By Elsa Stoff
Have you ever had one moment of complete failure that triumphs over all others? You know, one of those moments where it wasn’t even a deliberate action or entirely your fault, but your life leading up to the point was encased in stupidity?
Yeah, I’ve got one of those. I was in middle school, and my best friend at the time was at my house with her family for dinner. This was a common weekend occurrence for our families. The night would commence with Best Friend and I playing Rummy, and it would end with putting on a puppet show about flesh-eating rabbits and The Beatles with our brothers. Those were some KOALATY memories.
Since we were stupid ten-year-olds, we decided to play with one of those interchangeable gel balls. I’m sure you remember them; everybody had one at one time or another. They were smooth and gooey on one side and spiky and gooey on the other side. It had a hole in the bottom, so you could flip it to either side.
By this point in my short life, my mom should have figured out that buying these things for me was a bad idea. When I was five, we constantly had problems with the sticky hands from the vending machines at the Tops supermarket. They always got on and ruined the furniture, so my mom consequentially banned them from the house.
However, she forgot this six years later, when she bought this green gooey glob for me despite our prior experiences. I brought it everywhere. My friends and I passed time at summer camp by giving it full-out baths including sticking it under the hand dryers in the locker room. Aren’t my parents glad they paid tuition for that camp?
Anyway, the result was sticky goo. The once-awesome green ball transformed itself after the loads of soap we dumped onto it, so as Best Friend and I tossed the sticky ball of goop up, it was bound to land on the ceiling. Each time it got stuck up there, either I or Best Friend would stand up on my desk chair and throw a pillow over it. Needless to say, we really lacked a social life. It really doesn’t get any sadder than that, besides playing card games every time a friend came over to play…wait; that pretty much sums up my childhood.
Somehow this was fun for us. We threw the ball at the ceiling, it got stuck, we threw pillows at it to get it down; lather, rinse, repeat. Of course, one time, it failed to fall down. I got blankets and bigger pillows to chuck at the idiotic toy, yet our attempts were futile.
Then I remember I have a ladder to my loft bed. I climb up, and reach out. I couldn’t even touch it. So I got this fabulous idea to jump off the ladder and swat it off. Best Friend cheered me on from below. I leapt and swiped the ceiling. The green goo slowly ripped off the ceiling and dropped down, simultaneously with me.
This is where it all goes wrong.
I landed on my feet, seemingly unscathed, except my chin landed on Best Friend’s shoulder. My teeth sliced threw my tongue since my jaw has no space to bounce down to.
“Are you ok?!” I exclaimed, primarily concerned about Best Friend’s shoulder.
She was fine. However, pain shot threw me, and I sprinted to the bathroom. I suppressed tears, and observed my tongue in the mirror. There was a gash on the bottom and the top was bleeding. I strode back to my room.
“Hey, I kind of bit a hole through my tongue,” I said, nonchalantly.
Best Friend freaked out and showed my parents, and they were all like, “Deal with it. We’re doctors and there’s nothing we can do about it.” (Disclaimer on the account of the parents who will be reading this: they weren’t this cruel. I assure you, this is a mostly true account.)
So intense pain for a couple weeks and nothing to say except that I am a failure. Isn’t that just fantabulous.
Childhood is dangerous, but I wouldn’t call that the moral of the story. Just learn from your mistakes and don’t bite a hole through your tongue.
Pictures by: Elsa Stoff