Walking from a parking lot to a grocery store the other afternoon, I tripped on a curb and was nearly upended. The only thing that saved me was a little dance I do in which I get my feet back under myself in a way that is not unlike some of the fancy footwork you see on “Dancing With the Stars.” The only difference is that this was more like “Tripping with the Stars,’ because I would have seen plenty of stars had my maneuver failed and I had gone rear end over teakettle and landed on my head or my ankle.
“Are you OK?” a lady who also was crossing the parking lot said as we arrived at the supermarket door more or less together. “Yes,” I replied, “I do that every day just to stay in practice.”
In a way, I wasn’t kidding. I find that inanimate things such as curbs, throw rugs, chairs and stairs have it in for me. I often bang my head on the doorpost while getting into my car. I’m likely as not to nearly trip over the cat (although she isn’t inanimate, she tends to lie down where I am intending to walk) when I’m in the kitchen. And speaking of the kitchen, an open cupboard door is an invitation for me to bang my head when I straighten up from putting something in the dishwasher.
The other morning, I decided to clean the stovetop while waiting for the coffee water to boil. I wiped the stovetop with a wet sponge, then wiped up the water with a paper towel — which caught on fire as I inadvertently passed it over the red-hot heating element. I got the fire out, but not before uttering several words I would never say in the presence of children or the clergy.
Mrs. Doud thinks I spend too much time on the couch watching TV, but that seems to be the only safe place.