Monday, July 21, 2014

A thrill and a spill

Author and Comedian Mike Buzzelli 

A friend of mine just called me a klutz. It was hard to argue with him from my position on the floor. I was still trying to get up from a treacherous spill at the time. I have fallen down a lot in my life. I always get back up, unharmed. Well, until recently.

I was walking from the patio bar to the inside of the Round Corner Cantina, a Mexican restaurant in hipster-centric Lawrenceville. I missed a step and fell down on the brightly colored tile floor.

On the plus side, I got to admire the tile up close and personal, reddish terra cotta tiles mixed with white tiles in a checkerboard pattern. It would have been really pretty, if one of my fingers wasn’t facing a different direction from the others.

I jammed it. It swelled, but, luckily, it didn’t break. Now would be the perfect time to pick a fight with me. I can’t make a fist.

I decided to look on the bright side. I learned a lot. I learned “stove your finger” is Pennsylvanian slang. It probably comes from the same people who brought you “red up your room,” “yinz” and “n’nat.” I found “Stover,” as in “to jam your finger,” on a Pittsburghese website. Though, the word emigrated as far as Maryland.

I had no idea I was using a slang word. I’ve jammed my finger before. Two years ago, I jammed my middle finger tapping a fast-moving volleyball back across the net. Not long ago, I nearly broke a knuckle trying to catch a Frisbee. At least, I can claim they were sports-related injuries. Yes, volleyball and Frisbee aren’t the manliest sports around, but, still, it was tangentially athletic. Walking inside from the outside of a restaurant could not be considered a sports-related injury. I wasn’t even drinking margaritas yet.

You know, you meet the nicest people when you fall down. Several people rushed to my aid. Don’t think I didn’t notice the people who hid behind their guacamole. I know who you are.

Mike Buzzelli is an author and stand up comedian. His book, "Below Average Genius," a collection of humor essays from his weekly column in the Observer-Reporter can be purchased here;

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