Sunday, January 3, 2010

I Can't Move My Knee

As long as we're talking about potentially embarrassing personal revelations, like my enthusiasm for middlebrow '60s movies and television (thanks Dave!), did I ever tell you about the time I faked a knee injury?

I was in the ninth grade. I was one of those quiet, nerdy kids who never did anything physical enough to put himself in actual danger. Consequently, I never had any injuries. But I was surrounded by boys who came to school in casts, braces and bandages, wearing proudly the evidence of their perilous lives. (Even my own brother subsequently managed to jam a pair of pruning shears into his neck, requiring surgery and bandages and all sorts of attention.)

One day, and I'm not even sure where the idea came from, I decided to say I'd had a pin put in my knee. I walked from class to class with my leg completely stiff. When someone asked what happened, I told them I'd broken my knee and it was pinned, immobilizing the joint.

The teachers furrowed their brows and said they were sorry, but looked more confused than anything. They were probably thinking what a few of my classmates dared to say: If my knee was pinned, why did it look absolutely normal?

Dennis, one of my classmates, demanded to see the pin. I told him it was inside the knee and couldn't be seen. (I had no idea how joint surgery worked. I hadn't thought to read up on the finer points of orthopedic technique.) Dennis called me on my hoax, saying pins protruded from the skin and were easily visible.

I began to think faking a knee injury might not be such a good idea after all.

I think I limped through the entire day, for appearance's sake -- I couldn't very well pretend the pin just disappeared. But the next day I went back to school and walked normally. I was prepared to say it had been removed and I was back to my old self -- but I never had to, because no one ever asked. They were probably so appalled by my idiocy that they decided to leave well enough alone!

(Photo: Dandelion, East Brunswick, N.J., Nov. 2009)


  1. This is too funny! I would not have allowed you to get by without a public admission that it was a hoax. That's the kind of nerdy kid I was.

    I want to hear more about the pruning shears episode with your brother. Sounds like a good post!

  2. That is hilarious. You were simply engaging in a fun fantasy.

  3. RE "The Pruning Shears" That was all a lie too. I concocted that whole shmeal just to garner some attention after watching everyone fawn all over Stephen and his knee. I however, have been living a complicated lie of deception and hollywood make-up for the past 27 years.

    OK...that's not true either. Actually, I stuck the pruning shears in my neck on purpose, for two reasons. First, to get out of doing the rest of the yard work I was engaged in when the "accident" occured. Second, because I was under the impression that even at 12 years old, chicks already were diggin' on the scar thing. That turned out to be a horrible miscalculation on my part, as for the rest of my life, most of the girls I would meet would just look at my throat in horror and yelp, "what the hell did you do to your neck!?" To add insult to injury, I still had to do a bunch of crap in the yard.

    OK, that's not true either. I actually just didn't want to go to our stepsister's birthday party.

    OK, that was the last lie. The truth is... Mom, in 1992 I had a motorcycle.

    *whew!* I feel so much better!

  4. Utahdog: Hey, get your own blog!

    Oh, wait...

  5. Utah dog is very funny, in a Sedaris sort of way. your horrific and embarrassing day at school with the "pin" - I would have thought it was to get out of gym. I convinced my doctor to give a doctor's excuse for gym and she did! (I lied to her about gym saying we were swimming in a pool of heavily chlorine-ed water all of the time. ) Luckily she just nodded and wrote out a permanent general excuse so I never had to take gym in High school.

  6. haha, young folks are quite amusing. I love these stories. As long as we are confessing I might add my own. I once pretended to be deaf (long story, but VERY good reasons behind it). I did pull it off though - probably cause nobody knew me and I never had to see them again. Will supply details at the dinner previously mentioned in my last comment.