Tag Archives: accident

Brace & Lace

While home for Christmas, I organised a few drinks for Stephen’s Night. I craved a night out, following days spent cooped up over Christmas. The night proved to be messy. We had a few (too many) before we left for town, where we had a few more.

By the time we were in the club, I was drunk. I was in the company of my brother and his girlfriend, Melissa. I nudged Melissa and suggested we go for a dance. In my drunken state, I fancied myself some kind of Patrick Swayze.

“Another go,” I declared. “I’ll catch you better this time.”

Melissa took a few steps away from me and ran. I caught her clumsily. Patrick Swayze would turn in his grave at the idea of such an ungraceful tribute. Melissa collapsed on me. I lifted my head and felt unexpected resistance. I suddenly realised my face was stuck to Melissa’s arm. What the fuck? I thought.

Melissa wore a red dress with red lace sleeves. It seemed my braces had become entangled in the intricate patterned lace. I placed Melissa on the ground. She was in conversation with a bouncer who discouraged our Dirty Dancing performance. How the hell am I to disentangle myself?  While Melissa assured the bouncer we would vacate the dancefloor, my face was buried into her arm. I panicked. I gave Melissa’s sleeve a hard tug and broke free. We left the dancefloor.

“Eh, what were you two doing down there?” My brother asked. “People were laughing at you.”

Melissa laughed. I joined. I noticed a hole in the arm of her dress. I guessed it unlikely she’d notice since we were all pissed. I’ll save this story for tomorrow, I thought.

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Fruit Flies

Our office Christmas party was a decadent affair held in Battersea Evolution, a vast space in Battersea Park, capable of holding thousands for corporate events and shows. The set up was most impressive. A champagne reception awaited us on arrival. The nibbles were miniature meals – chorizo and potato stew and miniature curries were but a few of the savoury options. I ate every thing around me and despite this managed a trip to what can only be described as stalls dedicated to cheese and desserts. My belly contained a happy stomach.

Three thousand colleagues attended the event. Our department was a small group compared to the overall number of employees based in London. If you were separated from the posse, chances are you would remain alone for a good half hour before encountering someone you knew. I managed to lose my friends three or four times, using the time to admire the numerous well dressed City Boys. On one such occasion, around midnight, I  encountered Charlie, my friend and colleague, in a room set up for karaoke.

“This place is huge,” I shouted in her ear over the croaky singer. “I’ve been on my own for ages”.

“Did you hear about Regina?” Charlie asked me.

She read the confusion in my face.

“Regina was taken away in an ambulance an hour ago.” Her tone was serious.

Regina was a colleague of ours who had only joined a few weeks ago.

“No way! Are you sure? What happened?”

Charlie leaned in closer as the singer on stage attempted to own a Meatloaf number. She leaned towards my ear. “Apparently, she was outside and received an injury to the head.”

“Oh my God!”

Charlie explained Regina had been queueing for one of the funfair amusements near the entrance and received a head injury. She paused in her explanation. “I don’t know if it’s true or not, but … It doesn’t sound believable, but someone said she was hit in the head by a coconut.”

“A coconut?”

“That’s what I heard.” She shrugged.

I refused to believe this. “That must be false. I think it possible something hit her in the head. Someone is bullshitting on that detail.”

We continued partying. Every now and again, we were either told or asked about Regina’s accident. I dismissed it as gossip.”We’ll find out tomorrow,” I said to close the matter.

The next morning I arrived into work a few hours late with a heavy head. I had been awake until 6AM. I walked to my desk, praying for a quiet day, and caught sight of Regina at her desk. I thought best not to ask about the rumour. I figured numerous people had inundated her with questions already.

An hour later, I heard her call my name. She stood next to me. Her thick Spanish hair was tousled down around her face. Her dark complexion failed to mask her tiredness. She looks as tired as I feel, I thought. The rumour must be false. I bet she was out almost as late as I was. 

“I must leave work early today. Do you mind?”

“Of course not,” I replied. I intended to do the same.

“I must see a doctor.”

“Are you OK?” I asked. “I heard you had an accident last night. Is it true or …?” My question trailed.

She nodded and pointed to the corner of her right eye. There was bruising. “The eyesight in my right eye is fading.”

“What happened last night?”

She concsidered her words. “I was standing outside queuing for one of the rides with Paul and … someone threw a coconut at my head.”

“A coconut?”

“Yes,” she confirmed, “a coconut.”

I did my damndest not to laugh. This poor girl had received a potentially serious injury and I wanted to erupt with laughter. I felt awful.

Charlie spun around in her chair. “You mean it’s true! You were hit in the head last night? With an actual coconut?”

Regina nodded and walked towards Charlie.

“Did you keep the coconut?” Charlie asked this in a sincere manner.

“No,” Regina said. “It would not fit into my handbag”.

I turned in my chair and laughed hard and silently. I was grateful Regina was not at my side to see my amusement. On composing myself, I stood up and ushered Regina to the door. “Get out of here. You need to see a doctor quickly”.

Regina was back in the office the next day, her eyesight fully restored. The bruises healed quickly. A week later, we even laughed at the sheer misfortune of receiving a blow to the head … by a coconut … at night … in the middle of Battersea Park …. in December.

How to Give a Good Nose Job

My favourite gay club night was Spice, when it was held in SPY night club, South William Street. The plush interior of SPY, three rooms of amazing music and the crème de la crème of the gay scene made these nights memorable. The hay day of Spice coincided with the time I broke up with my boyfriend of three years. I spent many a night at Spice, dancing energetically to nostalgic tunes, attempting to convince myself I was happy as a singleton. Denial aside, I did have fun. Spice will forever be my Studio 54.

Later the same year, Boyfriend and I reconciled. We made another go of it on the basis we attempt remedy the issues that caused us to break up. Both of us felt we needed to socialise more as a couple. We injected a healthy dose of “coupley” outings into our relationship. One such outing was a visit to my favourite club night. On this particular evening, we encountered some of Boyfriend’s friends he made during our six months apart. One friend, Mike, was what you might term a ‘celebrity’ gay; a Eurovision song writer with an on-off-even-more-celebrity-gay boyfriend. He was – and always is – groomed and well dressed. He sported an air of self-importance and a tight t-shirt, showing his fine arms and pecs. I should chat with him and make an effort, I thought. He and I stood side by side in the nightclub. Dance music pounded from the massive speakers under the DJ’s decks. Strobes flashed in time with the music. I leaned in to deliver some small talk. I spoke loudly over the music.

“I love Spice. I’ve had more fun here than I have in any other night club.”

“The music makes it. I love it,” he agreed, nodding energetically.

I withdrew from his ear. What could we talk about next? Still thinking, I turned to survey the room, checking out the eye candy. I can only say I intended to talk to him again; I turned my head right, while looking to my left, absorbing the visuals on offer. As my head pivoted, my peripheral vision detected my companion’s head was much closer to me than expected. He was clearly doing the same as I, turning his head towards me, with no knowledge of where I was. It’s hard to describe the exact dynamics, but our heads collided at such a warped angle, just as I was about to speak, that Mike’s nose entered my mouth. It did not just graze or slightly poke my mouth; it went right in, withdrawing a coating of saliva as it exited. I was mortified.

“Eh, I am so sorry.”

He wiped his nose dry. “Don’t worry about it.”

The small talk continued, Meanwhile, I awkwardly remained next to him, praying we would leave his company. My face was red with embarrassment. I just sucked this guy’s nose, was all I could think. I just sucked this guy’s nose!

Weeks later, Boyfriend invited me to attend dinner with his friends one Saturday night. He noted my hesitance to respond.

“You really don’t like them, do you?” His tone was accusatory.

“No, they’re OK,” I said. I looked down at the floor. “I am a little embarrassed about seeing Mike.”

“Why on Earth would you be embarrassed about seeing him? Mike specifically asked me to bring you.”

I told Boyfriend the story of sucking off Mike’s nose. I can’t recall him ever laughing so hard as he did.

I never made the dinner in the end but I did provide a topic for conversation; Boyfriend repeated the Nose Story to the ten or so people in attendance. Apparently, the gathering, including Mike who had no memory of the incident, burst into convulsions at the tale.

Baby Sitting

I took a spontaneous trip to Athlone on Friday to visit my brother, his girlfriend Melissa and Baby Jack.

Jack is growing so quickly. He has a random assortment of words. His repertoire includes:

  • Who that?
  • Baba
  • Dada
  • Hey ya

On Saturday, I held Jack while his parents cleaned the kitchen. I showed Jack the window, which he apparently loves. We danced around the kitchen with him on my shoulders. I thought I could round off the Nephew-Uncle Bonding session by showing him my juggling skills. I substituted juggling balls with over ripe apples.

Bro. also took two apples from the bowl and attempted a juggle. I informed him he wasn’t juggling properly, “merely passing the apple from one hand to the other”. I took two apples and readied myself for a performance to be rivalled by  Duffy’s circus.

I threw one of the apples in the air. It sailed for a second or so and then came down. I failed to catch it. It bounced off Jack’s head and hurtled to the floor.

“Fuck!” I roared loudly.

Jack did not stir. He felt nothing. I looked up and noticed I was in Melissa’s gaze. Melissa had seen everything.

“I bet you’re reconsidering my offer of babysitting services,” I said.

She laughed.

Whoopsie Daisy

Early one Sunday night, a few friends and I had beers outside the Ocean Bar. This was two weekends ago. The weather had been glorious. We gathered on the jetty of Grand Canal Dock. The evening slowly cooled but not so much that an eclectic group of people sat by the waterfront. Plenty of sun scorched, red flesh was on display. The eye candy was top notch. A friend and I returned from the off licence bearing beers. We strolled towards the waterfront, absorbing  the many sights.

In front of the marina hangs a chain not of exceptional height. The lowest part reaches my knees. This obstacle separated us from our friends. I lifted my leg to what I presumed was an adequate height. My toes caught the chain. I tripped and fell forward. My trip swung the chain, causing my companion to also tumble. I quickly apologised. Pain ran through my shin. It throbbed and stang sharply. It was then I realised dozens of people potentially had witnessed my awkwardness. Surprisingly, there was no cheer. I limped away agonisingly.

We arrived at our patch on the marina; I recounted the incident to my friends.

Jeni corrected me. “No, Stephen! You fell! You fell on your own and took me down with you. Miraculously, neither of us dropped one beer.”

This is not the first time I have tripped over a railing. A few years ago, on a beautiful, sunny day on the canal near Baggott Street, a significant number of people sat with their food on the adjacent grassy bank. I left work for lunch,  intending to cross the canal. A similar obstacle awaited me; a chain railing. I attempted an elaborate run and jump. Following a quick dash, I sailed gracefully through the air. The toe on my – perhaps too – pointy shoe clipped the chain. I landed flat on my face with my arms outstretched before me. I lay face down on the grass for a nanosecond, momentarily, coming to terms with the incident. A loud cheer erupted from the many diners. I was mortified. I dusted myself down and vacated the area speedily. Later, returning to the office via the same route, I prayed I would not be recognised. There was no more applause.

I recall other clumsy events in addition to my inability to scale knee high railings: A few months ago, I walked into a filing cabinet at work. This filing cabinet has been in the same place for months. One particular day, my spatial awareness took a vacation. I walked straight into it. Then there was the time I walked into the row of desks; extremely painful. So hard was my collision that the entire row of desks shook. The occupants looked puzzled. I attempted to mask my limp. I whined under my breath with each painful step. There are occasions I’ve bungled basic things like walking. I have walked into the gate outside my house, missed a kerb on Parnell Street, missed another kerb on the Navan Road and tore the knee out of an expensive suit when I fell running for a bus.

Last night I visted Boots on Grafton Street to look for a toothbrush. On a typically, disorganised aisle, I lowered to my hunkers to examine the shelf. I balanced my weight on my right leg. A man walked by. I caught him in the corner of my eye. It was then I fell over on my side. He jumped out of the way. My considerable mass avoided him. I sat flat on my ass, looked up and apologised. We both laughed. He was genuinely tickled by the incident. About ten minutes later I met him at the cash point. He giggled as soon as he saw me. My clumsiness brought a smile to someone’s face.

I frequently discover purple and yellow bruises when in the shower. More than often I cannot pinpoint the cause. At the moment my left shin is yellow from the remnants of a bruise. My right knee is scabbed from the chain railing. This pain has prompted me to read around the subject of clumsiness. There are many theories to why people are clumsy. Common causes are imbalance, fatigue, lack of spatial awareness, bad eyesight and insomnia. I discussed this at lunch today. Some colleagues advised I should invest in a bracelet containing magnets to correct what ever imbalance I have in my magnetic fields. I dismissed this as hooey.

I don’t need magic, magnetic bracelets. What I need is a colossal amount of padding to reduce the impact for when I ultimately collide with stationary objects.

My Go At 5-Aside

It is generally assumed I am good at sport. There are two reasons I wasn’t up for 5 Aside. The first reason is that I am abysmal at the beautiful game. The second is I am not the most assertive when it comes to sport. I haven’t touched a football in years. In fact, the last time I touched a ball was when it hit me in the back of the head. I have such a bad history with soccer. I hated playing in school. I was always the last to be picked for a team. Soccer always made me feel like the class reject. In most schools, if you are not good at soccer, you haven’t got a chance of being popular. When we graduated from school, I was so grateful for the fact that there was no PE in college. As much as I detest soccer, I thought 5 aside would be a good opportunity to get to know some of the “lads” in work. I rose to the challenge and put my name down. GO STEVE!

On the lead up to the match the lads were asking if I was any good. I said, “No, I am useless, but fit enough. How about I run around lots and get in peoples’ way?” If the game involved just running up and down the pitch for an hour, I would be really good. It’s the kicking of the round thing I have issues with. I was also worried about what I would wear. I knew my pink tank top and matching pumps wouldn’t go down too well with the lads. I settled for a more neutral alternative – a navy pair of shorts and plain runners. The game was a week away and I had already chosen my outfit. It can’t be said that I didn’t look the part. We were due to play a firm of solicitors on the astroturf in Sandymount. It was a friendly game, but we wanted to introduce the solicitors to our good friend, “Pain”. GO TEAM!

The day of the game arrived. There were eight on our team. Three were my own age and the rest were in their early thirties. The whistle blew. I did as promised. I ran around a lot. I got in the way of the other team and sometimes even managed to get a touch of the ball. About fifteen minutes into the game we scored a goal. The game was ours. We cheered. Our opponents remained nonchalant. Of their team three of them were quite good. You could tell they were GAA men by the way they were able to go from naught to sixty in about three seconds. They bounded up the field with little effort. Their superiority rang through on their second goal. The life was beginning to drain from our team. I, like a trooper, was able to keep running. I even managed to kick the ball on two occasions. GO BODY CO-ORDINATION!

The GAA lads were very aggressive. They needlessly shouldered. This annoyed me. On one occasion, one GAA guy ran towards me. I went in for a tackle. The side of my head caught his. He bounced off me and fell over. I insincerely apologised. It wasn’t my fault since both of us refused to stop. However, he did take a hard knock. His contact lens became lodged in his eye. One of the guys on my team managed to remove it. About ten minutes later, I went for another tackle. This time I managed to get the ball. The guy, who I tackled, toppled over on his ankle with a loud snap. His team mates, after examining the injury told him to rest. He walked off the pitch giving me filthies. Soon after, I took down another player. The guy shouldered me and fell over in an elaborate tumble. The closing whistle sounded. The result was 3-1 to the opposition. We shook hands and went for pints. In the changing rooms it was decided that I would be the team “Hatchet”. It was my last and only game. GO HATCHET!