This was no ordinary winter break. Not only did the break reaffirm how ironic life can be, but it has convinced me that there is definitely some higher power out there. Call it God, Allah, Buddha or simply a sprite-like person playing with our lives like a game of chess, but whatever it is has a wicked sense of humor.

First of all, let me apologize to the guy who I wrote about falling off the Treadmill in one of my earlier column because as I learned, comments like that eventually return to bite you in the ass.

Thus begins my story.

I had been home about 20 hours and was a bit hungover from the night before, so I decided to stay home and work on that invisible six-pack of mine.

I wiped the sweat from my eyes and noticed that I had a mere two minutes left in my workout.

Next thing I knew, it felt as if my shoelace was being sucked into the machine as my body scraped across the Treadmill, body parts sprawling every which way.

I thought to myself how stupid I would feel if this happened in a gym full of people.

Then I looked over and realized that my knee was not only cut, but that I could actually see inside it.

Then shock set it.

I started to scream ?like a little girl of course ? because lucky for me, my parents and brother were asleep upstairs. After five minutes of shrieking, I began to wonder if I was going to have to crawl over to the phone to call an ambulance in order to wake my slumbering family.

I finally heard footsteps and a gasp from my father. He later told me that the reason he didn?t come to my rescue sooner was that he thought I was roughhousing with my brother. This is a rather funny thought when your 18-year-old brother is a foot and a half taller than you are. Besides, my way of fighting with him these days is punching him in the stomach and running like hell.

My father was running around like a chicken with his head cut off, and I could envision his actions the day my mom went into labor.

Then began the pilgrimage to the car. My poor brother and dad carried me up the stairs, which was unfortunate for my brother since he picked me up by my armpits and I had just finished quite a workout.

Of course, there was a snowstorm, which didn?t help my cause much either. On the slippery ride over I had a dramatic realization ?I HADN?T SHAVED. Of course, when is one completely prepared to fall off exercise equipment and take a field trip to the emergency room?

We finally arrived at the hospital and the nurse helped to soothe my frazzled nerves by telling me she had never seen such an immense cut from falling off a Treadmill. Then she mopped up the blood and wheeled me into the waiting room.

While there was no muscle or bone damage, I had to have 20 stitches in my knee. The doctor assured me that he had taken up quilting and was a master craftsman.

Meanwhile, my mother kept whispering in between stitches how cute the doctor was and that he was probably single. I half expected her to give him my number on the way out. Besides, aren?t hairy legs a turn-on in some cultures?

Next came the crutches and the immobilizer. The nurse had to set the crutches to the lowest placement and caused an even larger blow to my ego when he assured me that I would grow one day.

I told him my growth spurt of about half an inch had already come and gone. It turns out that he thought I was 15.

To make matters worse, walking felt like I was dragging a dead animal behind me. I tried to saunter around, pretending nothing was wrong with my leg, but there is no simple way to ignore a large piece of foam around your knee.

Perhaps the most crushing result, however, was the end of the knee-modeling career I was planning on after college.

I did, however, learn to do a mean booty shake with only one good leg.

Most importantly, I learned never to talk smack about others because you can end up with some pretty nasty scars.



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