Ten reasons I probably shouldn’t be alive # 4
I watched a show on television recently called I Shouldn’t Be Alive in which they feature people who, due to things that happened to them, apparently shouldn’t be alive. In the episode I watched, some guy was walking along a creek bed and a big rock fell on his leg, trapping him with one foot sticking out. A huge crayfish that lived in the creek crawled out towards him and the guy didn’t have a stick or anything in reach to shoo it off with so he had to watch it eat his foot. I would rather the rock had fallen on my head. While I have never had a crayfish eat my foot, I have been on fire, stabbed, lost, almost drowned, crushed and trapped, so I wrote my own ten reasons why I probably shouldn’t be alive.
This article was originally quite long and I thought people might email me saying “tl;dnr” so I broke it up into ten separate segments. This was quite annoying as I was pretty much over it by then and it messed with the formatting of other articles so I hope you appreciate the effort and refrain from emailing me asking, “Why didn’t you just put all ten in one article?” The other nine can be found by clicking here.
There is an old saying that you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your relatives. Or something like that. If this was true, I would be friends with Brad Pitt and he would buy me lots of presents and take me shopping. Probably for expensive watches and boats that have lounge chairs in the back.
I have been asked a few times what being stabbed felt like and the best way I can describe it is that it was like a sharp stabbing pain. If you were expecting an appropriate simile or six paragraph description, you should probably have bought a book by Emily Brontë instead. I read a book by Brontë once. She went on for about two hundred pages about a cup of tea. I’m sure it was a great cup of tea but if you can’t describe a cup of tea in one sentence, there are a lot of other books out there that can get to a point. A point that hopefully has something to do with robots. I stopped reading before the kettle boiled but I’m sure it all turned out fine.
There is usually some form of bond between relatives, but I never felt it with one named Christopher. I didn’t have a lot to do with him as a kid and while family gatherings demanded some small interaction, for the most part we kept to ourselves. My interests centred mainly around reading and drawing while Christopher’s one fixation was the World Wrestling Federation. His bedroom walls were covered with posters of some guy wearing a kilt named Rowdy Roddy Piper. The one above his bed had the words 'Hot Rod' emblazoned across it in a lightning shaped typeface.
Chris was a little slow but not in the Forrest Gump kind of way, more the 'patiently explaining instructions twice before doing it yourself' kind of way. It was a common rumour that he wore a nappy until the age of eight but I have always suspected this was due more to laziness than anything else as he was a fairly fat kid. After I left home to attend University, I didn't really have much to do with him. He lived at home until his late thirties so I would, on occasion, catch up with him at family events but as his interests only expanded enough from wrestling to include pornography, we did not have a lot to chat about. Mentioning anything about art and design was met with statements such as "designers are poofters unless they are the kind who design custom graphics for Harley Davidsons" and "I’ve got tons of naked chicks on my computer, that's all the art I need."
Somewhere along the line, Christopher gained 300 pounds in body mass and a girlfriend named Joylene of similar dimension. I visited the flat they rented together once but twenty minutes of sitting on a dog's beanbag within touching distance of a kitty litter tray that hadn't been changed in months while watching the movie White Chicks was pretty much it for me.
While far from having OCD, I prefer things un-messy which is why I keep everything I own in clearly labelled boxes. I currently have over four thousand boxes of various shapes and sizes. I keep the smaller boxes in larger boxes clearly marked 'smaller boxes'.
I can’t recall what excuse I gave to leave but I’m fairly sure it was more polite than "Your dog is eating poo from the kitty litter and no, helping you install a stolen Audio4 stereo in your car after the movie does not sound... fuck this, I'm going." Before I left, Chris used my phone to order pizza because his was out of credit and, as I was leaving, asked for pizza money and didn't have change for a fifty.
I only heard from Christopher three times in the years following. Once to decline helping him torch his Ford Falcon on a quiet country road in the middle of the night for insurance purposes, once to store a wooden boat in my shed, and once when he needed somewhere to stay due to Joylene discovering several terrabytes of teen art on his computer. After living alone for several years, I was hesitant to let anyone stay in my apartment, let alone Christopher, but after being assured it would only be “for a few days at the most,” I reluctantly agreed.
Six weeks later, returning home from work early one afternoon, I walked into my kitchen to discover Christopher dressed in women's lingerie and a curly blonde wig, mounted on the handle of a toilet plunger suctioned securely to the floor. He looked like a huge albino frog lollipop. A K-Mart brochure lay open between his knees advertising children's swimwear.
As Christoper leapt up in surprise, the plunger handle exited and, like a trebuchet, flung a combination of butter and faeces across the kitchen cabinets. My first reaction was to stand there in shock. Christopher’s first reaction was to grab a Wiltshire® steak knife from the kitchen counter top and plunge it four inches into my stomach. He then ran up the stairs as I slid slowly down the refrigerator door to the floor.
I have no problem with anyone’s sexual preferences. I read about a man once who married a cabbage so, by comparison, most people’s preferences are fairly tame. When I was about eight, I laid on the bathroom floor and cracked an egg onto my penis, I have no idea why, and if I thought it would feel even remotely nice, I would probably stick things in my bottom as well. It’s good to have a hobby. I’d probably start on something small, like someone else’s toothbrush, and work my way up to watermelons or something. I wouldn’t do it while staying at a relative's house though. Blood is thicker than water but so is butter and faeces.
Descending a few minutes later, with his bags hurriedly packed, Christopher said "That will teach you not to give away people’s boats" and left. On the way out, he stole my wallet from the hallway table and scratched a deep groove down the side of my car with a key. For some reason, I will put it down to shock, I edged my way up from the floor, with the knife handle still protruding from my abdomen, made it into the lounge area and watched a re-run of MASH. It was the episode where Klinger tried to eat a Jeep. Attempting several times to slowly remove the serrated blade, and almost blacking out from the pain each time, I decided to drive to the hospital.
I was approximately two blocks from the hospital when a police car pulled me over for not wearing my seatbelt. Explaining to the officer that I was unable to secure the seatbelt due to the knife handle protruding from my stomach and stating “No, I don’t need an ambulance, the hospital is just around the corner,” I had my keys taken from me and was forced to wait almost an hour for an ambulance to arrive.
While we were waiting, the officer asked me what had happened and I told him that I had slipped on butter on the kitchen floor and fell onto the open dishwasher door which had a steak knife facing up in the thing that holds cutlery. I have no idea why I made up this story as I certainly felt no need to protect Chris but part of my brain seems hard- wired to always automatically lie to police and at the time it seemed a more viable scenario than the truth. ‘Kitchen accident’ was listed on the hospital report and I was in surgery for less than hour, receiving only five stitches. Apparently the knife had missed my lung by two centimetres and no major organs had been damaged.
Returning home later that night, I cleaned both the kitchen and the room Chris had been staying in and found my son's Star Wars® light- sabre, the missing rubber duck from the bathroom, and a pair of size 20 women's blue satin panties under the bed, coated in the same concoction as the plunger.
Not knowing what other items had been included in Christopher’s activities meant I had to throw out everything in the house that could theoretically fit inside a human bottom. I told my son that I'd given all his toys to a poor family and had to take him to Toys'R'Us to buy replacements.
The new book is out now.
The first book has debuted at #4 on the New York Times Bestseller list.
All new, never before published material.