You know that saying – “Just to add insult to injury…” Well that is exactly what this video is – adding insult to my injury. Don’t worry yourself Honey, I am just fine!
I’m telling you girls, living in the Godforsaken Arctic Tundra is not for sissies – we fall a lot here. There are basically three main types of falls – let me explain.
The first is the one that throws you up in the air and the first thing to hit the ground is your shoulders, neck, or head. I always thought that one made you look like you had just been tackled by one of those TV wrestlers so I call that one ‘the Take Down’.
Then there is the ‘Two-Fer’. That is where you go down and you take someone with you, quite often the husband who is helping you to your car. You don’t have to be a couple to do a Two-Fer though. One day my friend and I were walking up to her house from the car – WHAM – I went down so fast that my arms shot up and clocked her in the nose. By the time we made it to the door I was hunched over dragging my left leg, and she had a bloody Kleenex stuffed up her nose.
Lastly, we have the ‘Song and Dance’. This one starts with the knowledge that there is something amiss. Your front food lands on something other than solid ground – or you realize that your back leg is heading off to the side under its own mysterious power. So you compensate. You start a series of jerking maneuvers that make you look as if you are trying unsuccessfully to dance, or possibly having some sort of seizure. You hunch, swing, and lunge. There is where the vocals come in – grunting, swearing, and small screams. Men pull groin and back muscles, women wet their pants…and then you’re down…lying on the ground, gasping and groping like a fish because the wind has been knocked out of you. Its exhausting and embarrassing. Young people jump right up, look around to see who witnessed the dance, and then tell everyone they are OK no matter what the damage is. They could look as if their leg was put on backwards by a drunk dollmaker, and they would still say “Fine man, I’m fine”. Honey did a Take Down one winter, jumped right up in case anyone was watching, and went to work – she didn’t realize it for a couple of hours, but she had broken her arm! Moron. Sweet child of mine.
The rest of us lay there for a bit and take stock of things. Can I feel my feet? Anything going on in the neck or back region? Is the snow turning yellow under me? Actually, we would be better off just letting ourselves fall right off the bat. But we fight it, with some sort of Northern instinct that tells us if you go down you will never get up.
We also number our falls when we talk about them to others: “I took my first fall this year at the Kwik-Trip gas pump – lost my footing and ended up under my car.” “Oh yah, my third one last year had my skirt up over my head in the parking lot of the Lutheran church.”
We even have our own winter vocabulary as well, for example:
Snirt – snow with a dusting of dirt on top. In town, along streets and piled up in parking lots. Usually starts sometime in February when the snow slows, the bone-chilling cold sets in, and ugly takes over the landscape.
Snoil – a farming term for snow with a layer of top soil on it. The plague of farmers, the previous black topsoil blows off the huge prairie fields and becomes snoil in the ditches.
Wice – wet ice. You see it, and before it registers, you are on your back in the road trying to remember the name of your chiropractor.
Crackers – a piece of ice on the lake (that you may or may not be currently standing on) that is too thin and about to fall into the frigid lake. You hear a dull cracking noise, coming from below and getting closer. “Yep, that dumb@$$ drove his new truck right onto the lake and parked on a cracker. Got out, walked about ten feet, and turned just in time to see the last taillight and bubbles.”
This particular fall was a classic ‘Take Down on Wice’. As you can see, there was no serious damage. With no help from my darling Honey, I managed to get up, and go inside to change my pants. Next, a cup of tea with a shot of brandy (medicinal, it’s a muscle relaxant!) and a hot pack on my bruised hip. Voila! All is well again in my wintery and wicy world.
Love from your mother,