I have a tendency to get into freak accidents. I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before. I'm pretty sure it's a genetic thing from my father's side, and is likely exacerbated by our predilection for day dreaming and not looking where we are going. My grandfather cut off the tree branch he was sitting on. My father had three toes severed in a freak volleyball accident. I almost lost the vision in my right eye when I was hit in the head with a badminton racket. Do you see the trend? People laugh when I tell them that I don't play sports because sports equipment is attracted to my head, until I tell them I was almost blinded playing badminton.
But my accident prone-ness isn't limited to sports. I can harm myself doing almost anything. I got six stitches in my upper lip and took a chunk out of my nose while taking out the trash. I sprained my ankle feeding the dog (almost a year later and one ankle is still slightly bigger than the other!) Combine this freakish quality of mine with my husband's tendency towards death defying stunts, fires, and fast moving vehicles, and it's a wonder I'm still alive. To be fair, he's come across me covered in blood enough times that he's slightly traumatized and is generally more overprotective than under. But sometimes his stupid, dangerous ideas and my unintentionally self destructive tendencies align in a spectacle of calamity. Monday night was one such night.
Danny has developed a somewhat unhealthy obsession with lawn tractors. They're small riding lawn mowers that are slow and top heavy, and meant for lazy people to mow their lawns with. We have no lawn. We have rock, dust, and cactus. And two lawn tractors. He and his best friend spend their evenings riding around the neighborhood, trying to do wheelies, and inventing sports like "desert surfing". They, of course, remain unscathed in the course of these adventures. So, because the lawn tractor experience wasn't quite dangerous enough already, they decided to soup up the engines. I'm not sure how fast they can go, but I've been told they go "pretty fast". In this household that could mean anything from 15 to 200 mph. Danny asked me several times to take a trip around the driveway in the newly souped up lawn tractor. I was able to make credible excuses for about a week, but I finally gave in. As I lowered myself into the seat I reminded him "remember how accident-prone I am? Are you sure this is a good idea?" This is what we call "foreshadowing" but in real life. He showed me where the brake, the throttle, and the shifter were located. As I started to roll away he reminded me "if you need to stop in a hurry, just turn the key".
We drove around the driveway a couple times, then headed up the road to the cul de sac at the end of our street. I started feeling pretty cocky, riding my lawn mower like one of the boys, so I gunned the engine and shifted into fifth. Evidently fifth is actually hyperdrive on this particular model of lawn tractor, because I was suddenly flying down the road at an alarming speed. But it was fun! And I was beating Danny! I began the turn around the cul de sac, and realized I was going way to fast to make it all the way around without tipping over. So, I did what anyone who has been driving a car for over ten years would do. I stepped on the brake. The tractor slowed temporarily, then suddenly lurched forward and began to accelerate. Panicking, I pumped the brake, which if anything made the tractor speed up even more. As the tractor left the road and started racing headlong through the desert, I thought to myself "if you need to stop in a hurry OOOOHHHH SHIIITTT!" and decided to bail and let the lawn tractor pursue its dream of becoming a free-range lawn care vehicle. As I started my graceful flight through the air, I thought to myself, very distinctly, "this is going to suck." Then I ended up lying in a giant prickly pear.
It's awkward, getting out of a cactus. You can't put your feet down, because they're covered in thorns (I was wearing flip flops that disappeared as soon as I leaped off the tractor). You can't have someone pull you up by your hands, because they are covered in thorns. You can't move at all actually, because if you do the few areas not covered in thorns will quickly become covered in thorns. You really can't do anything, because of the fucking thorns. Somehow, Danny pulled me out and I was able to get enough thorns out of my feet to stand upright. I was all for walking home, but he pointed out I didn't have any shoes. And it was dark out. And we have a dirt driveway full of more thorns, and probably snakes and tarantulas. I couldn't sit in a car, because my ass was full of thorns. I was still shaking and dazed from the crash, so when Danny suggested that I take off my shorts in the hopes that the thorns would come off with them, it made sense to my rattled brain. So we pull off my shorts, only to discover that the thorns were stuck deep enough in my ass that they went straight through the shorts. Of course. So, you know those dreams where you're back in high school but you're naked? I have those dreams, but I'm always wearing a shirt but no pants, and I spend the whole dream walking around trying to hide the fact that I apparently forgot to put on pants. Do you see where I'm going with this? I am covered in thorns, bleeding, and now also living one of my nightmares. At this point I think Danny realized that my situation was starting to sink in, so he mumbled something about "going to get the car" and fled the scene. To summarize: covered in thorns, bleeding, not wearing any pants, standing alone on a dark street. Now I'm not only living my nightmare, but I'm also in a horror movie. I started slowly shuffling down the road, not really caring anymore that there may be rattlesnakes and actually kind of hoping one would be nearby in case a neighbor drove up and I needed to end my life.
Eventually Danny showed up with the car, and I perched backwards on one knee on the seat. We got home, Danny made me a large gin and tonic, and we spent the next two and a half hours pulling thorns out of me. You haven't really bonded with someone until they've pulled thorns out of your ass while watching Paris Hilton's BFF on TV at 12:30am.
The next night, as I lay in bed and tried to ignore the fact that it felt like I was lying on a bed of nails, Danny crept into the room and whispered lovingly into my ear "I installed better brakes." Let's just say he better hope I don't figure out how to cut those new brake lines.....