I played hacky sack for years as a kid. “That means you smoked a lot of refer and didn’t graduate from college, or if you did graduate it was in philosophy”. Wrong on all counts, although I am a decent amateur philosopher. Some of my original material:
Once you realize you are humble, that means you aren’t…
What’s the meaning of life? It is to live a life of meaning…
For those of you who say Great White Sharks should be declared and protected as an engangered species, please riddle me this; How many surfers do you see biting off Great Whites’ legs and arms?
Religion doth breed war. Sadder yet, for some souls, war is a religion…
That last one was more of a poem with philosophy in it, but you get the idea.
“Duuuuuude, want to hack?”
Anyway hacky sack is a blast and it gets the girls too. No it doesn’t. It makes you look like a tool really, especially if you are quite tall and skinny and wear hemp necklaces. But it is a blast.
“Why of course I do.”
Now jump forward to 2 weeks ago. On a nice Sunday afternoon, I’m pulling into our driveway with Reba, Oliver, and Amelia. Our routine is that Reba gets the Tubaluv out of her seat and carries her in while I unhook Oliver’s car seat belt (his car seat is in the middle of the back seat of the Camry), open his door, and he climbs out and closes the car door behind him. Usually I don’t wait right at the car door for him since he’s a big boy and a naturally careful fellow and has successfully done this a thousand times. But this time I happened to be right there when he was getting out. In making the usual transition from standing on the seat to sitting on it, Oliver tripped up on something and when I looked he was falling toward the concrete floor from about 4 feet above.
Me at the World Games in Munich, 2003
Kids fall all the time. No big deal. But this landing was going to be a very, very big deal. He could not have been leading more precisely with his face had he been a professional pie eating contest pie eater. And the human instinct that rockets ones arms forward to protect the moneymaker had taken the day off and had found as his substitute the Olympic ski jumper’s instinct that shoots ones arms aerodynamically backwards. This wasn’t going to be a character-building goose bump and scratch on the face landing. This was going to quite possibly yield some very sad trauma, with a broken jaw, broken nose, cracked skull, broken teeth, and/or maybe even a brain injury all in the realm of possibility. I was carrying something in my arms and regardless, by the time I saw him going down he was already too low to have grabbed anyway, even with ninja speed. So without me consciously marshalling so much as a single neuron, my right foot (my hacky foot) shot out, caught his face on my shoe and continued to drop the rest of the way with his face on it, slowing a bit with every inch, like you do when catching an egg with your hands. I honed this skill breaking the fall of my phone a few times a week. But this Oliver catch was truly a thing of beauty. Does it necessarily make me a hero? Yes, yes it does. I’m telling you, if this had been caught on video I would be taking over the Bourne movie franchise and Wheel of Fortune would be beating down my door to replace Pat and/or Vanna.
What’s my point? My point is that I may not be the greatest guy in the world. May not be good for a whole lot. Maybe I make I lot of comments on this blog that I have to go back and edit and publicly apologize for. Maybe my orthodontist gave me vampire fangs (before they were “in”, a la Edward) and maybe I wet my sleeping bag at my first scout camp at Bear Lake when I was only 12, but you know what? None of that really matters, because I have skills that you wouldn’t even know about and one of them saved my little boy’s entire face the other day. Do you know what would have happened if he had President Obama or Bachelor Andy or Shaq or Ryan or Ryan Seacrest or Davis or Kristin Davis as his dad? Broken face.
“Sorry son, I’m more of a quick hands type guy. On the bright side, they are making really impressive progress with these face transplants in France now, so.”
What’s your hidden talent?