Saturday, January 27, 2007

It's all about me -- jcarolek

When I was in my final year of college at Florida State University, (GO NOLES!), I had the opportunity to understand the meaning of the expression, “it’s all about me.”

It was a Friday night. I no longer lived in “the dorm” which is how we referred to my first residence at FSU. Still, my Smith Hall buddies always invited me to the dorm parties. But, as was typical, I was working this Friday night and could not attend the first part of the event…the keg party. I could, however, join them for the ROLLER SKATING PARTY that began at midnight.

So it was that I found myself, not a great skater in the first place, whizzing around the rink – the only one sober!

A little background…there was a weird guy who lived in the dorm. His name was Frank. He was “weird”, not only because he was “like 40 or something”, but also because he thought he was cool hanging out with the Freshmen, etc.

Needless to say he was not one of my favorites, but there Frank was drunkenly skating BACKWARDS, showing off, as if anyone was really impressed. Well, I recall thinking how I wished I could just get away from this dweeb, when he came sailing past me…well, almost.

My clumsy left foot, unnaturally clad in its shoe with wheels, managed to find its way directly into the oncoming path of the drunken Frankster. Before I could scream, well, anything, I was down! I hit hard enough to knock myself out! (ouch)

I recall coming to and knowing that another friend, Norman, must be standing over me. I just knew this because last I’d seen Norman, he was sweating profusely and I awakened to something “dripping” on my face! As I came to, so did the pain. It was my wrist that hurt and I could not lift it up.

Well, wouldn't you know know, the folks who rent the skates ALSO doubled as the “medic on duty!” The guy told me to open my fingers and close them. I was able to do so and he declared me fine and gave me some ice to put on the wrist. It felt as if I had jammed my wrist, and it felt as if it was still out of place.

No problem. I have all types of friends. “Larry,” I called to my friend, (I think he was majoring in something akin to pre-med), surely qualified to do my bidding. “Will you yank my hand really hard. I think I need to get the wrist back in place.” Larry, also having been a participant in the earlier keg party, was probably not on top of his game, but he knew enough to say, “Fletch! You’ll scream!”

I promised I wouldn’t and he complied with my wish and yanked my hand. OUCH!!! (but I did not make a peep!) Well, needless to say, that did not fix the problem. All night I waited while they finished their skating and endured the stop at the drive-through burger joint and finally made it back to my bed. All night, I never let go of my arm, which I supported with my right hand.

When I awoke on Saturday morning, I decided I had to change my clothes. When I let go of my arm, it swung in an unnatural fashion. Well, Norman came to my rescue, took me to the Student Health Center where the x-rays revealed a broken elbow and then to the hospital where I had the full-arm cast applied. The doctor was a little baffled by the x-rays. “Your elbow was clearly out of joint as well as broken, but it is back in joint now. I’ve never seen that happen.” No, I did not tell him about having Larry pop my arm for me!

When I returned with Norman to the dorm, we got on the elevator to ride up to see some of the others. Before the doors closed, in came Frank. He looked at me and said, “What did YOU do to you arm?” I told him what HE did to my arm and he replied, “OH! Yeah, well if you think that’s bad, you should see the BRUISE I have on my butt! My keys were in my back pocket when I fell!”

(I declined the offer to "see"…nothing I’d rather see less!)

So, it was that I learned, there really ARE people who believe it is ALL ABOUT THEM!

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