Been There, Done That: Fall Guy

Jon Stalnaker
Been There, Done That

I’m going to give myself a new nickname. You can call me the Fall Guy. The Fall Guy was a TV show from the 80s starring Lee Majors as a tough macho dude that chased bad guys as a bounty hunter when not busy working as a stuntman in the movies. Full of action-packed stunts and beautiful women that were tough in their own right. He was the ultimate good guy, perfectly cast with the former Six Million Dollar Man playing the lead role. A very positive role model for all wannabe cool guys. Who wouldn’t want to be associated with that guy, even though he was a fictional character. Not exactly a representation of who I am, but the nickname still fits me. And it sounds much cooler than “Clumsy Old Man”.

Having celebrated the one-year anniversary of breaking my arm at the wrist, I’m scared to do anything without falling again. After all, I’m still going to physical therapy. That being said, I don’t want to just sit around and get weaker and older. I exercise every day, and faithfully wear the torture devices that I have been issued to get my hand back to the functionality I once took for granted. My wife gives me the stink eye every time I want to do something around the house. I want to respect her concerns about my activities but I need to feel as though I’m still useful around here. I didn’t mind hiring an electrician to replace the ceiling fans mounted to our 17 foot gathering room ceiling. I can deal with hiring people to do the big jobs like building a landscape wall around the flower beds. I’m not that talented anyway, but I should be able to move the dirt around in the flower beds without injuring myself again. You would think.

They just finished building the wall and left a bit of a mess that needed to be cleaned up. They were certainly willing to finish it up, but I thought I could handle the work myself. I’ve got the tools and knowledge of how to do it without making a mess. So, I set out to get it done. I’m a little bit stupid when it comes to attempting to do something I shouldn’t do alone. If I start something that is beyond my skills and abilities, rather than just stopping, I usually take a bit more convincing than just the loving advice of the superior brain in this marriage relationship. Neuropathy is real and it has been messing with my stability on my feet. Unfortunately, my brain has not been able to accept this restriction and I sometimes find myself face down or on my way there. This happened to me twice before I abandoned the task at hand and went inside to face the music and get my flesh wounds properly attended to.

I still think there are plenty of things I can do and I really do try to be careful, but being the fall guy is embarrassing for me. I fear it will only get worse, so I had better find a safe compromise. This getting old stuff is a hard pill to swallow. I refuse to give up and so, life goes on. Maybe I need to invest in padded hats and knee and elbow pads. Wouldn’t that be a sight. That might just take the cool out of calling myself the fall guy. But then, I never saw myself as cool anyway. Maybe I should sign up for affirmation classes. That’s enough whining for now. I’ll be alright, I’ve been fighting these demons my entire life. I’ve just kept them inside where I prefer to store them. 

We are making some progress again on the house. Now that I have the hardscape issue in front tended to, we can start reaching out for some proper guidance on what we can plant that is hearty enough, and beautiful enough to add some color to our humble abode. Things are beginning to green up again and we want to provide our own natural haven for the Oklahoma critters that pass through our property. We say farewell to Winter and Spring is in the air. Summer will be here before long and then we will see my favorite season; that’s right, I am a Fall guy.