I was running short on time as usual, so instead of asking a store associate for assistance, I tried to stretch my 5’4″ frame to reach the containers on the top shelf. Stepping on the bottom shelf, stretching my arm as far as it could go, I was just touching the front of the container with my fingertips. Stretching, reaching, stretching, the container spun round but not closer. Without really thinking it through, and just wanting the item, I jumped an inch or so off the bottom shelf, grabbed the bottle, and of course came crashing down on my ass in the middle of the aisle. Wearing wet snow boots, the skinny metal lip of the bottom shelf gave me not a moment of traction; so obviously I fell flat on my ass. Falling down would have been bad enough but when I grabbed the bottle I also knocked several other items from the shelf that wobbled and toppled, almost like dominoes, from nearly six feet above me, landing around me and even a few on my right leg and hand.
I sat, stunned by my own idiocy for a moment, surrounded by the kind of mess I’d expect from my three year old. I felt fortunate in that at least I was alone in the mess. I hopped to my feet, shook my hand which hurt from being hit with the falling bottles, and began to reach to clean up the mess when a small team (there were three) of store associates rounded the corner with great speed. As I began to apologize for the mess and explain nothing had broken (thank God for plastic), they began to assess my condition.
“Miss, are you okay? Did you hit your head? Are you injured? Does anything hurt?” the apparent leader of the pack questioned.
With my face presumably the deepest shade of red humanly possible, I replied, “I’m really very sorry; I thought I could reach the top shelf. Unfortunately, I’m about an inch too short and tried to get it down in a very poorly thought out plan that required some level of skill and athleticism both which I’m clearly lacking.”
The youngest of the group snickered at my lighthearted response, but was quickly silenced by a stern look from the leader. “Miss, I think you should sit down while I assess the situation.” In my mind, for a moment, what I heard was “Miss, I think you’re an ass. Sit Down.”
“Really, I’m fine,” I persisted. “Please let me clean this up and be on my way. Seriously, I’m sorry and I’m fine. I’m also in a hurry.”
“Are you sure you aren’t injured? We can call a ambulance,” he said in a very concerned voice.
“Please, please, please do not do that,” I said noticing shoppers walking slowly past the aisle and trying to determine the cause of the disturbance. “I am totally fine aside now from being extremely embarrassed. I’d love to pick up my mess here and go. Please.”
“We’ve got it, Miss.” the leader said still looking at me like I was going to lose consciousness at any moment. He pointed at the mess and the other two employees began to pick up the items. I bent over too, still feeling embarrassed , but just wanting to remove the evidence of my clumsiness and move on with my shopping trip life at this point.
With the last of the bottles being placed back on the shelf by the tallest of the three, I quickly remembered why this event happened in the first place. “Shoot!” I exclaimed. “Can you hand me one of those bottles right there?” I asked. “That’s what i was reaching for in the first place,” I explained pointing my crooked finger.
“Holy crap! Your hand!” the younger employee said. All eyes were on my red and crooked finger still extended and pointing at the bottle that was still so close, yet so far away.
“Oh, a bottle may have hit it, but I’m fine really. It doesn’t even hurt,” I said nonchalantly, tucking my hand behind my back.
“No, no! Your finger was all crooked! I think you broke it, seriously!” he exlaimed rather loudly.
“I knew it!” the leader spoke out. “Miss, let’s go to the office so I can…”
I abruptly cut him off. “Listen, listen! Calm down. My finger is not broken. I’m double jointed.”
“Seriously, fellas. My hands are double jointed. I’m fine, so if you could just hand me the bottle….”
They still just stood there looking at me and I knew if I were ever going to get out of there, I was going to have to give a demonstration. So I did. And just like when I was in grade school the “boys” said “ewwww” and “ahhhhh” and thought it was “gross and kinda awesome” as the youngest employee so eloquently stated.
So I may not be very clever, I may have very poorly planned and executed plans, and my athleticism is obviously lacking, but at least I have side show fingers that never seem to fail.
Have any “special” talents? Leave me a comment!