FRANKLIN"S CORNER: "I was laughing at something in my brain"


Hey. Miss me?

I think my two youngest grandchildren are trying to do me in. 

It’s been a year and three days since My Current Wife and I retired. If I have another year like the past one, I might finally get to use that obit MCW made me write years ago. 

Not too long after retirement, but it was still during the summer, Wilkes (who is 8) and I were out in the street playing football. It was a Sunday after church and lunch.

Because our front yard is sloped, I like to play in the street. If that offends your safety sensibilities, stop reading (and kiss my foot). We live on a quiet street with not much traffic, so it’s really not a safety concern. 

On this particular Sunday, Wilkes and I were throwing a football. We ended up standing next to each other and he told me to toss the football in the air and he’d try to intercept it.

Since he’s only eight, he’s not quite as tall as me yet, so I was doing pretty good. After four or five tosses, when I threw the ball in the air, it was coming down pretty much right over Wilkes’ head. 

As I moved to catch the ball (and keep him from intercepting), I bumped into him. I was afraid I was going to knock him down, so I tried to move to the side.

That’s when I got off balanced. Back when I wasn’t an old fart, I could have caught myself, made the catch and done my TD dance. This time, I went straight over onto my face. On the street.

Wilkes inquired as to my well-being. I grunted. The fall knocked off my glasses. As I put them back on my face, my hand came away bloodied.

“You’re bleeding,” Wilkes said. He’s always been a smart child.

“Can I go get somebody?”

“Yes, that will be fine.”

As he went into the house, I got myself to my feet and started inside. 

MCW met me at the door. “Don’t bleed on the carpet,” she said.

The result of my fall was a cut on my forehead, another cut on one of my hands, a third cut on a knee and a scratch on the left lens of my glasses (which is there to this day and I’ll be happy to show it to you).

As I retell this story, Wilkes is always quick to point out he did not laugh when I fell. That fact becomes more important as we move to Part 2 of our story.

Several weeks ago, we got the carpet in our den replaced with wood flooring. I guess MCW didn’t want to risk me bleeding on the carpet the next time I fell.

The wood floors look really nice, but they were slick as ice. Marett (who is 7) was at the house two days after we got the floors and we (MCW, Marett and your humble scribe) were playing hide and seek. 

I don’t normally tell you how I was dressed as I spin my yarns, but it’s important to this story that you know I was wearing socks. No shoes. You see where this is headed?

The couch was base. I was hiding. MCW and Marett were seeking. I hid in the kitchen and the plan was to make a dash to base. I was successful. Kind of.

Just a foot from the base, my feet decided to point at the ceiling. My back hit the edge of the couch (not sure how), my hip hit the floor. Marett and MCW witnessed the spectacle.

As MCW tells it, when she walked in the den from the bedroom, all she saw was my feet in the air.

As I lay on the floor, in pain and not keeping it a secret, I could hear Marett start to snicker. It then became a belly laugh. The kind you have in church and that you can’t control.

She would take a break and gasp, “I’m not laughing at you, Pop.” The evidence suggests otherwise. 

After the dust settled (this time I just had bruises, no blood), Marett said, “I was laughing at something in my brain.”

I’m thinking it was the mental picture of her granddaddy busting his hind end. 


(Larry Franklin is retired and lives in Clinton.)


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