You know the accident-prone character in a comedy show who keeps the laughtrack busy by injuring herself? Or the overly adventurous person who keeps doing things that require a bit more grace than she’s trained herself for? (Hey, maybe I should write a character like that sometime. I’m giving myself enough material!)
To be fair, for most of my vacation, I’d been doing good. I was behaving myself. No letting the person driving the car exceed the speed limit by 50% on a twisty road while halfway into the wrong lane. No shortcuts involving cliffs. (That was my problem during the last two vacations.) In fact, until the day after Christmas, I’d managed to avoid acquiring injuries of any sort.
Then I tried paddleboarding. And I was awesome. My balance was impeccable, except for all the wobbling. And I seriously thought I was going to get back to the dock with my hair still dry.
The next thing I knew, I was on all fours (or at least, that was the plan), but instead of being on the paddleboard, my hands were above the water. They were also still holding the paddle, which caught on the edge of the board and responded by waiting for my face to come to meet it. Teeth, meet paddle. Hard food, don’t meet teeth. No more apples for me.
So I tried boogieboarding instead. I’ve done plenty of that before, and I’d already be lying down, so how wrong could it go?
Note to self: sand beach good. Sand-and-rock beach bad, even if lots of other people are there and the rocks are well under water. Sand-and-rock beach with sharp rocks, a long walk back to the car, and only one bandage in the vehicle: worse.
But I wanted those waves so badly, and the waves on the safer beach sucked!
Still, the rock beach was obviously a no-go, so I tried a sand-only beach. Sure, the waves were smaller, but it was sand. Nice, harmless powder. Which makes me wonder if the ocean took that as a challenge, because with the precision of an expert marksman, it spat a glob of foam and grit directly into my eye.
And then it proceeded to give me larger waves, bounce me off my board, smack my upper body into the ocean floor, and try to twist my lower half up and over my prone torso.
Gorrammit, waves, if you know the human body well enough to precisely target the eyes, you know it doesn’t bend that way!
So there I was, blinking rapidly, eating soft food, and favoring one foot. And a few days later, I went straight back to the beach and got rolled in the waves again. Next year, if I can, I will do the exact same thing.
In the meantime, I’ve got books to write. And if I hadn’t seen such things go wrong for so many fictional characters, I’d say something along the lines of “Let’s see me injure myself doing THAT!”