I got stuck today. Not talking writer’s block or stuck in traffic, or even intestinal distress…I actually got stuck. In a fence. In my own fence. It was interesting.
Before I continue, I have to explain that this is not an isolated event. For some weird reason I get stuck in things a lot. In fifth grade, I got my hand stuck in the rung of a chair and had to be escorted, chair and all, to the principal’s office (thanks, Terry, for watching my back there). I once got my head stuck in the banister of our house (thanks Mom, for saving my ears). There are too many to name. The sad thing is, this is not a childhood phenomenon. As an adult, I still get stuck. Rungs, crevices, cracks and channels. If there is a space, I will explore it. I will triumphantly gain entrance. I will not get out alone.
I once turned a waterbed accessory into a finger trap. It took a lot of ice and lube to get me out. Then, in an attempt to analyze how it happened in the first place, I got stuck again not 30 seconds later. My intellect is astounding.
In college I got stuck in my boss’s car window. She locked her keys in the car and I offered to play human slim jim for her. They said it couldn’t be done. Combine freakishly thin with freakishly long arms, and I got the door unlocked; I just got stuck at the elbow. I waited patiently for her to start the car and set me free.
Nothing too unusual yet? I once got my fist stuck in my own mouth. We had company over to see my new arrival. I marveled that my baby girl could practically fit her whole fist in her mouth as she contentedly sucked on it. I had to try. To the amazement of my friends and husband, I discovered that I can, in fact, fit my entire fist in my mouth. To my horror and their amusement, I could not get it out. Try it. Swollen knuckles, sore jaw and a pile of drool later, you will feel pretty cool too. (Tami, it’s not the dumbest thing you’ve seen me do.)
Anyway, back to my day. I got stuck.
We are constructing a goat shed and yard to house the most ambitious of our country home projects: a home dairy. With the first goat soon to arrive, I was trying to finish installing the stock fencing. Shea had taken the older kids to church and I was home with my two youngest who were sick (see previous post ER antics).
The fence was almost done. I marveled at my handyman skills as I expertly attached the metal thingies to the post thingies with little wire thingies. The last step entailed attaching the stock fencing to our chain link fence. The task was a pain because I had to bend the wire that attached the two fences, and then walk around the length of the chain link to tie it off with pliers from the other side. Seeing as it was 27º outside, I tired of this pretty quickly. For the last link, at the base of the pole, I had the genius-ly efficient idea to just slip my hand through the link and tie it off from my side. It was a little snug, but no problem…And that is the key to my karmic trap. Apparently I will not break this endless cycle of humiliation until I consciously embed the monkey-trap principle: a hand can fit in a space that it can’t pull out of. Like I said, I got stuck.
I pulled and twisted and tugged. I finally resigned myself to fate and sat down in the cold, crunchy grass with my arm extended over my head. I thanked heaven that I didn’t have to pee. I coaxed my little girl into playing where I could see her. Funny, it didn’t occur to her to ask why mom was plopped on the ground with one arm through the fence. The things they accept as normal make me wonder.
I was embarrassed to realize that I was in plain sight of the street, not more than 15 ft away from the curb, in full view of the parade of neighbors who would be coming home from church in precisely 29 minutes (welcome to Utah). I tried to text message Shea with my free hand to come home early, but like the devout worshipper he is, he must not read texts during services. He should know better.
With nothing to do but sit and wait and feel my butt freeze to the ground, I called my sister, Jenny, to help pass the time. She seemed concerned but not surprised that I would be stuck in a goat fence outside on a freezing February day. This was, after all, just the kind of thing I do. So we chatted. I love my sister. She can almost make you forget that you are losing the feeling in your arm.
Sure enough, cars began driving by and heads peered out windows. What an odd day to meditate outside, they must have thought. I began to wonder if you can get frost bite on your derriere. Blessedly, about 32 frozen minutes after my entrapment, I heard Shea approaching from behind. “Are you stuck, dear?” he asked. I think anyone else’s husband would have said, “What are you doing?”
He contorted and pushed while I pulled and the good news is, my hand is intact. I regained feeling in my arm. My rear defrost is still out-of-order, I’m not sure when I will feel warm again, and my hand is a bit bruised. Also, I still haven’t finished the fence. But other than that it is just another day in the life of….
I realize this is a mild misadventure compared to those who say, have cut their own limbs off to survive, but hey, there is always next time.