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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Falls of Age

I have developed what I hope is a slight version of the characteristic stoop of the aged, and I've been teased and criticized for having it and taking it so lightly, though never by teenagers or young adults. Instead it's always by people in their 50's and 60's. I guess it's because the sight of it reminds them that they themselves are fast approaching the bridge of no return (the dreaded age 80) that I am now so blithely crossing.

But the other day it occurred to me that there's a big advantage in being stooped, and that is that if you are shaky on your feet, as I am, it's much better to fall forward or to the side than it is to fall backward, because then you have a chance to throw out your hands and ward off injury, except maybe to your nose.

About ten years ago I had just such a complete backwards fall. It could've easily been serious but wasn't in any way, except to my self-esteem.

I was standing on a chair, with the back of it in front of me, while correcting the tilt of a painting (a la Jesse James at the moment when he was shot), and when I finished I must've totally forgotten where I was, because the next thing I knew I was toppling backwards with nothing to grab or otherwise save me, and on the way down I narrowly escaped having the back of my head hit the edge of the thick projecting ledge of my heating stove doors.

To this day I keep marveling that that blind, backward fall didn't hurt me in some way even without hitting that iron ledge. It must've been because all the relevant parts of my body slammed onto that hard tile floor at exactly the same instant and thus distributed the impact evenly.

But that's a piece of luck that you can't count on happening all the time.


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