September 24, 2007

"It's a race... and I'm WINNING!"

This image has literally nothing to do with the post that will follow, except it has the word "race" in it and the quote with which this post is titled is from the movie "Rat Race". (That was like a free association exercise, and I apologize, but now that it's there I'm not taking it back because if you're reading this you clearly don't have shit to do, anyway.)

I believe we've discussed here before that I am at the very least unpredictable, and at most the human embodiment of the word "contradiction". Totally put together on the outside, while secretly stupidly scattered. Great at taking care of other people, almost genetically unable to care for myself. Great at parking, terrible at driving. Torn between city and country, summer and fall, passivity and aggression. Super flirty but impossibly prude.

And, above all, at once graceful and incredibly accident-prone, both at all the wrong times.

Which is where this story comes in.

I recently went with Jim out to lunch. We met in my office, and as we walked towards the elevators, we were joking and laughing about God knows what. It's important to note that the long hallway leading towards the elevators is set up as follows. On the right: wall. On the floor: carpet. On the left: an expanse of windows that looks in to the engineering department at my company (in other words, a bunch of computer nerds staring at their screens, iPods on, facing the window.

"Hey!" Jim said, stopping in the middle of our banter, "I have an idea!"

"What?" I was intruiged as I saw his eyes light up. Whatever it was, it was going to be fun.

"Let's race---"

At the word "race", I knew it was on. In an attempt to get a head start to the elevator, I leapt immediately, yelling "GOOOOO!" AND swinging my heel-clad right foot forward violently -- the first step in my inevitable sprint to victory.

But instead of catapaulting triumphantly forward, I was shocked to discover myself instead flailing violently, unable to get my right foot on the ground. My right heel, on a clear path to glory just a moment before, had firmly snagged in my wide-cuffed kick-ass herringbone trousers just before making contact with the ground, resulting in a "hog-tied" affect -- both my feet together, neither able to move independently.

This, combined with the enthusiasm with which I thrust my body forward behind my first step, resulted in a sort of fishlike wiggling and then a very dramatic faceplant, barely involving my arms, onto the carpeted hallway.

It was horribly quite "Free Willy" -- I sorta dove/slid on my belly down the hall a few feet before coming to a complete stop directly in front of the window looking into the office, and right in front of the baffled, mortified Jim.

"Please," he said, his face a mixture of 80 percent humiliation and 20 percent amusement, "PLEASE tell me you meant to do that."

Unhooking my foot and rolling onto my back, I burst into laugher -- again, right there on the floor in front of the window and in my office hallway. I had, of course, not meant to do that. Jim's great white hope that I had intended that contortionist act of physical comedy made the situation that much funnier. Combined with the look on the face of one engineer dierctly in front of the window, who removed an iPod earbud and was staring, agape, and I couldn't stop laughing.

Realizing the Great Floor Flop of 2007 was unintentional, Jim's face fell. "Oh, God," he said as he swiftly walked away from me and to the elevator, pushing the "down" button rapid-fire, "Get up."

Apparently Jim got his sense of humor back the second he wasn't being associated with me in a publicly mortifying situation, because this is the story that's been told nonstop for the last few days, while the fact that I did the splits and two back handsprings when I got up goes completely unreported.

Either way, I swear to God I would have won that race if not for the disqualification. I'm presently negotiating for a rematch. In a less dangerous outfit, of course.

1 comment:

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