collided with my thigh. For the rest of the weekend, I could barely walk. The next week, I went to the doctor and was seen by a very attractive P.A.

“Where is the pain?” she asked.

Sheepishly: “My, uh, upper thigh.”

“Can you show me where?” I rolled up my shorts to my groin. “Mmhmm…and can I see your other leg?”

I showed her, which meant I was I was sitting there with my entire thighs exposed, as if wearing some kind of khaki-shorts-slash-diaper.

“Maybe this isn’t appropriate,” I began, my eyes acknowledging our precarious situation. “But would you want to go out sometime?”

She paused. “Sure, I’d like that.” Well worth the world’s worst charley horse.

My eye was killing me. I was maybe five years old, and I had my hand pressed so tightly against my face that not even my parents could pry it off to inspect the damage. I was screaming — like, a lot — so they did the responsible thing and took me to the emergency room, where a kind doctor removed what turned out to be an eyelash and sent us home.

We were at a bar celebrating my birthday, and I found myself dance battling a woman who was either a former groupie for the band Poison, a washed-up B-list porn star, or both: bleached hair, perma-tan, jean shorts, giant fake everything.

At some point, a single dollar bill fluttered from out of the crowd and onto the floor that separated us. I seized the opportunity (prop-ortunity?) by crawling seductively on all fours into the center of the circle and picking up the dollar with my mouth. I stood up, body rolling and gyrating and white-boy twerking with the bill clenched between my teeth.

Mrs. Bret Michaels walked over and, with fingers adorned with wildly long nails, snatched the dollar and stuffed it down the front of my underwear. I felt a pinch. When I pulled the bill out, George Washington’s face was covered with blood. I still have that dollar.

What are some of your strangest and (mostly) minor injuries? Write a response or leave a note — if for no other reason, to make me feel better about the above.

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