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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Simp with a Limp

I played volleyball last night. As usual, I found a way to mildly injure myself. I never hurt myself badly out there — nothing life-, limb-, or manhood-threatening. But they’d take away my weekend warrior card if I walked out of the gym without some sort of ache, pull, limp, or a hitch in my giddyup.

(The doc says someday I may need a prosthetic giddyup. Or even a giddyup transplant. I’m not looking forward to that.)

Anyway, on this particular night, I managed to futz up my right knee. I bumped it, I wrenched it a little, there may have been some mild ‘popping’. All in all, just another night at the gym. No biggie.

I woke up this morning to some pain and swelling in that knee, and limped around getting ready for work. It slowed me down somewhat, but I managed to make it out of the house and to the office. I got onto the elevator and rode up to the main floor.

That’s where the fun began.

“The doc says someday I may need a prosthetic giddyup. Or even a giddyup transplant.”

In the lobby, this guy got on the elevator. He works on my floor. I don’t know him, really, but he’s always very friendly, says hello to everyone, seems like a nice guy. Also, he has this little quirk; because of some congenital defect or unfortunate accident, or possibly pissing off a bookie during his youth, he walks with a pronounced and permanent limp.

And that’s pretty much where the fun ended.

When we reached our floor, the door opened. My elevator companion, being the polite and upstanding gent that he is, stepped aside to let me go first. And I had no choice. So I thanked him, nodded, and limped past him.

He stepped out and limped right beside me. And I wondered — does he think I’m mocking him? He’s never seen me limp before; maybe he thinks I’m faking it. How would I like it if he came to my cube and pretended to sleep on my desk? That wouldn’t be very nice.

Or maybe he thinks it’s a sympathetic reaction of some kind, like I’m subconsciously limping because I’m walking next to him. And to be fair, I did notice that we were lurching to one side in unison after a couple of steps, but I was powerless to stop. For one thing, I was really limping too, and couldn’t easily change my rhythm. Also, we happened to be limping on the same leg. If I’d gotten out of sync beside him, we’d have bumped heads and knocked each other out. I get into enough trouble for sleeping at my desk, without getting caught conked out in the hallway.

I thought about apologizing for my limp, to avoid any unpleasantness. But how the hell would that work?

Hey, dude. I’m not dissing you with this limp or anything. Really.’

< uncomfortable silence >

See, mine’s just temporary, is all. Not… um, like yours. You know.

< really uncomfortable silence >

So, uh, this is my cube farm here. I’ll catch you later. Hope that other leg grows out for you. Or something.

That would have gone just swimmingly. So I shrugged at him helplessly between limps, faced forward, and prayed to god he didn’t kick me in the ass with his one good leg.

Lucky for me, he didn’t. But who knew a wiggly knee ligament could be an occupational hazard? I’ve really got to find a safer way to exercise.

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