Saturday, May 26, 2007

Who put that crab there??

At about 2:30 in this video -- a clip from the fine movie Hot Shots! -- is what I wish I had been clever enough to say when I took a tumble off the dugout at work last night. Instead, I think it was more of an, "Ouch, that sucked. Ouch. Uhhh...paramedics, maybe?"

Allow me to back up a bit:
In my life, I've fallen up stairs a large number of times, with varying degrees of awkwardness and varying sizes of audiences. However, I almost never fall down them. But last night, as I was heading over to one lucky section to hand out coupons after a Joey Gathright double, I slipped on an oddly sized step and fell down. That was odd, and a fairly embarrassing thing to do in front of a good Friday crowd, but it didn't hurt.

A few innings later, my coworker Kaylee and I were messing around (unsuccessfully) with Hula Hoops on top of the Royals' dugout. After we were done making fools of ourselves (well, she was, but I had more up my sleeve in the fool-making department) we went to get off the dugout and into the adjoining camera well, which is our Base of Operations. There is a small set of steps next to the dugout that leads down in to the camera well, and I thought I could jump down on to those steps.

I was wrong.

Instead of making a graceful landing and entrance into the camera well, my left foot went one direction on the corner of a step, and the rest of my leg went the other way.

Okay, now we're back to where I started: the point at which I wish I was smooth enough to say, "Who put that crab there?"

Once again, I found myself in a position to find out who the Nice Guys in Baseball (prounounced in-Gibs for those of you who like to phoeneticize your acronyms) are. Because my little fall happened between innings, the entire Royals team was in the dugout right next to me. So yes, superstar players like Billy Butler and so forth totally saw my spazziest moment of all time. Talk about awkward. However, they were all kind enough to not laugh at me, and a few were terribly concerned for my well-being. Two players I've written about before for their extrime kindness toward fans, Gathright and Matt Wright, were about 2 feet from me and saw the whole thing. Though he couldn't offer medical help -- Rosenblatt has medics for that purpose -- Wright was immensely helpful in keeping me from passing out. He brought me a cup of water from the team's cooler, reminded me to breathe, offered me sunflower seeds, anything to distract me from my pain. I really appreciated that, because I'm well aware that if I had lost consciousness at any point, it would have added a lot of extra time in the hospital, and I really didn't want that!

After a short time, the stadium medics came down with some ice and an ankle-stabilizing brace. Then came the tricky part: How to best get me from the bottom of the stairs to the concourse so I could get to the hospital? I flat-out refused to try walking, because it looked like it could be fractured. So God bless these guys, they carried me up to the main walkway, where there was a wheelchair waiting. They wheeled me through the vomitory and to the first aid room. Because I'm only 18 and therefore incapable of any care for myself, my older brother had to come get me to take me to the hospital (my other option was riding in an ambulance, but that seemed kind of extreme and unnecessary). While I was waiting in the first aid room, I became very angry. You see, the O-Royals have been awesome lately, and are on quite a winning streak. They were behind by a few runs when I went out through that vomitory (ha! Twice in one paragraph!), but I missed the amazing comeback. I called my dad and opened with these thoughts:
-The good news is that the O-Royals mounted an awesome comeback to win it, but
-The bad news is I'm waiting for my brother to arrive and take me to the hospital. (Parenthetically, I confess that this might not be the best way to open a call home. But I digress...)

I watched the Friday night fireworks through the window of my brother's car as he, his fiancee, and my gentleman friend drove me to the nearest hospital. ER waiting rooms provide for some interesting people watching: The guy who came in shortly after I did had broken his arm in a Fight Club-esque fight, and had made a splint out of athletic tape and...a pizza box. After seeing that guy, I scrambled to come up with a more manly-sounding story for how my left ankle had ended up three times bigger around than the right one, but came up short.

Anyway, after a lot of waiting and some being poked and prodded (The answer to the question "Does this hurt?" is almost always a resounding "YES" when it is asked in a hospital setting), we learned that I suffered a pretty nasty high ankle sprain. Things could have been much worse. Sure, it hurts today, but the thing that makes me the most mad is that the red-hot O-Royals are playing at home the rest of the weekend and I will not be able to be there!

I have many DVDs and baseball games to watch, as well as the last few issues of Sports Illustrated to catch up on, so I will hopefully not be too bored. But I am kind of stuck in my apartment, as we live on the 2nd floor and the thought of crutching down stairs is kind of scary to me.

The moral of the story is, don't jump off dugouts on to steps. Find a flat land surface instead. Or if you're going to try the steps, make sure you do it around some in-Gibs.

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