I’m a Klutz, Mr. Spock, Not a Bricklayer


And the Weirdest Accident Goes to…

I sprained my ankle two nights ago. Now I remove the ace bandage at the end of the day, hoping for miracles.

Pain…terrible pain!

I’m a klutz. I have been for as long as I can remember—certainly since I walked smack into a “No Parking” sign when I was ten years old.

I’ve sprained my ankle several times before and more spectacularly. A year ago, I pulled out ligaments in my knee while dancing with my young son toof all things—”Disco Inferno.”

The kindest interpretation is that I’m an active, fun-loving, gonzo risk-taker. The truth is more nuanced and mysterious. Because of my latest sprain, and because I also banged up the other leg while slipping on ice last week—I feel driven to pose the following questions:

  1. Are some people more accident-prone than others?
  2. Once you’ve had a silly accident, does whining about it help?
  3. Does it provide a secret release from the duties of normal life?
  4. What’s the weirdest accident you can think of?

Pain…terrible pain is from one of my favorite Star Trek episodes, “The Devil in the Dark,”* which involves creatures called the Horta. These lava monsters make tunnels in the rock on a mining planet, working in tandem with the humans running the operation. All is well, until they start attacking people. Kirk and Spock and the red shirts come down to the planet to figure out what’s going on.

Mr. Spock mind-melds with a horta. He lays his hands on this pulsing hunk of magma and goes into a trance, wincing, grimacing.

“Pain…terrible pain!” he shouts, channeling the horta’s feelings. Continue reading