maladroit (adjective) clumsy, awkward, bungling, inept, cack-handed, inexpert, unskilful, unhandy, ham-handed (informal)


When I was 4 or 5 my mother enrolled me in dance class, as part of an effort to teach me “grace.”  Many years of lessons and  pleas to “slow down” and “be careful” didn't work to make me less clumsy and accident prone.  I still trip over my own feet, fall off chairs and otherwise probably shouldn't even be allowed to operate my stove.


One of my earliest blogs was a LiveJournal where I chronicled my numerous spastic mishaps.  I think I managed 5 or so posts, the last of which was a passive aggressive dig at an ex – something about accidentally falling in love with an asshole.  I don't recall the other entries, but I probably didn't learn much from them.  I'm not thrilled about being so physically awkward, but I do like to laugh at my own expense – so one day when I meet my demise in a comically ridiculous way, the Darwin Awards can reference this list.


The most dangerous room in the house is the bathroom.  I'd heard this before, but after crashing onto the floor and barely missing the toilet with my head, I take it a bit more seriously – I now clean wearing sneakers (and clothes).  My Senior year of college I lived with two of my favorite former-roommates Jesse and Dan.  Having just met them and moved in, I decided the bathroom needed a thorough scrubbing.  For some reason, I decided to strip completely naked, lock the door and stand on the edge of the tub to commence Scrubfest 1999.  Bleach and water gets slippery and I lost my footing.  I knocked myself out and the wind out of me, coming 'round only to beg my new roommates not to knock the door down.  I had a bruise that ran across my abdomen where I fell over the side of the tub and wrenched my arm in a nasty way, but at least my roommates never saw my nudities.


That same year, I set out on a roadtrip with some friends for New Year's Y2K.  On the way to Maine, we stopped in New Hampshire.  To say I jumped out of the car with zeal is an understatement.  I hopped out, flinging myself excitedly toward our friend's SUV parked in the spot next to us.  I landed the jump on my feet, directly in a soiled baby diaper.  My friend's Missy's car probably never smelled quite right after that, but she's been present for a number of my ridiculous accidents.  We still laugh over the night we took a keg out on a boat for a late night lake regatta.  Unfortunately, the guy who joined us in our destined-to-be-flipped vessel probably still hasn't forgiven us for drowning his cell phone.


My knee surgery story isn't a result of a dignified sports injury, but caused by waitressing.  I managed to tear my knee carrying a stack of plates on a wet floor.  At least I didn't fall, but my little maneuveur to save the plates came at the expense of my meniscus.  Oops.


“Help, there are sparks flying out of my cable wire, what do I do?
“Ma'am, there is no electricity in the cable line, that's not possible.”
“But it is, fire is shooting across my floor”
“Are you sure it's the cable wire?”
“Yes!  Wait, NO, my futon is on the wire for my lamp.  Never mind.”



And then there was the time my hair straightener exploded while I was using it.  Luckily I only superficially burned the side of my face and the fireball that fell in my lap went out quickly.  My shirt and stomach were burned, but at least I got my cat to stop chasing the fireball that was headed for a crate of paper products.  Yeah.



Which brings me to my most recent incident which compelled me to sit down and journal some  memorable mishaps.  I'm fairly sure the iPhone manual specifically states not to use the phone while it's plugged in, so I hold no fault with the device, but we all do it.  If there is a warning to take from this long-winded post – take a lesson from this one.  As I have done many nights before, I plugged my iPhone in next to my bed, settled in to play some Plants vs. Zombies and dozed off.  When I woke up my phone was HOT.  I don't mean warm like I'd been on the phone for two hours, more fumbling to turn it off and not burn my hands hot.  The game played for the 7 hours or so I slept, never promting the screen to go to the resting mode.  Since it was plugged in, the graphics and gameplay kept going.  I should note the battery was in the red, nearly dead though it was getting a charge all night.  The fact that my sheets hadn't ignited while I slept was a wonder to me, did I mention the phone was burning hot? I grabbed a shirt to take hold of it and put it in front of a fan, praying it would work again after it cooled down.  Then I noticed the stinging on my face.  When I looked in the mirror I had a burn across my forehead.  I am a deep sleeper and had a vague recollection of swatting something off my face during the night.  My iPhone seriously burned my face, which then scabbed and led to lots of curious questions and my retelling this cautionary tale.  Amazingly the phone still works and my face healed, but I'm a lot more careful to shut down Angry Birds and PvsZ and never rest my recharging phone on my bed.