Flyin’ Chairs and Sympathy

Written By Galen White

You know, I just can’t do some things I once could do. Jumpin’ out of a tree today would kill me graveyard dead. The time I would spend runnin’ after a yearlin’ that got out of the pasture would be ’bout as long as the thought of doing so lasts. And tryin’ to haul a load of hay…, well, it’d probably take me all day just to make one pickup truck load.

Yes, sir. When one reaches a certain age, you begin to realize your body and muscles just can’t match the time you were sixteen. Just doing normal things sometimes will make you realize it. Doing the unexpected, emphasizes reality more so.

Such was the case with me the other morning. I arrived at work about 7:15 AM, opened my office and began what I thought was going to be a typical day. Come to think of it, I felt pretty good that morning. Ain’t it amazin’ how things can change in the blink of an eye?

I began lookin’ over some papers and thought I’d staple three or four sheets of a particular file together. That may have been my first mistake – thinkin’! My electric stapler sits on the desk behind me, so I quickly reached around and stretched my arm toward it. That was my second mistake.

Quicker’n a sheep can shake it’s tail, I found myself laying on the floor. Folks, I didn’t even have the chance to realize what was happenin’! At one moment I was reachin’ for the stapler and the next, my chair was sailin’ across the room. For .00037 of a second, I was trapped in mid air; unable to do anything about it and too surprised to even think about what was happenin’!

The wheels on my chair roll very easily, the tiled floor is smooth, and I, apparently, have no center of gravity. Or, perhaps, my gravity has no center. As I said, I suddenly found myself sprawled out on the floor.

You know, I believe the concrete used today is harder’n that used when I was a kid. First thing I did was the same thing everyone does when they trip or fall down. They look around to see if anyone was watchin’. Luckily, no one was.

I then began to wonder if I was still alive. Hey! I ain’t no spring chicken, you know. Once I realized there was no blood on the floor, and all my limbs seemed to be workin’, I commenced to scramblin’ around tryin’ to get up. That was when I realized the distance from “down right” to “up right” is a whole lot further today than when I was sixteen.

I wasn’t hurt at all…..well, except my ego bein’ bruised. Okay, okay. There was another part of my anatomy that felt bruised a little. Butt……, I mean, but it wasn’t too bad.

After I realized no one was watchin’ and I wasn’t goin’ to be forced to scream out the “Help! I fallen and I can’t get up!” commercial, I got to my feet, straighted up my chair, and walked to the front of the building to see if anyone heard the racket I’d made.

No one had. Well, what is a guy to do in such a case. Obviously, you’ve gotta tell everyone what happened to see if you can secure a little sympathy; and that’s what I did. Although there were only two others at the office that early, they both asked if I was okay. I quickly replied “no”, but they already knew that and said in unison, “we know that, but are you hurt?”

“Only my pride”, I said. “Think I should take the day off just in case there’s a problem I haven’t realized yet?”

That’s when something else happened very quickly. Sympathy flew out the window almost as quickly as my chair had flown out from under me!

Obviously, I lived over the incident, but gosh! I hate like heck bein’ reminded in such a manner that I can’t do things I once did.



Galen WhiteGalen White has written articles for several papers in North Louisiana and is now retired.





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