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Charlie Hatton
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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!
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At Least I Can Still Drive to Work… Bitches!

Poop. I’m a cripple.

Okay, so I’m only a temporary cripple — I’ll be back to my old, bipedal self in a couple of weeks — but still, for right now? Yeah, a cripple.

You see, just a couple of hours ago, while playing in my league’s volleyball playoffs, I was running to set the ball. Not running particularly hard, mind you, or awkwardly, even. It was a pretty routine play, to be honest — ball straight ahead, legs moving in the same direction, tongue tucked inside my lower lip so as not to be hanging out and wagging inadvertantly… really, just business as usual. I think my fly was even zipped this time.

And that’s when, just a couple of steps away from the ball, I felt it — *pop*! It was like being nailed in the left calf with a baseball. I made it as far as the ball, plus one more hop, but I was in no mood to set, or even play any more, at that point. I just ran under the thing, caught it, and managed to groan:

Time out, time out, time out… dammitdammitdammitdamn… timeouttimeouttimeout…

So yeah, we lost that point. Apparently, you’re supposed to call ‘timeouttimeout, dammitdammitdammit, timeoutbefore you catch the ball that the other people on the floor are playing with. Lousy stinking rules.

But frankly, I cared a bit less at that point than I normally would. Now, I’m pretty competitive — I like to get in there and mix it up, and I let wins, and losses, hang around simmering in my brain for a few days afterwards. But just at the time, a few seconds after my leg going all wonky, I just wanted to have a nice lie down. Maybe a pillow. And a beer. I’d have probably accepted sexual favors at that point, if only as a pain-lessening therapeutic measure. I’m all about the therapeutics, you know.

Anyway, I hobbled over to the bleachers to work out what exactly had happened. Our team captain got busy conferring with the refs, to find out what would happen if I left the game then, but wanted to come back in later. I raised an eyebrow at him. Nothing. I raised the other one. Zip. I raised both, and said:

Dude. Look, I love you guys and all, and these are the playoffs… but I am so not coming back in. I don’t know what the hell just happened, but it’s not a ‘walk-it-offer’. I’m pretty damned sure of that at this point.

So, the game went on without me. As did the next one, when we won that match, and then the next two games, when we won the whole damned tournament.

(And before you get all snippy, there, Sanchez, I’ll have you know that we were playing well when I was in the game, too. We’d already strung together a winning match, and were ahead in the game I limped oiut of. So don’t get all ignorant on the ‘you wuz holdin’ back the team!’ tip, a’ight? Just step off, there, Cooter.)

Anyway, I whiled away the time talking to another guy on our team who’d had almost exactly the same experience last week, and had come tonight just to cheer us on. He’d been playing as normal, running around, then *bop* suddenly there’s a pop, a pull, and walking’s not nearly so much fun any more. He told me that his diagnosis was a torn plantaris tendon. I said, ‘a plain terwilla-what, now?‘. He lifted an eyebrow. I hung my head and apologized, and all was forgiven.

(See? I picked up on the signal. It’s an eyebrow! How freaking hard was that? Dude!)

Anyway, that ‘torn plantaris tendon’ thingy is the theory I’m working under, at least until I find out otherwise. But if that’s the case, the prognosis isn’t so bad. Apparently, this plantaris tendon character doesn’t actually do anything. It’s like some muscle-mooching hobo, just riding on the coattails of the shit in your leg that actually works for a living. You’re perfectly peachy without it.

Which doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt like hell to snap it in half like a piano wire, if that’s what actually happened. But long-term, there’s apparently no repair that needs to be done, no flavor of foot-tapping that I won’t be able to enjoy any longer. I can probably even still have my toes sucked occasionally, once I’m feeling a bit better. So the news is not all bad.

Still, for the next couple of weeks, I’ll be taking baby steps whereever I go. Literally, baby steps. I can see already — and more importantly, feel, rather forcefully — that stairs are going to be a problem. Especially in the downward type of direction — that’s no fucking picnic at all right now, lemme tell you. And apart from that, it’s suddenly a very bad idea to put my right foot in front of my left one, for any reason whatsoever. There will be no ‘Hokey-Pokey’ for this cowboy for a while, that’s for sure.

But I suppose it could have been worse. I don’t have any definitive evidence, but based on what I know so far, I’m thinking that this wasn’t my Achilles tendon, or anything similarly debilitating in the long term. And I didn’t sprain or twist anything that might take even longer to heal, and then keep happening every couple of weeks, just to torture me. No, with a bit of rest and some ice to keep the swelling down, this could be a one-time, couple-of-week ordeal. Hell, the guy who was telling me about his boo-boo was already walking again, less than a week later, with just a tiny bit of a limp. I wanna be that guy!

So, anyway, that’s how my night went. A couple of hours of exercise, a crippling injury, then a victory celebration with beer and chicken wings and ‘League Champion’ T-shirts. Me and the other crip got our shirts, too, even though we weren’t able to play in the championship match itself. I guess it’s the thought that counts, right? The spirit was willing, but the flesh was busy snapping in half and recoiling through a large muscle group, tearing and ripping away fibers as it went. Stupid flesh. Who invited flesh, anyway? Flesh has been nothing but trouble since it got to the party. Bitches!

Permalink  |  5 Comments

5 Responses to “At Least I Can Still Drive to Work… Bitches!”

  1. Jeff A says:

    Ouch, sorry to hear that Charlie, get well soon. When your feeling better we’ll cover that whole they won without you road!

  2. Monkey says:

    Get bipedal soon, Charlie!

  3. KPL says:

    POOR Charlie!

    Volleyball is a lot more dangerous than people think. I made an ill-advised dive trying to get a dig in January, and ended up giving myself whiplash. It takes a special kind of klutz to give yourself 3 bulging discs in your neck without being involved a car wreck. Feel better man, leg injuries suck.

    (insert your favorite “Legge” joke here)

    On a happier note, I’m sure you’ll get some bitchin’ pain-killers! :)

  4. Dawn says:

    Ouch. I’ve had some run-in’s while playing volleyball; with walls, other players, bleachers, the floor. Just a hint: playing on carperted floors, even for leisure, is not advised! :) Get better soon!

  5. shelli says:

    This entry and many others have fallen vicitim to ,a href=”″>latest version of round up”Either good or bad but an fyi.

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