Fall's Well That Ends Well
Most of us have made fools of ourselves in public.
Maybe you uttered something during an important meeting that you shouldn’t have let slip out. (Consider me guilty.) Possibly you walked into a party with your buttons unbuttoned, your belt unbuckled, or your zipper unzipped. (Very, very guilty.)
Perhaps you even admit on your blog that you listen to cheesy 80s hair metal. Way too often. (No comment.)
But I’m betting that you didn’t (A) trip on your own shoelace, (B) fall down a museum stairwell, and (C) shatter three near-priceless Qing Dynasty vases.
So let’s just say your day wasn’t as bad as this guy, who certainly wishes he had worn slip-ons, sandals, or even full leg casts last Wednesday while visiting the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. The Chinese artifacts that he reduced to fragments had been crafted in the late 17th or early 18th century—making them older than the Rolling Stones.
Yes, ALL of them. Combined.
The museum director was gracious about the “regrettable accident,” emphasizing that he and his co-workers were simply “glad that the visitor involved was able to leave the museum unharmed.”
Translation: The clutz hauled ass before the curator could beat the crap out of him.
This story bring to mind some other historical stumbles with memorable results:
Michael Jackson. The King of Pop faced criminal charges because he was seen getting too friendly with the youngins. But remember that he always wore moonwalk slippers, and those things are damn slippery. He doesn't have the moves he used to, so perhaps he just fell a lot—and always found himself grasping for anything to break his fall.
Conveniently, he always had those little boys around.
The atomic bomb. We didn’t really mean to drop it, you know. We just wanted to open the airplane's big doors and show it off. Let the Japanese SEE it and panic. Then, we planned to fly away in peace and accept their surrender later that day. Those airmen just lost their grip, that’s all.
Oops. Our bad.
O.J. Simpson. Everybody suspects that he killed Nicole. Few people realize that he didn’t really intend to hurt her … he merely slipped and fell because he couldn't see in the dark, dark night. Oh yes, and he just happened to have a big-ass blade in his hand.
If he put a knife in her throat because the sidewalk wasn’t lit, you must acquit.
As for the unidentified man who staggered into the Chinese vases, he wishes he weren’t part of this sordid history.
He is probably going over that unfortunate moment again and again in his mind. Could he have tied his laces more tightly? What prevented him from keeping his balance? Why didn’t he grab on to a rail, or stair, or a fellow museum visitor?
At least he could have taken some e-vase-ive action.