Carving on the beach is one of my favorite pastimes; the soothing sound of waves breaking on the shore is good for what ails you. I needed soothing, the bandages covered large parts of my arms and head; I was definitely ailing.
I swear there was the sound of giggling in her voice as she drove me to the emergency room. My wife has an odd sense of humor; I didn’t find it funny at all, painful yes, funny no.
Sure, I was getting a bit old to replace roofs by myself, but I was born stubborn if not competent. I was making good progress until I stepped on that loose cedar shingle. The last time I experienced that rush, I was riding the hammer at the carnival with a maniac at the controls.
Red cedar can leave some serious slivers in your hide when used as a ski jump. That being the least of my worries, the fall was nearly eighteen feet from the gutter to the ground; but even that wasn't my biggest concern.
It was the blackberry bushes rising five feet above the ground that had me leaving ten parallel grooves in the roofing.
Actually falling into blackberry vines is quite easy, they even help break your fall; extricating oneself from their grasp is the hard part. For the uninitiated, wild blackberry vines are similar to rose bushes except with more thorns and less flowers.
The doctor was at least sympathetic to my plight; he apologized several times for laughing as I told my story; unlike my wife who was holding her sides and between the laughter gasped; "Stop, Stop, no more please."
I left the hospital looking very much like the mummy; the bandages covered my head and arms, the only parts visible were my eyes, nose, lips and hands.
So you can understand why I ended up on the beach with my carving knife and a piece of wood, I needed some time alone to lick my wounds. I received several long looks from passersby who obviously took an interest in what I was carving.
One child in particular was awestruck watching me deftly remove chips from the block. She stood staring at me for nearly five minutes, mesmerized by my carving skill.
Finally I looked up from my whittling and asked "so, what do you think?"
The little girl looked me over real good and said "Mister; I think you need a hobby that doesn’t involve knives."