Watch Out for That First Step. It’s a Doozy!*

Sunday started out fine but got worse and then ended in disaster. It’s a good thing I don’t have the gift of clairvoyance because if I did I would not have got out of bed on Sunday.

Here’s what happened:

We decided to go to the coast. It was going to be terrible hot here and the coast was shrouded in June Gloom which meant low clouds (fog) and chilly, as in the 60s. So, off we go, dogs whining in the back of the car behind their barrier, and soon enough we arrive. At first it seems as though it is going to be a pleasant day as there are almost no people on the streets and what few people there are are all wearing masks. We soon find out where all the people are as we make our way to the beach and to where Ari is having a training day at her second job at Ideal Café. You guessed it. Everyone is at the beach. No matter if there’s a giant sign at the bottom on the stair to the beach. BEACH CLOSED. Aw, shucks, we’ll just walk around that annoying sign and who needs a mask on the beach anyway? It’s bumper to bumper beach goers!

So, we get take-out at Ari’s place of work. We hafta eat! I order a bacon, lettuce and avocado sandwich which I’m not happy about because my new regime is low carb. Marty gets a burger and I forget to say well done. But we don’t know that just yet. We need to say hello to Ari first and she is always a welcome sight! High point of the day! Then we make our way to the beach and this is where things start to go downhill fast! Marty doesn’t want to sit on the outdoor picnic table because who knows who was sitting there before. He also doesn’t want to sit near the balcony because too many people will be coughing on you. I had wanted to tie the dogs to the balcony railing so they wouldn’t molest us while we eat but more about that decision later. Now we’re too far away from the balcony to do that, so, we sit on the sand and carefully try not to get sand in our food.

So, of course, because we were not able to tie up the dogs they are right there with us and the first thing that happens is Teddy licks Marty’s water bottle. In disgust Marty heaves the bottle into the air. Then he reveals that he’s annoyed that his burger came raw. He calls it raw when there’s the least little bit of pink. My bad! I should know by now that the order is: plain, dry, nothing on it but cheese and cooked well done. Now I’m getting annoyed by his constant griping so I say let’s leave. As I close my sandwich clamshell I accidentally toss sand on his raw burger.


Things seem to be simmering down as we drive north on the coast looking for a beach that is supposed to be closed but doesn’t have very many people on it. Finally, we find one but there’s a steep and long down slope to get to it. All is fine on the downslope and the beach is good. Few people and the dogs can run free. Teddy loose won’t come when called but I’m getting my exercise which is fine. Still, that dog needs rehabilitation!

On the way back up we come to the first step. I don’t remember it being so high when we came down. I step up and try to heave myself up with one leg but my leg can’t make it and I fall back and toooo-wist my ankle! Crunch! Ow, ow, ow. So, there I am with a twisted ankle, maybe broke, and I need to get back up the hill. NOT happy! I find that if I go sideways one step at a time I can make it. I need ice! None to be found. A few miles down the road we get ice at a restaurant but my ankle is already the size of a balloon and throbbing!

I turn to Marty and say you think you’re having a bad day, well, I got you beat now!

Post script: Urgent care says probably no break but x ray is not open today, come back tomorrow. I decide not to have x ray the next day because the ankle is already improving significantly. Take away? Most injuries for old people occur because they are acting like young people.


*The joke regarding the “first step” is thought to have been originated by a famous comedian (Joe E. Brown is sometimes cited) whose persona was redolent of alcohol. In its first iteration, the joke involved the speaker relating a conversation with another drunk who, mistaking it for a door, exits through a second floor window. He re-enters the house to warn the speaker: “Watch out for that first step, it’s a doozy.” Doozy, of course, abbreviates Duesenberg, whose automobiles were the ne plus ultra of luxury in their day; over time doozy evolved to mean an extreme example of its kind.

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