It snowed last week in the St. Louis area, anywhere from 5-12 inches, depending on where you live. We got about 11 inches here at the homestead, in case you’re curious. Anyway, this particular snow was mixed with ice. It all started with rain on Tuesday evening which turned into ice, and then it pretty much snowed for two days straight. It wasn’t the pretty snowfall that so many people seem to adore, but a fine, ugly snow that came in waves and just built up.

Needless to say, the city more or less shut down for two days, but by Friday a lot of us were back to our normal daily activities. The main roads had all been plowed, as well as most driveways and parking lots. The thing is though, you can plow a parking lot and salt it, but there will still be snow to melt. Snow melts into water, which freezes when temperatures drop, and then you get ice again. Now, those of us who live with winter weather know this all too well, and we all know to look out for the icy spots that will inevitably form. We try our best to avoid them, and do the “penguin walk” when you can’t. Sometimes though, all the knowledge and preparation and awareness fails you.

Which is what happened to me on Friday.

I took a pretty nasty fall Friday evening. The temps fell, the parking lot I was walking through froze over and I hit the ground hard. Didn’t even have time to assume the penguin pose, I put one foot down and was gone.

I fell backwards and landed on my tail bone, which would have been funny had it stopped there. But it didn’t. I kept sliding, hit my back, and then my head hit the ground. I was pretty shaken up, I remember my eyes closed and I might have been out for a few seconds. Fortunately there were several people around. I remember hearing one of them say “He hit his head, I heard it!”

Now I wasn’t seeing stars or anything, but I was pretty out of it at that point. Someone asked if I wanted them to call an ambulance. I had no idea if I needed an ambulance or not, so one was called just to be safe. Somebody put their gloves under my head (I think that’s what it was) and the group told me to stay on my back and not close my eyes, which, honestly, I really wanted to do. I knew not to though, so I just focused on the voices and sounds around me until help arrived.

There I was, lying down on my back. On the ice. In pain. My butt was wet, my head hurt and I was freezing. After what felt like about fifteen minutes (no idea how long it was really) the paramedics showed up, and on the way over to me slipped on the same icy patch. They didn’t fall though, which was better than I could manage. In order to get me to my feet, the two paramedics had to slide me back onto the curb, and then up to my feet. Which would have been embarrassing had it not been so serious.

I was taken inside the ambulance where they checked me for a concussion. It was determined that I did not have one, just a big old lump on my head and a few bruises from the fall. Thank God. Since I wasn’t bleeding was making sense when I spoke (though finding words was still a little bit difficult), and felt no nausea or headache apart from the obvious bump, they walked me to my car and let me go home. As I was getting in my car, the guy actually said “Be sure to put some ice on that”.

I said, “Ice was the problem, sir.”

So I iced up all night to combat the swelling. Saturday felt better and I went to work with the help of some painkillers. Sunday, however, was much worse. That’s when everything else started to really hurt. I actually thought my back might not hurt since I was laying on ice at the time and therefore treating it, but nope. Also my neck was amazingly stiff, partially from having to hold my head in funny positions while I slept, but I think it finally started to decompress and I felt pretty miserable all day. Today I am finally beginning to feel normal, though slightly sore and my head still throbs a little now and then.

I find it kind of funny that I should wipe out so spectacularly on the same day the Winter Olympics officially started. In fact, earlier that day we were discussing curling, and how I almost took up the sport. Well, thought about it anyway.

Remember when curling was made an official Olympic sport and the country at large discovered it? Remember how captivated we all were with this odd “shuffleboard on ice” sport that most of us had never heard of before? Well, some of the guys I worked/hung out with back then all felt the same way.

We were watching the games, the sport, and the guys who played it. We also surmised that this was a sport that a bunch of guys in questionable shape and in their 30’s could probably do. While drinking. I mean, like, you could hold a beer while you did it. This appealed to us.

So we sought out the (fairly knew as far as we knew) St. Louis Curling Club and made an inquiry. We were under the mistaken impression that we could maybe show up, rent a lane and some equipment, and just mess around with curling for a while to see if we liked it or had any possibility of being remotely successful. Turned out though, that they required serious time and money commitments right off the bat. Or broom.

Thus, our hopes of Olympic glory were dashed. Too bad. Perhaps I missed my calling. Perhaps I could have been an Olympic curler for the USA.

Or, I could have fallen and conked my noggin on the ice on the world stage, which is probably more likely. Oh well.

Anyway, the Winter Olympics are underway and I’m sure I will have more to say on the next edition of MonDAVES. Or maybe not. You never know, do ya? Come back next week and find out.

P.S.-How do you stop Canadian bacon from curling in the frying pan?
You take away their little brooms.

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