I have never broken a bone in my body. That is, with the exception of that one time … and, of course, a close call just over a week ago.

Incident #1: My brother-in-law had gotten a flat tire on his car. I decided I would be kind enough to help him change the tire (as much as it might require two people, other than for moral support). The tire was incredibly stuck. The two of us were kicking, hitting, and generally acting like buffoons in our futile attempts at loosening the tire. Deciding it would be best to resort to a different approach, I gave the tire one last kick. It was one of those oh-shucks-you-are-being-so-silly-for-being-so-stuck type of kicks. You know, a light tap impossibly able to do harm were it directed at a human.

And there it was. I had broken my toe!

To this day, I still am not sure how in the world I actually ended up breaking the toe, since the kick was neither hard nor especially daring. My first broken bone was, nevertheless, a fact.

Incident #2: We have a tall chair/bar stool in our kitchen. I was sitting on it. I was resting both feet on the crossbar of a folding chair. The folding chair was not unfolded all the way (on purpose). So, when my son accidentally pushed the chair, it collapsed on itself. Both feet got instantly jammed between the crossbar and the now-folded seat and its metal rim. To make the matter worse, the chair collapse caused me to lose my balance and fall forward, ultimately placing my entire body weight on the chair in such a way that my still-stuck feet became even more jammed between the two metal objects in a manner that cannot be described as anything less than inhuman.

This time, I would not have been surprised had I ended up with two broken feet. In fact, I was awaiting the sound of snapping bones at any moment, as the excruciating pain made itself unmistakably noticed.

Alas, no broken bones this time. Nonetheless, I have not been able to walk normally for about a week. The first couple of days, if I ventured walking at all,  I could have been mistaken for walking around with a load in my pants. It has gotten better since, even though wearing shoes (or even socks) is still a painful chore.

Score: Clumsiness 2, Rainer 0

The real stab to the ego, however, is the fact that, although I can now answer “yes” to an inquiry about whether I have ever broken a bone in my body, there is no heroic or dramatic story attached to the event.

“How did you break your toe?”
“I was helping my brother-in-law change a flat … broke the toe kicking the tire …”

Are you clumsy? Do you have a non-cool story with a broken bone as the result?

“There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832)