Speaking of broken arms, I forgot to mention that at the end of my second day in the hospital (this would be the trampoline break, not the mountain-bike break) the doctor came by my room to check on me. My bed was up against the right wall, the door at my feet. I was lying on my back in bed, right arm raised in a sling and encased in one of those huge plaster casts that went up and over my elbow which have since been replaced by the colorful fiberglass ones (I was lucky enough, by the way, to appreciate this leap in technology the second time I broke my arm). My left arm had an IV sticking out of it, and, I think I had just peed in a plastic bottle that did not have soft edges. At any rate, my mom was by my side, fretting over me, possibly reading, when the doctor popped his head in and stood in the doorway. He said something to the effect of wanting to see how my swelling was, and that if I could straighten out the fingers in my right hand, I could go home. Short of actually being Snake Eyes (you know, from GI Joe) there was hardly anything I wanted more in the world at that moment. So, I mustered up my strength and strained to get my fingers to work. A searing pain shot down the inside of my wrist (which I’m reliving as I write this) and shakingly, I acheived only as open a palm as you get whenever you relax all the muscles in your hand (just like the one you perfected when you used to pretend-die, falling to the ground with a clenched fist, and then opening it slightly with your last gasping breath serving as a harbinger of impending revenge). The doctor watched me, shook his head with a smile, and wryly said, “Close but no cigar, you’ll have to stay anouther day.” He never even came in the room. To this day, if I hear that expression, “Close but no cigar”, I feel a pain in my wrist and a lump in my throat…

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