Thursday, July 23, 2009

Graceful Recoveries

It was late in the day – Thursday – at Ann Arbor. I had been holding a purchase for a woman most of the day. She returned to my booth to pick up her pottery.

Probably due in part to tired feet from a day of walking the streets of Ann Arbor, but mostly because she was wearing those Teva sandals with the "CurbCatcherTM" toe platform.... You know the ones? …You lift your foot high enough to clear a stair step, but the toe of the sandal remains in EXACTLY the proper position to stay below the step, and momentum puts you face down on the upper step? The bio-ergonomic engineers must have logged overtime hours to design a sandal such that the exact proper distance remains between toe and sandal to cause disaster. I think they measure the distance between the bottom of the toe and the top of the sandal with “calamity calipers”.

Anyway, this poor woman’s sandal caught the curb at the back of my booth and she went down. Hard. And it was LOUD too. Everyone thought that the horrid sound that was part thud, part bang, and part CRACK! …was her head hitting the pavement. Fortunately it was not. It was the explosion of the pottery bowl she had been cradling in her arms. The bowl hit the pavement just as she did.

My wife, and friends the woman was with, rushed to her assistance. She kept saying “I’m okay. I’m okay……..I’m just embarrassed!” I believe the term is “mortified”. And she really did seem to be okay, despite the extremely loud bang that accompanied her fall. She was, as she said, just really embarrassed. …and a bit broken-hearted. The bowl in her arms was shatters and shards. She really liked it. After a short discussion with her friends that I only partly overheard, I gathered that she decided to go back to the other potter and see if by ANY chance that potter still had another bowl like the one she’d just dashed to pieces.

Well, about twenty minutes later the woman returned. She seemed a bit recovered, and, to her joy, the other potter still had a replacement bowl. She held up the paper bag (presumably holding the replacement) as she smiled and told of this good fortune.

Well, it was at that point that I turned around to retrieve the package that she’d left with me for the day. But as I turned my back to the woman, I heard again that sickening combination of part thud, part bang, and part CRACK!

Have you all seen that Hallmark birthday card? …the cover is the whole thing… It pictures a room full of birthday partiers who have presumably just yelled SURPRISE!!! And standing by the open door, just inside the room is the birthday boy’s wife who is asking, “Were you surprised?!” …IN the doorway stands the birthday boy. His trousers are soaked in the…er…"zip-u-lar” region.

Well, I can tell you…… bladder held like a champ. But not for want of impulse. The crash scared the ever-lovin’ hell outta me.

And as I turned around I saw that the lady who had earlier fallen was laughing… were the growing number of people standing around who were catching onto her joke. Soon I was laughing too... She had waited until I turned to retrieve her package and then had purposely dropped the already broken bowl to the pavement. With her sense of humor, she had turned her embarrassment into the funniest thing that happened to me the whole weekend.

1 comment:

  1. wow! and a rare sense of humor it is, i love that kind of personality