Ever since I went under the knife back in April to repair a broken bone in my hand I've spent a majority of my summer wearing either a cast or a brace or something that is big and ugly and covers half of my left arm. One thing is for sure, the people at the brace factory definitely didn't have any regards for your "coolness" when they built these things. They also don't believe in subtlety. I might as well have broke my wrist, elbow, and shoulder with the brace I wore. Anyways, back to the story.
One thing that I learned pretty quickly after surgery was that people were going to ask me mostly everywhere I went what happened to me. Waiters at restaurants, baggers at grocery stores, my friends at Bed Bath and Beyond. People see a huge brace on your arm and figure something crazy happened to you. The first few times I told people that I broke my hand, the next logical question was, how? I guess I underestimate the average person's curiosity. "Playing baseball" I would say. "You get hit by a pitch?" It's about this time when I would figure I should have made something up. "No, I actually just took a swing and it broke one me."
At this point I wish I had been hit by a pitch, or ran into by a base runner, or even hit by a truck for that matter. When you tell someone you broke your hand by swinging a bat they look at you kind of like the way I look at people when they tell me Snooki from The Jersey Shore is attractive. This is where the questions begin. "You can really break your hand just swinging?" No, I made it up just to confuse you so we can sit here and discuss it for the next fifteen minutes while my Lettuce Wrap and Chang's Spicy Chicken gets cold! "Who do you play for?" "What position do you play?" "You play professional baseball?" What type of underwear do you wear?"
I've learned that maybe most parents weren't 100% right with their teachings way back when. Maybe it is OK to not lie, but not tell the whole truth sometimes. It was working wonders for me for a good amount of the summer. I scrapped the whole, "playing baseball" and went with something that would put a quick end to the crazy looks and follow up questions. For now on when I get the question asking what happened to me my answers are, "pickup football game, street hockey, tripped, fell down the stairs, got attacked by a bear, sky diving, drive by shooting." I honestly went three good months without any more questions, any more puzzling looks, any more of anything. I ate hot food and I was happy. Then I went to CVS last week.
I walked to the register with my cast on and put down a few things I had bought. Two kids who looked about fifteen years old were behind the register and they both looked at me. "Hey man, what happened to your wrist?" I didn't even think about it, but it was the first thing that came to my mind. "I broke it in a skateboarding tournament." Weird, because I don't know a thing about skateboarding and I can't even balance on one when its not moving. "You're a pro skateboarder, that's awesome!" Although I obviously wasn't a pro skater I figured it would be a lot easier to just say yes, grab my bags, and head out the door than to try and figure out what to say explaining that I wasn't. "Ya man." The kid looked back at me all excited, "That's sick dude, we're both trying to becoming professional skateboarders too! I've been skating since I was three! What type of board do you ride?"
Shit. "Ummmmmmmmmmmm." I had no idea what to say. I didn't know any skateboards. I didn't know anything about skateboarding. I passed with flying colors when I told people I had been attacked by a bear, but this skateboarding idea had just blown up in my face. "I ride all different ones." Sweet, good answer. They both looked at me puzzled. "Well, what's your favorite type of board?"...Shit again. "I like them all. Depends on how I'm feeling I guess." I felt like a pretty big idiot. What does that even mean? I don't know if they thought I was lying or not, but they kept firing.
"Oh, OK. What's your name so we can follow you?"...I wish I could have seen my facial expression at this point. Names started running through my head in no particular order. Peter, John, James, Brian, Billy, Bobby..."Bobby Thompson" He looked back at me with a weird expression. 'Please, don't tell me that's an actual professional skateboarder', I thought to myself. "Cool dude, I'll be sure to follow your career! Good luck!" And with that I walked out of the store. I have no idea how this all happened, but now I felt bad because I've got two new fans that are going to run home and try and track down a fictional skateboarder named Bobby Thompson. Maybe even tell their friends about it. I guess I should have listened. Boogers are bad for you, and nobody likes a liar.