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Sat, Nov 18, 2017 04:10 AM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue

This n' That


Falling


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11/21/2007 - If there's one thing I consider myself really good at in this life, it's falling.

This year alone I have fallen three times in public. The first occurred when I was walking down my ice-covered steps, the second happened when I was walking to my car following the only "big" snow of the year, and the last happened just last week as I was leaving my mother's house.

Luckily, the only witness to these pathetic displays of human clumsiness was the embarrassed victim himself, and only once did the fall result in injury.

Of all the falls I've endured in my life, last week's was by far the strangest. It seemed like it took me two days to finally land on the ground, and I swear I heard the theme from Chariots of Fire playing in the background the whole time. The longevity of the fall was due to my brain telling my legs and feet to try to make it to the neighbor's front yard before collapsing, instead of falling on the concrete driveway.

Amazingly, the telepathy worked. Although my blue jeans suffered minor mud damage, my knees walked away injury-free.

As dumb and clumsy as I felt, I feel more stupid for sharing the embarrassing episode with my readers. I could have easily walked away and kept the incident to myself, but for some reason fallers like to share their experiences with others.

Believe me, I know.

I've become a pro at it.

* * *

Speaking of feeling stupid, I must share this e-mail with you. It made me feel a little smarter after my falling incident, and I'm sure it'll make you feel smarter, too.

• On September 17, 1994, Alabama's Heather Whitestone was selected as Miss America 1995. During the competition, she was asked this question: If you could live forever, would you and why?

Whitestone: "I would not live forever, because we should not live forever, because if we were supposed to live forever, then we would live forever, but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not live forever,"

• "Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life," — Brooke Shields, during an interview to become spokesperson for a federal anti-smoking campaign.

• "I've never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body." — Winston Bennett, former University of Kentucky basketball forward.

• "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country." — then-Mayor Marion Barry of Washington, D.C.

• "I'm not going to have some reporters pawing through our papers. We are the president." — Hillary Clinton commenting on the release of subpoenaed documents during her husband's administration.

• "Half this game is ninety percent mental." — Philadelphia Phillies manager Danny Ozark.

• "It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it." — Vice President Al Gore.

• "I love California. I practically grew up in Phoenix ." — Dan Quayle.

• "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?" — Lee Iacocca.

• "The word 'genius' isn't applicable in football. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein." — Joe Theisman, NFL football quarterback and sports analyst.

• "We don't necessarily discriminate. We simply exclude certain types of people." — Colonel Gerald Wellman, ROTC Instructor.

• "Your food stamps will be stopped effective March 1992 because we received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances." — Department of Social Services, Greenville, South Carolina.

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