I’ll concede that life can be pretty intense at times and often requires a serious demeanor and certain level of maturity; it can be more than a handful for just about everyone at some point. I also think that as amputees, we have a relatively unique set of issues and trials that we face on a daily basis. These issues can bring with them a serious air and sense of weight. We get so focused on the minutiae of our day to day lives that we forget to just cut loose and be a little silly every once in a while. This being said and, in the spirit of this week’s video section of my blog, I thought I’d share a couplea’ stories from my life as Marky5Toes that serve no purpose other than being fun. Enjoy!
I was working at a bookstore in Minnesota and had developed a very playful and comfortable friendship with a few of the employees. It’s not that my being an amputee and wearing a prosthetic leg was a non-issue, but more that they thought it was cool and shared my sometimes wicked sense of humor. One day, I was standing at the counter, talking with a customer. I was standing on my left foot with my prosthesis sorta’ propped up on the bottom of the counter. This girl I worked with walked up behind me and knelt down as if she was about to retrieve something from under the counter. I felt a slight nudge and heard a “click”. Before I realized what was happening, she’d hit the release button on my prosthesis, slipped it off, and calmly walked away with it hidden from the customer’s view. I stayed all composed until the customer left and then turned and yelled something playful at her. My Assistant Manager, who is a HUGE Monty Python fan, stepped around the corner and asked what was going on. I started hopping on my one leg and said, in my best Cockney accent: “It’s only a flesh wound!” She burst into hysterical laughter and could not stop. She had to excuse herself to the break room to regain her composure when another customer entered the store. If you haven’t alreasdy, watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail. My story will be SO much more funny to you. 🙂
Most of the guys I grew up with adjusted to my new life as an amputee as easily as I did. They shared my sense of humor and adventure. We had many moments of humor and fun that those on the outside may not have “gotten” or understood, but they filled our world with a bit of laughter. Ok, my next story could have taken a more serious turn near the end but at the time, we thought it was hilarious.
We used to go dirt biking in the mountains of SW Virginia and one weekend we decided to join a small group of guys we had met at an event. Now, these guys didn’t know about my prosthetic leg so we decided to have a little fun with them. I fired up my bike and took off into the woods as the others were still unloading their equipment. I went a couple of miles down the trail and after rounding a sharp turn, pulled off to the side of the trail. I quickly pushed my bike over to a nearby tree and leaned it against the trunk at a very awkward angle. I then sat down on the nearby hillside and popped my leg off inside my pants, twisted it around backwards and sorta’ “flopped” it up against my side. It wasn’t long before I heard the roar of bikes approaching. The small group rounded the turn and they all locked up their brakes and came to a skidding halt. Now, keep in mind this was the early 90s and cell phones were not very common, especially in rural Virginia, so it never occurred to us that one of them might have a phone. Two of the guys jumped off their bikes and ran over to where I lay. As I sat up and started laughing, greeted by the confused looks on their faces. I noticed my friend running over to a third guy from their group. He motioned wildly to me and was hurriedly explaining something to the guy who suddenly looked very annoyed. It turns out not everyone thought our little prank was as funny as we did, especially the guy trying to dial 911 from the woods. However, after a little explaining and a beer or two, all was forgiven and the group had a great day.
Not everyone is going to “get it”. Not everyone is going to understand and not everyone is going to laugh but, then again, it’s not for them; it’s for you. Remember to laugh at life. Remember to laugh at yourself from time to time. Remember to not take things too seriously and remember to enjoy your new life. Now, in the spirit of silliness and having fun as an amputee, let’s watch as I shake my bunny tail.
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