Everyone has fallen in their life, even the most co-ordinated. We have tripped, stumbled and bowled ourselves over. Then we get up, brush ourselves off and proceed on our merry way. One time a receptionist/nurse rushed into the doctor’s room and said, ‘’Doctor, the man you just treated walked out the door fell and collapsed on the front steps. What should I do?’’ ‘’Turn him around’’, said the doctor. ‘’So it looks like he was just coming in.’’ It is our natural instinct to laugh, or at least chuckle under our breath, at anyone taking an unforeseen spill. We can’t help laughing, it’s funny. We may say after, ‘’I’m not laughing at you, I’m laughing with you’’, or something to that affect, so the person won’t get annoyed at us. Charlie Chaplin honed in on this natural folly of ours and cashed in on it. Everyone has seen at least one of Chaplin’s flicks that depict him taking a tumble. One Chaplin short I remember had Chaplin walking down the road looking at everything and everyone EXCEPT the road in front of him. The camera then focused in on a banana peel in the near distance. The viewer was on the edge of his seat to see what he knew was upcoming. But Chaplin, the clever artist that he was, threw a wrench in the script. Just as he was about to step on the peel, he noticed it and took a step to the left of it—right into a manhole. He kept the element of surprise with an old gag, and still got a laugh.
The banana peel joke has been around since the early days of vaudeville, but the use of the banana peel as an injurious prop has its roots in reality. In the early 20th century, refrigeration and shipping speed made the banana the most popular fruit in the country. And in the age of anti-littering laws, the banana was eaten and the peel discarded wherever the eater was. The peels rotted and became quite slippery and thus dangerous to tread on. Banana peels were in fact responsible for a lot of accidents and injuries. The problem was so bad that urban sanitation systems were set up solely to combat the problem with the peel. ‘’HORSE SHIT’’ you say. Well yes, that too was a factor in urban sanitation systems being created in that era, but we’ll stick to the peel for now.
With the onset of ALS comes many problems. One of them is falling down. ALS attacks the muscle groups of the body. Over 300 muscles in your body work to allow you to stand and walk. With the weakening of these muscles, coupled with balance issues, falls are inevitable. I’ve had my share of falls. My most recent fall was three days ago. I was standing by the front door, minding my own business, and I lost my balance and fell into the door. With ALS you can’t catch yourself because your arms are too weak. So into the door I fell. My luck, there was a nail in it to hold a wreath and you guessed it, I hit the nail on the head (or is that the head on the nail).(see photo below.) I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I am going to fall, but I’m not going to take it lying down—sort of, because as Confucius say, ‘’it’s not the failure to fall down, but the refusal to get back up.’
I NAILED it, alright!!
Now I’m not making a mountain out of a molehill, but this slope on the grass caused me to fall.
No, this is not the wicked witch of the east under Dorothy’s house, its me.
I didn’t fall IN the tub, I fell INTO the tub