Saturday, February 23, 2013


So, last Wednesday I'm standing out in the cold and sleet euthanizing a skunk in a live trap (oxymoron alert). The multi-million dollar house where the trapped skunk was located has had an infestation of skunks. They've burrowed beneath the foundation and so far we've removed 6 adults.

(If you're curious about how and why we euthanize skunks, I posted about it a couple of years ago with a video of me actually "doing the deed" with a skunk in a trap. You can go to that post by clicking here.)

The Rich Dude who lives there went kind of overboard with the traps and has at least 5 traps set all the time now. All is proceeding as usual... when I happen to notice that he's jammed yet another trap back behind some bushes in the flowerbed and there's actually another skunk in it as well. Having skunk traps set in obstructed areas is not my favorite thing. It doesn't increase the liklihood of catching a skunk, but it does greatly increases the odds that I'll end up getting sprayed while I wrestle with the trap to get it out into the open.

I ended up having no difficulties sending either skunk to meet their makers. But I wanted to talk to the homeowner while I was there and make sure he was clear about where, and where NOT, to set traps in the future. I packed up my gear, loaded it into the truck, and then walked up the walkway to the front door of the house.

There's a series of wide terraces leading up to the door at this house. Each one steps up, its flat for 5 or 6 feet, then it steps up again - all the way up to the front porch. As I walked along, I stubbed my toe on one of the steps and stumbled forward. I'm not the most graceful person in the world but generally I can handle walking around without too much drama. I'm thinking maybe I was just cold from standing outside in the freezing drizzle?... who knows.

Anyway, I'm stumbling forward trying to get my feet back under me and I almost get the situation under control when I reach then next step up. Yeah. I hit that one too and pitched back forward into another rolling stumble... until I hit the next step up.

See where this is going?

By the time I hit the last stumbling point I had built up a pretty good head of steam. I shitwhipped down full tilt into the flagstone covered front porch landing on my right knee and both hands. Basically I took a running start and dove into the ground like an Olympic Swimmer. Falling down has to be one of the most embarassing situations you can find yourself in while still remaining fully clothed.

The impact jarred me so hard that at first I couldn't move anything but my head and my left leg. Gradually I was able to get back on my feet and carry on. I pretty sure that I didn't break anything, but my left hand has been virtually useless for the past couple of days. I've been icing it off and on and its (very slowly) getting better. I was actually able to tie my own shoes this morning, even though it still hurts like a bitch.

I'm just glad that I've made good progress on my outdoor projects the past couple of weekends here at the house. I'm still ahead of the game time-wise getting ready for spring. As long as the hand squares itself away and becomes functional again in the next week or so I'll still be on schedule.

I guess I'm at that in-between time in my life now. When I was younger, something like this wouldn't have slowed me down one bit. If I was older, I'd probably have broken both arms.

Now I just suffer and cuss and slowly get better.


Bob said...

Sorry it happened to you. Hope you're feeling better soon.

LL said...

What ever happened to dispatching them with a .22 shot to the head from a safe distance? Not that it would have saved you from the one-and-a-half gainer that you did on the concrete...

I'm glad that you're on the mend.

Six said...

I'm sorry Paladin. I hate to agree with you but we are getting to that age. Heal up quick my friend.

M. D. Jackson said...

Sorry to hear that. In most places in Canada during the winter a fall like that is a real concern. I'm fairly sure-footed on ice after a lifetime living in the north (my wife, unfortunately, not so much) but even I take a tumble now and then. At our age it's embarrassing AND painful. Take care, my friend!

hiswiserangel said...

In 46-years of graceless movement, one thing I've learned is that trying to right yourself just prolongs the inevitable. Hope you get to feeling better. Body and ego.

Stephen said...

Sorry, Bro. When it happens to me (often) as quickly as possible (which is slow) I jump back to feet and look around and yell, "Did it on purpose. Practice makes perfect." Then shyly disappear.