I moved through the martial arts forms like a small but wiry tiger, my punches clean, my kicks elegant. I prided myself on being able to kick as high as the average bully’s pumpkin head. Think Yoda with arthritis.
Having abandoned dignity some years back, I never held back on the martial arts yelling part. I was always the loudest. My goal was to perfect the shouting bit so that I could kill people by yelling at them. Sometimes I yelled so loud I scared the little kids.
Secretly I was pleased when this happened.
Once in a while, I would lose focus and start to think that I was smooth, hot stuff in my white outfit (size – large child) and the great cosmic force in the universe (whom I like to call God) would orchestrate my downfall—also known as my humiliation.
I moved through the martial arts exercise like a small but wiry tiger, my punches clean, my kicks elegant. Finishing, I slapped the sides of my legs, bowed low from the waist, and allowed myself a small but triumphant smile, feeling like a miniature Ninja warrior.
The woman behind me tapped my shoulder.
I whirled, my tiny fists of fury moving to block any aggression or insult. I thought about kicking her in the head. I yelled—loudly.
She raised one eyebrow.
“Excuse me, but I think you should know that there is a dryer sheet stuck to the back of your uniform. It looks generic."
“Of course there is,” I said. And of course it was a generic brand; everyone knows the generic dryer sheets and the brand name dryer sheets are made in the same darn factory. I’m nobody’s fool.
Reaching back over my shoulder I felt for the offending laundry aid, and because I was fairly warmed up from punching and kicking imaginary pumpkin headed bullies, I was able to contort myself sufficiently, first one way and then the other, to peel the dryer sheet from the middle of my back.
The woman watched, offering no help, hints, or assistance.
I considered kicking her in the head. Instead I balled the dryer sheet up in one hand, demonstrated a perfect roundhouse kick, and promptly wet my pants.
And that’s why I never worry about getting too pleased with myself or snooty. The universe has its eye on me and makes sure to dope slap me right back into my proper place and mind set. As soon as I even start thinking I’m cool I wind up having to wipe my butt with a plane ticket (don’t ask.)
I’m taking no chances on having the universe expose the truly embarrassing craziness about me, or as I like to say to my husband, “Think about it; I haven’t even begun to write about the really funny stuff.”
Linda (Punch Drunk) Zern