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Screwing up
by Doug Hawley

Inspired by the inscrutable “F**cking Up” by Neil Young

My very first memory (possibly implanted) is falling out of a boat which contained my older sister and my parents. Someone must have fished me out because I’m still alive. Heads up sister made sure that the fishing gear didn’t fall overboard.

Next up is being scared by a toilet while in the first grade. While in grade school, asphalt did a little dental work on me asphalt and I sprained a thumb by hitting someone. An altercation with a larger and older lad ended up with my broken leg. While still incapacitated by the aforementioned leg, I vomited in the school cafeteria. Within the same time frame, I had one of my falling on my head incidents. Same sister decided we should be acrobats and attempted to have me stand on her shoulders. Swan dive headfirst ended up in hours of blurred vision. One of the other memorable headfirst dives was down a few stair steps onto a concrete floor. Over all I’m fine, it hasn’t mgsohs sdrts ophks at all.

I found out that the guy that I fought with in a pool had not been standing up when I first saw him. My bad estimate of his size ended up in hearing loss in my left ear.

Before marrying well, there were a very few relationships all of which ended badly. Two are immortalized in stories penned under a pseudonym to protect the guilty – me.

When I was a bit older the intake of questionable things ended up in a lot of vomiting, staying awake for more than a day, falling over tables and the like. Emptying into a suitcase was the worst that I can remember. The one that I can’t remember painted the exterior of a car with what was formerly stomach content, after a fight with a large fellow who didn’t give me the dignity of acknowledging that I was fighting with him. Or so I was told in painful detail by a witness.

Of the many things that went wrong while I was teaching I remember passing wind and having a condom fall from my billfold – not at the same time. I did have the sense to become an actuary rather than continue as a molder of minds.

My investment prowess got us worthless penny stocks and an oil well that wasn’t.

I have advanced degrees in math, but can’t balance a checkbook. Once I sent in my checking balance rather than a billed amount, which caused many bounced checks and fees. Mixing up state and federal tax returns led to both massive under and over payments.

I’ve lost keys, a shovel and a hat while working in our local park. Finding the keys a week later after everything had been replaced was bad enough, but I lost my favorite hat while unsuccessfully looking for the shovel.

Perhaps the most recent major screw up was performing an exercise poorly with too much weight. What the tearing sound that I thought was my aorta ripping was more likely my left shoulder being incapacitated and the formation of a hernia. My knees had previously been ruined by carrying twenty pounds more than their capacity and my habit of jumping off things. A recent exam found an old knee cap fracture that was news to me.

It could be worse. I could be robbing Kwick-E-Mart (Simpsons reference) to feed a meth habit. When I’m asked if I’m staying out of trouble, my go to now is “I’m too old for trouble.”

Short bio – this is from a mostly reliable narrator.