I’m human. I’m a very clumsy human. You’d think that after 17 years, I’d have figured this fact out. Nope. Let me tell you a tale, a tale of my own clumsiness and bad judgment.
One day, at the summer camp I worked at last summer, the staff was going to play a game. This game was to be some sort of epic paintball-like capture the flag. Leadership handed us foot-long (or longer) PVC pipes and a package of Nerf darts. The idea was simple: you shoot the darts out the PVC pipes to hit someone else. The more juvenile of us (myself included) almost immediately began to shoot the darts at each other. Well, it turned out that these darts, when shot from pipes, really, really, HURT. Long story short, leadership decided to forgo the game because we didn’t have adequate eye protection.
Adequate eye protection.
Remember that part.
Since we couldn’t play the game we were supposed to, leadership decided to have a volleyball tournament in our in-door court. My team was one of the first up. While I have no doubt they would have done marvelously in the dart shooting game, alas, it was not to be so in the volleyball game. We were out quickly.
We weren’t allowed to just leave after that. We had to stay in the giant room and socialize. There were various circles of people playing with various sizes of balls. I joined a few, but I wasn’t in the mood. Suddenly, I saw one of my friends off to my right playing with a long PVC pipe.
Enter bad judgment.
I walked over to the woefully under-guarded box of PVC pipes and picked out one of the longer ones. Then, I proceeded to walk up to my friend and shout “En garde!” She looked thrilled to have someone to fight with, and I was confident in my ability to give her a good fight. What I hadn’t known before was she actually did fencing.
So, we started fencing. I like to think that I inherited a bit of skill with the sword from my dad, but quite honestly, I stunk against her. She was definitely the better fencer. When she whacked my leg and drew a tiny bit of blood, I should have known that it was a good time to stop. But I didn’t. We had been fencing for a few minute, she giving me pointers, and I not trying hard enough to pay attention. Finally, she sent a stab for my chest. Instead of blocking down, like I should have, I blocked up, and sent her pipe into my face.
My head jerked back in surprise and my hand instinctively reached up to cover the spot just above my eye. I didn’t realize what had happened until I brought my hand away and saw the blood.
Thankfully, my fencing partner had more sense than I did at the moment. She called me “Boo” and took me to the girl’s bathroom to clean up my face. We were both hoping that the nasty cut above my eyebrow would heal on its own. Once again, nope. I waited about twenty minutes and asked the advice of several people (who all told me the same thing: your eyebrow is catching the blood), before I decided to seek out the camp nurse. She seemed more worried about my boo-boo than I was. She considered taking me to get stitches before deciding to try something called Steri-strips (which are basically thin, really sticky strips of tape). It took two of these and two extra strips of medical tape (just to make sure they stayed) to hold my eyebrow together.
On the bright side, I didn’t have to get stitches. One the not-so-bright side, I was at summer camp, so I had to put up with every kid I got close to asking me what happened to my face. I usually just told them it was a sword fight and watched them walk away in awe.
You’ll probably be happy to know that I made the director ban PVC pipe fencing after that. I’m cool about it, but best not to let the campers do it.
Now I have a cool scar.