I was in 2nd grade and Aaron Gregory walked into class one Monday morning with a cast on his arm. Everyone gathered around touching it and asking if they could sign it. After watching this go on it became clear to me that I needed to break my arm. I could have a cast too by God.
Two years earlier I had broken a collarbone. They gave me this ugly bra-like contraption to wear under my clothes. I couldn’t get it signed and people stared at me. They assumed I had some sort of deformity going on under my clothes and gave my parents that pity-smile, like I am so sorry that your kid is deformed…must suck to be you.
My plan was to break my arm and become the 2nd grade celebrity I deserved to be. That night I hopped on my Terry Bradshaw bike (yes, I had a boys Terry Bradshaw bike) and scanned the yard for something to hurl my body into. That huge oak tree in the front yard was perfect. I pedaled hard and fast. My body went sailing through the air at impact. After picking myself up, I saw I was pretty scraped up but my head hurt more than my arm. Mom spotted me and threw me in the car, driving as fast as she could to the emergency room. I was screaming the whole way, “Mom, my arm is broken!” I was having visions of the crowds gathered around me at school the next day fighting to sign my cast. Perhaps the visions could have been caused by my concussion though.
X-rays were negative for a break in my arm. The thought of going back to school the next day without a cast was just too much. I needed a better plan. How hard could it be to break a bone??
A week after recovering from that accident, I tried again. My dad had a carport built off his tool shed to store his precious El-Camino (if you are so young you do not know what this is…Google it). He had gone out for a joyride so the carport was empty and full of bone-breaking potential. I started at the street and rode as fast as I could towards the carport. It had four metal beams holding it up. My plan was to ride as close as possible to one and stick out my arm while riding by. I hadn’t really planned on being thrown off the bike backwards once my arm whacked the beam. This was far more painful than hitting the tree. The good news was my arm had a decent size knot on it right away. I had finally done it!
Yet another trip to the emergency room… another effort to obtain a cast gone to waste. I guess it wasn’t a total waste…a nurse gave me a sucker.
I tried to break my arm two more times. The last trip we made to the emergency room, my mom met with the doctor out in the hall. She had spoken to my teacher to see if I was jumping off desks and monkey bars to break my arm during the day. The teacher told her she thought I might have decided I wanted a cast because of Aaron’s. Mom explained this to the doctor and asked him to help her stop the insanity.
The doctor came in the room and told me I had a horrific sprain that would require me to wear an Ace bandage. I couldn’t wait to rub my super cool bandage in Aaron’s stupid face. No one could sign it but at least it could be removed when my arm got itchy.
Looking back now, I feel pretty horrible. As an adult, I realize the costs associated with all my trips to the emergency room. If I had a child that pulled something like this on me, she would be forever locked in the attic or sold on Ebay. I am the reason I chose not to procreate.