I may get the wrong sort of readership with a headline like that, but I am afraid I am not about to confess to my student drug habits, like a Cabinet minister, or Pres. Obama. Not until I have really run out of things to write. (Nor are they anything to wait up for.)

On my way to the computer, I tripped and fell. I find I am doing this more and more these days, as if I have lost my balance. That was a lie. I have always been a tripper, scuffer, stumbler, and general prat-faller. Were it not that my father and mother would have disapproved, I would have run away with a circus and joined the clowns. (Clowns now strike me as desperately unfunny. Yet some of the big name clowns, like Coco, who wore an upturned cone on his head of some style and distinction, and whom I saw, I think at Bertram Mills’ circus, as well as on television, had real star status in their day. I am a bit stuck here. Coco did work for Mills, and was a Latvian-born entertainer who received an OBE, but I may be mixing him up with another clown.)

Anyway. Why is that two things – tripping over, and stubbing your toe – cause such disproportionate pain, and also hilarity if anyone happens to be watching? Stubbing a toe (and it is possible of course to do this as part of a really elaborate trip, like the one I’ve just recovered from)  feels when it happens as if it might just be worse than being dropped won a lift-shaft, in the same way that cutting one’s finger (e.g. with a piece of paper) seems excruciatingly worse than the idea of losing a leg. I suppose that the shock level is not high enough to blot out the pain.

I hate stubbing my toe. I hate falling over after tripping over some unseen object.

You can probably tell from this that I have led a safe and quiet life. I have not broken a bone in my body (yet), although my son cracked this trick – literally cracked it – when he was two, and each of my wives has separately, independently and coincidentally broken their wrists. I was in the vicinity (no more than that) on both occasions. Make of that what you will. If they dished out plaster for stubbing toes and tripping over objects which should not be where they are (like, my feet), I would have many jolly stories about what people graffitoed on my feet, but the only time I have had plaster applied was when a friend made a cast of my head. (It was very gruesome, very life-like, and a cleaner threw it away, thinking, doubtless, what are they up to here? It was for a play in which my character had his head ripped off by some women.)

What a quiet life I have led. This is because I have climbed no peaks (why do people do that?), never tried ski-ing (have you ever met a ski-ing party where they all came back in one piece?), and never been involved in a traffic accident which was more than a shunt. In other words, I stubbed my car. But I have fallen over more times than I care to remember, especially now, in the aftermath of yet another Mr. Clumsy-style stumble.

Ow. Ow. Ow.


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