I tried to walk in to open up the genetics lab this morning, and it ain’t happening. The roads and sidewalks are sheets of glassy ice — I got as far as the corner of my house before I went flying. I’ll be OK, I landed on my head.
Unfortunately, I can now feel every muscle and bone in my spine from thorax to cervical vertebrae aching and complaining. I’m going to be feeling this for several days.
Every year, godfuckingdamnit, I have take at least one serious fall. This is it. This better be the last one.
Sorry about your tumble. I haven’t done that for a while, thank goodness.
Maybe you should carry a bag of sand and scatter it ahead of you on days like this…
Three years ago I did the A-over-T routine on sheet ice. Locals now refer to 6-rib corner in memory of my fractured ribs. You’re still a youngster, but take it easy!
Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says
I thought I remembered you getting some of those strap-on cleats to convert any shoe or book to ice walkers?
Yikes. I hope you feel better soon. That’s never fun.
PZ Myers says
Yes, I have the cleats. This was supposed to be a quick trip, though, just heading over to unlock the lab for the students. Even so, I was going to take the long route to avoid the hellslide that is the sloping sidewalk to the U. I didn’t even get past my own yard!
Here I thought you were going to report running into a bunch of maskless idiots. I dread to see how people are going to act in Austin after what our idiot governor did.
The mildly deranged penguin suggests rocket-powered ice stakes for the outward journey. And, of course, a mask. Blindfold optional but helps to keep the bugs and branches out of the eyes.
If the rockets are sufficiently powerful, waders are recommended for the return journey. Possibly also a snorkel.
Pro tip: Make sure the rockets are all pointing in the same direction before ignition and glide-off.
Actually each time you fall it means you were able to walk again after the previous fall. So paradoxically I wouldn’t be hoping for the last one.
Having watched many, many episodes of House, I feel qualified to suggest that, at the earliest (safest!) opportunity, you have a doctor check your head for any of a variety of concussion effects. Falling and hitting your head should never be considered a minor thing.
I was going to suggest strap-on crampons, but I see others have already touched on that theme.
Tabby Lavalamp says
I have the same issue with ice and bad falls which makes me happy to be working from home right now. Somehow I still managed to have a bad fall this past summer just by stepping wrong.
PZ Myers says
I’m feeling kind of rigid and immobile right now, so I’m staying home for as long as I can. I have lab at 1pm tomorrow, so I’ll be all better by then, right?
You clumsy Atheist you..
Saw this in the Guardian ,seeing as Zebra Fish used to be your thing ,i thought it might interest you.
It was wet marble and not ice when I fell and got concussed. And it changed me permanently. I’d rather have the back pain I used to get from slipping on ice.
I’d suggest a pair of good Australian hob-nailed boots as described in this classic poem. Sadly they are now made in china and wouldn’t survive your walk let alone the war they were made for. https://internetpoem.com/banjo-paterson-andrew-barton/boots-poem/
I have fallen and broken bones two times the last two years.
Now I am keeping the crutches, they have spikes that fold out so you can walk on ice. They usually save my ass twice a day!
Sorry to hear you took a slide and fall on the ice. The ground seems all the harder when it’s still frozen. I get perfect slick skating rinks for sidewalks every sunny spring day, until enough snow has melted that the ground starts to become visible at the edges of the snowbanks and the water can run off before the sun sets and it re-freezes on the pavement.
Consumer Reports has a recommendation:
As does a stuntman.
John Morales says
It’s one thing knowing how to fall, and another being an older person.
Last few times I’ve tripped/fallen, I’ve been sore for days. Never used to happen.
Bruised heel of a hand, too.
(I’m very close to PZ’s age)
aronymous, if that stuntman were 60ish, he’d have a rather sore hip after that.
Maybe the left shoulder, too. And that’s knowing it’s about to happen.
chigau (違う) says
Knowing it’s about to happen is the tricky part.
In a flat-back-whack your feet are already flying when you realise what’s happening.
I hope you will be falling for many years to come.
But seriously, get some boots that don’t slip. They most make overshoes or something.
I grew up near Boston so I know about ice. And yet twice in the last fifteen years, when leaving for work, I slid down a whole flight of deck stairs on my sorry ass, leaving my lunch and my mug of hot tea all over myself and my yard. No serious injuries, but I was pretty sore for a few days. Served me right for thinking I was too smart to slip. “Pride goeth before the fall!”