Miss(ed) Manners

August 13, 2004

Miss(ed) Manners: A Tale of Middling Height, Part II: Scars, Birthmarks and Old Man Injuries

Filed under: Column — missedmanners @ 8:25 pm

That’s like the longest title of anything, ever. What’s worse is that it’s actually inacurate. I’m only going to talk about scars today. My quarter life crisis expectant body, young though it may be, is pocked, dented and weathered like a Himalayan yak trail. If I wanted to talk about all the little blips, bruises and blemishes that make me into the human Rorshach test that I am, I’d have the world’s creepiest 10,000 page anthology.

Scars are a great topic though, and I’ve got plenty of them. Three of them happen to be on or around my head. Long, jagged scratchy lines across my face that give me the look of a boy band member who wandered into a lesbian knife tossing class looking for some action. They add this sort of mystique to my personality because I look like someone who thinks jabs and hooks are methods of sewing.

Scars are the best kind of conversation life preserver. Let’s say you’re hanging out with some chick you just met, things are going great. You’ve covered everything from college major to favorite (ugh) reality show, and then all of a sudden, silence. Pure unadulterated, castrating silence. What the hell are you going to do? Your palms start sweating, you look around the bar for inspiration on what to talk about next, but nothing, you’ve got absolutely nothing.

“See this scar? Man, you should hear the story behind this one.”

Saved. Works every time. If you’re lucky, you actually do have a great story behind that scar, and not just some story like, oh, I got hit in the face with a tire iron. I don’t care if you got mugged and lost some teeth, that ain’t no story, Holmes.

Scar #1: Hello Kitty

Let’s start off with this guy:

This is my youngest scar. I got it when I was four. I got it because my best friend is a total cock. Sorry, dude. For those of you unfamiliar with him, Nick, my best friend, and I, have known each other since we were two. It’s one of those borderline Single White Female relationships in that we’ve been hanging out so long that we’ve begun to look alike.

So there we were, four years old, bright eyed, bushy tailed and on a play date. I heard that snicker. Play dates are what we had in the country, everyone was too far away. The only friend of mine that I could walk to go see was the creepy lady with that giant skirt covered in pockets and filled with GI chocolate from the Vietnam war. She wasn’t a fan of Chutes and Ladders.

What I liked best about going to Nick’s place was that he had this little kitten. My cats at the time were both over 15 years old and meaner than a female weightlifter going into menopause. I loved that kitten, it was adorable. Unfortunately, Nick liked to play with the kitten, by play I mean yank on, and by kitten I mean its tiny little tail.

Well, long story short, there he was yanking on this cat’s tail, I come in and go over to pick it up and I get a set of claws to the old impossibly high cheekbones. Also, as fate would have it, my mother was coming over to pick me up right at the very moment I come running down the stairs gushing blood and showing some white. It was like a Seinfeld episode, everything coming together for one gag at the end of the show, only I was bleeding and it wasn’t entirely funny, so I guess it was more like Friends.

Scar #2: Clothes Lined

I think I’ve told this story more times than Tony Danza’s tried to make a comeback. Somewhere right under the right side of my jaw I’ve got this sweet looking crescent shaped scar. It looks a little like what the ancient Egyptians would have made the heiroglyph for “croissant” look like. By all rights, I should have gotten this bad boy from the business end of a broken 40oz. But no, again, the story behind this little badge of idiocy is a little silly.

My 10th birthday party. 30 kids, One cake, ten DJ’s. Ok, no DJ’s. The main attraction of my birthday party was this little game we ever so creatively called: “Guns.” That’s right, “Guns.” As if running around the forest with plastic water pistols wasn’t an explanation in itself, just in case you still had no idea what was going on when someone screamed, “Taka taka taka taka taka! I shot you! You’re dead!” we named it “Guns.” I’m pretty sure we were all on Ritalin.

So at some point, Nick and I were out in the woods trying to be all stealthful and shit. Our plan was to skirt the field behind my house by way of the woods that surrounded it, find some guys from the other team and decimate them with our hyperrealistic gun imitations.

Well, in the woods, paranoia runs deep, and pretty soon I was hearing things, mostly the wind, which translated in my head to some sort of advanced flanking tactic by the other team. I broke out in a full on run, looking over my left shoulder for Nick, who no doubt was standing still, because he’s not a moron.

Thankfully, there was no crack platoon of single decade old commandos behind me. Unthankfully, there was a neck high barb wire fence right in front of me. WOW! It smarted something fierce, my head landing on a rock and knocking me out I mean. When I came too, my friends were dragging me out of the field, my shirt, soaked in blood. Again, thankfully, it was a white shirt, so it had maximum visual carnage effect for my mother who got to see me get carried like a casualty of the stupidest war ever.

Scar #3: Zack

I’ve got this really good buddy of mine, Zack. We’ve known each other since grade school. He’s just about the best kind of guy to have as a friend. He’s honest, loyal, generous and funny. Unfortunately, he’s the most accident prone person on the face of the planet. In the time I’ve known him, he’s directly been the accidental cause of at least three hundred visibly scarring injuries. I swear to God, he’s like a black hole of errantly flying objects, constantly orbiting his orange haired, UNSCARRED head.

This is the story of my run in with the mishap-omatic. I’ll just list it out in a bulleted list:

* Me, Zack and our friend Adam
* The old pine forest behind my house.
* A multitude of dead branches sticking out from the trunks of the pines.
* Us thinking it would be fun to break these branches off with other, dead branches. (Again, ritalin)
* Zack breaking a piece off of a branch and sending a foot long pine spike right into my upper gums.
* Me running in to see my mother, covered in blood.

There really wasn’t much special about this story other than the fact that I actually got to pull a piece of wood out of my face… (I swear to God, one more snicker and I’m turning this column right around).

What’s really special is that if you hadn’t noticed, every one of these stories ended up with my mother finding me, covered in blood. She was always around, always there when I fell down and went boom, or “Taka taka taka taka” as the case may have been. Even when it seemed like I’d lost my head, quite literally, she never lost hers.

Thanks Mom, you’re the best.

-Your clawed up, clothes lined and hole-faced son.

1 Comment »

  1. Thank You

    Comment by Mark — April 17, 2007 @ 5:25 pm | Reply


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