Saturday, March 25, 2006

knowledge and "useful" knowledge

With all talk about knowledge and how it can help one during life over at Conversation, it brought back a memory of mine.

Thor and I like to drive down to Santa Monica and hang out on a Friday or Saturday night at the 3rd Street promenade. It's a 3-5 block section of 3rd Street that is closed off to traffic making it a pedestrian strolling mall dotted with street performers and artists. Also, the stores along the street are trendy, high end and some are down right kooky. Bookstores have always been a place for us to hang out.

Way back in the day, before Barnes and Noble landed on the Promenade there was a large albeit funky bookstore with all sorts of nooks furnished with cozy chairs or couches for you to peruse a piece of interesting literature. Thor would usually pick up a book of sci-fi, religion, or a piece of history. S'mee? I went for the real crainial stuff one night: "How Do They Do That? Famous People explain how they do what it is they do that has made them famous!" It had all sorts of "famous" people in it, stunt riders, sword swallowers, and I picked it up and thumbed through it... "Chevy Chase -famous for prat falls down stairs." So I stood there for about a minute and read how he was able to throw himself down staircase after staircase and just stand right up and smile... unhurt. How does he do it???

Fast forward about ten years. A friend of mine had a child who was having to testify in a very nasty court case. I went along with her to the County Seat to lend moral support. About the third day in, the day I happened to be in a red skirt and jacket with my favorite red suede heels, the court broke for lunch and we all headed out for a bite. The court room we were attending was on the third floor. The building is one of those magnificent old buildings with high vaulted ceilings, marble floors and grand marble staircases that took competition away from the one elevator. The kind of elevator that has a older gentleman to open the accordion gated door and actually hand operate the half moon style floor directory as it jolted to a start and stop.

For whatever reason we were the last to leave and I was at the end of the 40 or so person pack descending the staircase. I started down the staircase and my pretty red kitten heel became caught on (what's the luck?) the small sandpaper strip that is glued (or not) onto the edge of the slippery marble step to keep one from falling down the stairs. Did I mention this was the second step from the top? And that the staircase was very long as to accommodate the tall ceilings and actual floor heights? My foot came out of the shoe part of the way and hung on for dear life in the toe. Well, (you could see this coming right?) I began to fall.

And fall I did. And as I fell I could immediately see that the folks ahead of me on the descending stairs were turning to look at me, and seeing me -in all my red blurry glory heading straight for them- saved themselves and got out of my way by squishing themselves up against the railings. As this started to happen my mind raced back to the book on Chevy Chase. It's weird how fast your mind can work! "All I do is commit and go with it knowing if I resist I will get more bruising and broken bones than if I just relax. So I get a beating and land safely, but abruptly at the bottom in a heap."

I was literally doing somersaults like Chevy Chase on his best SNL skit -all the way down, passing the normal folks as they watched in stunned horror. SPLAT! I landed right at the bottom, head down first with one leg hooked in the railing, my red skirt over my head, and the other leg twisted around my body, arms flailed against my crumpled shoulders, in dead silence.

My girlfriend ran down the stairs while everyone else just stood and held their breath. She gently pulled the skirt from my face (checking to see if I was still alive perhaps), and then tried to de-prezelize my limbs. I was crying, but more than crying I was laughing. I mean really! (hey I am laughing again just remebering it!) This had to be pretty amazing to witness. I was, as Chevy Chase predicted, bruised and beat, but otherwise unscathed. The major injury was my dignity and modesty, and my panty hose. They were obliterated to say the least. When the witnesses could see I had survived a lone voice was heard: "In the middle of a court house and not one attorney to witness this."

One gentleman went back up the staircase to retrieve my lone shoe, still faithfully hanging onto the safety tape by it's little heel. I replaced the shoe, fluffed up my dignity and went to lunch with the crowd.

I swear, if I ever meet Chevy Chase in person I will hug him for literally saving my life. All because I read a couple of sentences he wrote on how to survive falling down a staircase.

add to sk*rt


chronicler said...

Heh. And I thought I was the family designee for falling in public. Oh, yes, I, moi, me, my designee is to do it at HUGE gatherings of LDS people, especially where the Prophet will be speaking.

Thank goodness we have a sense of humor. I am also so very glad I wasn't with you that day! I could only have bent myself over in raucous laughter, that is, of course, while I checking to see that you were okay. I am so terrible!

s'mee said...

I am still giggling over this, I guess I will every time I remember it, so laugh away. Think of this the next time you are sad. Consider it my gift to you dear sister! as for me, well, this is just the tip of the iceberg to my seemingly endless list of embarrassing moments. I could write a book. : ) (blushing, but yet still giggling!)

Bek said...

Smee...I am sorry to laugh at your pain...but that was an AWESOME story. That is the best thing Ihave ever heard...mostly because you just WENT WITH IT!!!

I haven't commented in a while, but have been reading you and pondering your church posts. Those are some difficult things your ward is dealing with.....thanks for sharing..

Susan M said...

Best post ever! Now if only you could meet Chevy Chase and tell him that story.

chronicler said...

The Big guy says we need need to change our bames to the feebles = you guys do fall down! heh. He also says while you may have the hieght record for falls, I have the number of falls trophy!

chronicler said...

That would be names, not bames.

s'mee said...

I was thinking perhaps I should write an embarrassing moment each week...

"then there was the time when...."

perhaps, I need to think one this...

In the mean time, thanks Bek and Susan. Hey Bek, your comment totally reminded me of that Chris Farly movie when the guy destroys his car and he is trying not to laugh..."Sorry 'bout your car dude, but that was AWESOME!" I am still laughing. Susan, I think you'd have a better chance of meeting Chevy, but you never know! And may have fallen more times but how many missionaries have pulled your bra out of a jockey box? Now there's a trophy!

chronicler said...

Heh. You got me there. I'm not usually disrobing in the car ;-) You younger kids!

s'mee said...

It's a rather long, yet funny story, although not for the poor missionary. Just know that there were perfectly innocent reasons for the undergarment to be found where it was and why.

Still, quite embarrasssing!

Mary A said...

s'mee, that sounds like a truly artisic fall. You should see if Chevy Chase has a website where you could email him or something. He should hear that he saved your life!

I suspect you and chronicler should both be writing books about life's funny moments. I'll bet people would love them!