back to top

“Accidents of Fate” Seek Out Some More Than Others

Napoleon Bonaparte once said “There is no such thing as an accident, only fate misnamed.” While I would like to agree with the diminutive emperor that “fate” has been responsible for the laundry list of accidents scattered through my days, the word “stupidity,” seems to be a more accurate term.

For example; hitting myself in the face with a tennis racket would hardly be classified as “fate,” as would the number of times I unknowingly set myself on fire.  No one person could possibly be dealt that kind of destiny, could they?

Over the past twenty years my body has been the birthplace for many a painful mishap, although I don’t consider myself to be accident prone.  The first eighteen years of my life were absent of any kind of freak injury, however, the following decades would more than make up for the slow start.

My first broken bone arrived when playing a game of pick-up basketball at a local gym.  I am not sure how I actually broke my ankle (although I do remember seeing a particularly lovely young lady enter the gym causing me to temporarily lose concentration and step on one of my opponent’s feet) but one moment I was driving the ball to the basket and the next I was prone on the court weeping like a small child.

On the courts of New York they believe in the old showbiz declaration “THE SHOW MUST GO ON,” as three of my teammates grabbed my arms, dragged me off of the court and picked up a substitute player to fill in.  I was touched by their concern. Hopping on my good leg, I found a pay phone and called home for some assistance.  Dad was quickly on his way.

Situated in a small training room, I awaited my father’s arrival.  The trainer had provided me with a comfortable wheel chair, a bag of ice taped to my ankle.  We chatted for a while as the day grew old, waiting for my Dad to make his appearance.  Minutes turned to an hour and still no sign of rescue for me and my throbbing foot. My ice turned to water.  Where could my Dad be?

Just as I was about to lose all hope, dad burst into the training room breathing heavily and explained that he had become lost while driving (a common trait for us Kaufman men), Dad wore a look of grave concern. My father had never seen me hurt before and he was visibly upset.  Liability papers were signed, Dad manned the back of the wheelchair and we were off to the hospital.

Dad was in a bit of a rush and to make matters worse it became immediately clear  that he did not have a great deal of experience with wheelchairs. In fact, he ran me and my aching foot into every wall, door and gym patron between us and the car.  Any obstacle that presented itself was bumped or pushed out of our path, each collision accompanied by a high-pitched yelp from me and an apology from my Dad.

When we reached the outside of the building, Dad parked me and my wheelchair near the exit and ran off to get the car.  In his haste, Pop failed not only to engage the wheelchair’s braking system, but to notice that I was poised on a distinct downgrade. As I began to roll slowly towards the parking lot, panic set in. Sensing my impending doom, I slammed my uninjured hoof down, trying to slow my momentum.  Thankfully I gently crashed into a “No Parking” sign, before I broke (literally) into the clear on the open road. Dad loaded me into the car with all the gentleness of an airport baggage handler, as I prayed for a short ride to the hospital.

Reaching the hospital in minutes, an orderly, schooled in the operation of the standard wheelchair (thankfully), carted me into the emergency room. My overwrought father was directed to the waiting room.  Following Xrays and the casting process, I was released to the man who delivered me, who was now sleeping in an uncomfortable looking plastic hospital chair.

Struggling with my first ever set of crutches, my Dad looked relieved and happy to see me.  Hobbling through the hospital hallways, I was abruptly stopped by a nurse who explained that hospital policy requires all discharged patients to leave the ER area via a wheelchair. I glanced at my Dad, looked at the nurse, eyeballed a lone wheelchair stationed nearby, and bolted down the hall towards the exit as fast as my crutches could take me.

Reclining on our coach at home, my battered limb propped-up and safe, I remembered the words of Napoleon and thought “Was it fate that landed me in this predicament? Was this  merely a simple accident? Or am I just an absent minded dope who broke his ankle checking out a girl and allowed his nervous, but loving Dad to nearly kill him in a wheelchair?

I’m thinking its number three . . . as fate would have it.

Latest Articles

- Advertisement -Fox Radio CBS Sports Radio Advertisement

Latest Articles

- Advertisement -Fox Radio CBS Sports Radio Advertisement

Related Articles