The Canadian went skiing. With a bad back. What could go wrong?
He had a lift pass burning up his pocket, with limited time to use it what with the imminent arrival of The Kicker; the mountains were calling. He hadn’t skied in years between having a super shitty life and no money for a looooooong time; and then more recently, a herniated disc. Yep, back problems going on a year and a half now but finally recovered JUST enough to engage in a little light skiing. So off he went for the day, with the full blessing of The Kicker and myself.
“Be careful with your back”, say I.
“I’ll take it easy”, says he.
Now The Canadian has been skiing since he was in diapers, so “taking it easy” apparently means “taking it easy on the kind of Black Diamond runs mostly frequented by Olympic competitors, the suicidally insane, and Norwegians”. If you’re not skiing like you’re being chased by James Bond villains on snow mobiles, you’re not doing it right. He had a marvelous time, apparently, until the last run of the day when there was an Incident With a Tree.
Several years ago I saw Rod Stewart perform on American Idol. He shuffled on stage like an old, old man who’d just had his walker taken away (and proceeded to croak his way through “Maggie May”. THAT was three minutes of sad irony). The Canadian bears zero resemblance to Sir Rod, but he shuffled into the room in exactly the same fragile geriatric way, grinned sheepishly, and said: “Ah….I might have broken a couple of ribs”
Any woman reading this knows that men tend to fall into one of two categories when it comes to Pain and Suffering. There are those who are absolute babies (The Ex once sulked for years* after I left him alone with the flu for a few hours), and then there are those shrug off concussion and keep right on trucking**, because they’re FINE***.
The Canadian is most definitely the latter. He’s stitched himself up over the sink after being knocked through a glass door (and has the scar to prove it). He’s been known to cut off his cast with a saw because it was getting in the way of working. I’ve personally witnessed him break his hand during a construction job, bandage it up, wrap it in duct tape, and keep right on building stuff. I have no doubt at all that should the need arise, he would dig bullets out of himself with a pen knife in between double shots of whiskey straight from the bottle (and if he was feeling SUPER fancy, he might first sterilize the knife with a cigarette lighter). So believe me when I say that if The Canadian is yelping in pain with almost every movement, you can be sure that he is in the kind of Serious Discomort that would have lesser mortals weeping and begging for morphine – or more likely, unconscious.
So, here we are. Me in full blown waddle mode, and The Canadian in agonizing shuffle mode. The combined symphony of grunting and groaning is equal parts sad and hilarious, and presumably good practice for being genuinely old and decrepit. Meanwhile The Kicker keeps enthusiastically reminding me with constant, vigorous Braxton Hicks contractions that she can’t WAIT to come out and join in the fun.
**also a true story
***true story #3: I once bought a t shirt for The Canadian, it had a graphic of bullet holes across the chest and the caption “I’m fine”