Make My Day
GUY INJURIES: FACT OR FICTION?
by Erik Deckers
American Reporter Humor Writer
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- As a Guy, I've always done typical Guy things. I know how to build houses, cook large slabs of meat with fire, and play several different high-impact sports. And like a typical Guy, I've smashed my thumbs, burned my hands, twisted my ankles, and even broken a finger playing football.
"Will I still be able to play the piano?" I asked my doctor.
"Only if you could play it before," he answered.
Nobody likes a smart-aleck, especially one who steps on somebody else's punchline.
Guys take pride in explaining their injuries. We love showing off our battle scars and recounting every bloody detail of how we scored the winning touchdown, despite the fact that our ankle had snapped on the previous play, and we were getting a little light-headed as the blood spurted from our shoulder laceration with every step.
"That was the hardest game of pickup tackle football I've played in years," we boast. "We had two former All-Americans and a retired NFL player."
Our listeners ooh and ah in amazement. Women want us, and mere mortal men want to be us. But they wouldn't if they knew the truth: Guys are notorious liars when it comes to explaining their injuries.
If people really knew how we injured ourselves, not only would they laugh in our faces, they would probably chase us with pitchforks and torches.
While it's true that we played football last weekend, it was flag football at the church picnic. And while we did twist our ankle during the game, it was actually during halftime when we were racing that jerk Pastor Winthrop for the last piece of cherry pie. And the shoulder laceration was actually just a minor scrape you got when the selfish creep chop-blocked you into the picnic table.
But: Guys lie about these kinds of things all the time. A Guy will stagger to work, stooped over with a sore back, and groan every time he gets up or sits down. And when he's asked about his injury, he'll say, "I was chopping wood over the weekend, and I tried to lift a tree that was too heavy." What he means is, "I was washing dishes at the sink, and bent over funny to pick up my 17 pound son."
A Guy will show up to work on crutches and tell you he twisted his knee when he crashed his mountain bike. What he means is that he was screwing around with his kid's bike in the front yard and fell when he nearly hit the dog.
A Guy will wear a bandage the size of a baseball and tell you he smashed his thumb while building his new bi-level deck with built-in grill. What he means is his kid smashed his thumb in the toilet seat during potty training.
Guys will even lie to each other about the degree of past injuries. I know this, because I've done this myself on occasion. After bike training, soccer practice, or Ultimate Frisbee, several of us would sit around, drink beer, and recount our past painful, yet manly injuries and try to top each other in terms of severity as well as willingness to play through the pain.
"I once played an entire season of college soccer with tendonitis in my ankle," I would brag. "I went through an entire case of athletic tape in a 13-week season just to be able to practice every day."
One of the Guys in our little injury scrum responded, "Oh yeah? That's nothing. Did I ever tell you about the time my head was knocked off during a soccer game? I kicked it in for the winning goal before I was rushed to the hospital and had it reattached."
Of course, as Guys, we all know the other person is lying (except for me. I really did play for an entire college soccer season with tendonitis). But we'll never acknowledge it. It's all part of the dance of being a Guy. We know the other one is lying, but we can't say anything about it, because he knows we're lying. It's a Sports Injury Stalemate. We can't point out the lie, because it means having to admit to our own lie.
If you thought trying to understand your wife or girlfriend was complicated, try making sense of a Guy Sports Injury Battle Royale. No one really understands what it is we're doing, or why we do it. Even the Guys don't understand it. It's just one of those mysterious Guy activities. Just accept it and move on,
But to set the record straight. I was really the one who kicked that other Guy's head in for the winning goal.