"The Lawn Mower Incident"

A few years ago I turned thirty and began to have an awful realization. I still fight it, but not with as much blind rage as I used to. My realization was this, “I may not be invincible.” This thought first entered my consciousness after what is now referred to as “The lawn mower incident.”

One hot Mississippi Saturday, I went out to mow the lawn. The lawn mower was giving me fits and so I began to pull the cord with the recklessness of youth… and I pulled my arm out of its socket. I immediately fell to the driveway and began rolling around in agony. No matter how I squirmed I couldn’t get my arm to go back into its socket. Grunting and gasping I could only think of one thing, Mel Gibson and the Lethal Weapon movies. In those movies, Mel Gibson’s character was constantly pulling his arm out of socket and it was humorous and very entertaining. However I remembered that in one of the movies, he put his arm back in its socket by slamming his shoulder against a wall.

With that memory as my only reference for solving a dislocated arm, I half crawled, half rolled over to the open garage door. Panting and sweating with the pain, I crawled up the door frame. Then in between the gasping of “God help me” and “crap.” I slammed my arm against the door frame. There was an excruciating pain as my arm popped back into its socket. Then an exhaled string of “Thank you Lords” as I leaned against the door frame thinking, it wasn’t that humorous or entertaining after all. I decided to go into the house; the lawn mower one, Jason nothing.

As I turned, I saw my neighbor standing in his driveway looking at me with a mix of sympathy and …a smile! I smiled sickly back at him realizing that apparently it’s humorous and entertaining only if it’s happening to someone else. Then I waved with my good arm and said, “Hi Sam,” mumbled something about it being a beautiful day and went inside thinking to myself “is this what happens when you get old” and also “Sam’s an ass.”