Sunday, October 23, 2011

Today's fortune: October 23, 2011

Today's fortune: You are original and creative.

I woke up yesterday morning with a crazy idea. My friend from high school, Sledge, had been telling me these great stories about skydiving, and had been encouraging me to go with him sometime. So yesterday morning, I picked up the phone and called him.

"Let's go," I said.

"Bitchin'!" Sledge replied.

But when he tried to book us a seat on a plane, the tickets were sold out, and the next available seat wasn't for weeks.

"Dude," Sledge said, "we don't need a plane. I got the 'chutes right here."

"What are you talking about?" I asked.

"It's called base jumping, hombre."

I'd heard of base jumping, but Sledge explained it to me. "What you do, dude, is climb up to the roof a really tall building with a parachute on your back. And then you jump off! It's the ultimate rush!"

"Sounds dangerous," I said.

"Oh yeah, totally. And it's super-illegal. But don't worry, Bro-seph. I'll plan everything."

So I left my fate in Sledge's capable hands. He picked me up in his Jeep at 11 a.m. with parachutes in tow and we headed downtown, parking right outside of One Kansas City Place, the tallest building in my fair city.

Brazenly, with backpacks strapped on, we strolled past the security desk virtually unnoticed and went up the elevator to the highest floor. After a brief search, Sledge found a maintenance door, broke the lock and we climbed up the ladder to the roof access hatch. Out on the roof, the temperature was a good 20 degrees colder than at ground level, and the light wind had turned into a torrent. I was hesitant, but Sledge said it would be okay.

Over the rush of wind, I heard Sledge yell, "Just jump off and pull the cord right away bro! When you hit the ground, gather up the 'chute and run as fast as you can back to the Jeep! Good luck!" Then he disappeared over the edge.

For only a second I considered climbing back down the hatch and chickening out. But something, maybe Sledge's enthusiasm, or my desire for a crazy adventure, made me jump.

I started my freefall and gasped in fear and awe, then I followed Sledge's instructions and pulled the cord. The force of the parachute jerked me back in the harness, and I slowed from freefall to slow plummet - I was still heading toward the ground a lot faster than I wanted to be.

Seconds before impact I heard the sirens. Apparently one of the security guards had seen us and called the cops.

I slammed into the ground and felt my ankle give way. I knew it was either broken or sprained. But I didn't really have time to examine it. A police officer, gun drawn, was rushing toward me. Instead of grabbing up the parachute I hit the release button and abandoned it on the city street, then sprinted away toward Sledge's car. The cop got tripped up in the 'chute and fell to the ground.

We jumped in the Jeep and Sledge peeled away, both of us laughing like giddy children. Sledge took a look at my ankle later - it was only sprained - and wrapped it up with a bandage.


Of course, not a single word of that story is true. But it's much more original and creative - not to mention manly - than the real way I sprained my ankle yesterday.

The bum ankle is not the result of base jumping, but actually garage saling.

Jamie and I decided to visit my parents yesterday, and the four of us piled in the car to visit some Saturday afternoon garage sales. As we were leaving the first of what was going to be several sales, I stepped off the curb into a small pothole. My ankle twisted and I fell to the ground, scattering pieces of the five-dollar espresso machine I'd bought for Jamie across the street.

Although I was in agony for a while, a visit to an Urgent Care center confirmed the injury was probably just a sprain, not a break. It still hurts, and a doctor has to look at the x-rays to make sure it's not broken, but I still have a full range of motion and I can put some weight on it without passing out in pain, so that leads me to believe it's only a sprain. But I'm pretty well hobbled, and I'm using a borrowed cane to walk around.

When people ask my why I'm walking with a cane, though, I won't be telling them it was a garage sale injury. I have to keep my badass reputation intact. I sprained my ankle by base jumping.

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