story time

During my freshman year of college, the city built a huge play structure made entirely out of cedar in a park near downtown. Friends of mine began to go out to the park at night and play freeze tag. The rules were the same as those for normal freeze tag, except that players were not allowed to touch the sand beneath the play structure. They would run along the boardwalks, climb up ladders, shimmy across balance beams and monkey across monkey bars. All under the dim light of the moon and a couple nearby streetlights.

Always looking for a rousing round of competition, I decided to join my friends at the park one night. I took particular interest in a grouping of handrails that made up a good portion of the middle of the playing field. They formed a maze in the sand that I’m sure would entertain a small child (or me) for hours. But, of course, I wasn’t allowed to walk in the sand according to the rules of the game.

I started to venture out on the handrails, stepping from wooden beam to wooden beam. They were about two inches wide and spaced fairly closely together. As the night and the game progressed, so did my skills. I was able to move across the rails faster and faster, evading the tagger. Eventually, I got to the point where I could literally sprint across the handrails to the other side of the playing area.

As it turned out, I wasn’t the only one perfecting this skill set. I soon found myself being chased by the tagger, both of us running full tilt across the handrails. I looked up to see someone, a girl I think, bear-crawling across the rails on her hands and feet. She didn’t see us running toward her. And she was moving into my path. Not wanting to step on her hand or knee her in the face, I hurdled her.

This was a poor decision that I immediately regretted. I should have just wound up and put the insole of my right foot firmly against her left cheekbone. But I’m a gentleman. And so my leap ended with the abrupt landing of my right shin on the next railing. All of my weight and the speed of my sprint shook the rails. I went down hard.

I sprang up immediately, knowing that I needed to walk it off. I thought for sure that I had splintered my leg, but it proved me wrong when I put some weight on it. I spent about ten or twenty minutes walking around the park, slowly increasing the amount of weight I placed on the leg. Eventually, I felt okay and rejoined the game.

There was no moon that night, and I couldn’t see the damage the handrail had done to my leg until we were leaving the park almost thirty minutes later. Someone turned on their headlights, and I looked down at my leg to find that another calf muscle had started growing on the front of my shin. Sadly, it put my real calf muscle to shame. I almost puked. I think my buddy Oscar actually threw up a little.

[This is the first in a series of posts regarding the Fuel Factor, or the propensity of the Fuel brothers to injure themselves while behaving beyond the means of conventional wisdom. We do stupid stuff. We get hurt. Hilarity ensues.]

8 Responses to “story time”

  1. # Anonymous anne arkham

    Post the picture. You know you took a picture.  

  2. # Blogger r.fuel

    Sadly, I didn't. I wish that I had.  

  3. # Anonymous gornonymous

    She likes gore. Everyone likes gore -- bloody, grisly, grimy-gopher-gut gore -- just not their own. Well-written. "I should have just wound up and put the insole of my right foot firmly against her left cheekbone. But I’m a gentleman." Poorly raised, I guess. (As I am now a student of blog etiquette, I will not mention typos).  

  4. # Blogger anaglyph

    The word 'ouch' does spring to mind.  

  5. # Anonymous anonymous 2

    For Fuel Factor, the rope around the hand and forearm comes to mind... Will that be a future episode?  

  6. # Blogger r.fuel


    And please forgive the typos. I ran out of time for proofing on Friday.  

  7. # Anonymous james

    Im sure there will be many future episodes.. You could go on for years.  

  8. # Anonymous joustnonymous

    I want to hear about jousting  

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