Above the Fold

A digital 'zine by Original Fuzz about creativity and making stuff.

★  Jun 12, 2024  ★

Mark's Mailbag: Slippery When Wet

Featured photo for Mark's Mailbag: Slippery When Wet
Kids are constantly falling down, wrecking their bikes and/or otherwise crashing to the ground from an upright position. For all except the most clumsy, this behavior seems to go away in adulthood. Since we don't often fall, I think that makes the pain/embarrassment much worse when we do. Describe for us the circumstances of your last fall.

Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Wow - what a weird request. Since you asked, here's what happened:

I recently stopped by to see a couple of friends' new house in East Nashville. Other than helping move a few boxes it was pretty much your standard tour. Toward the end of my visit, and during a break in the rain which had been occurring off and on for a couple days, we took a chance to step outside to the deck and patio area off the kitchen. I think I was making some moronic joke about where to place the bar-b-q grill on the patio when the combination of L.L. Bean Duck Boots and wet treated lumber caused my feet to rocket out from under me. It looked something like this:


Never carry a sack lunch in both hands down an icy staircase.

As opposed to that person's fall where the feet simply slip out and the primary point of contact after the fall is the tailbone (which was very painful in her case, no doubt), my feet went out from under me in more of an overly exaggerated, but nonetheless sincere, move.

Think Daniel Stern in Home Alone


The first part of my body to make contact with the stairs was my lower back, followed immediately by my upper back and right hand. The precise location of the stair tread-to-back contact knocked the wind out of me. It's one thing to get kicked in the stomach with a soccer ball in high school, but totally another to have the wind knocked out of you by way of 1x6 pressure-treated-pine.

Remember that video of the newscaster who is stomping on grapes and falls off a platform on camera? I think it was one of the first true "viral" videos. I basically did an unexpected impersonation of that.

 In the first twenty seconds or so after the fall where I was trying to breathe I thought:

1) "I'm making a deeper version of the noise that newscaster at the wine-stomp race was making - and I can't stop it either."

2) "I sound like some weird goblin. When will this noise stop emanating from me?"

3) "This is clearly funny and I want to tell my friends to laugh, but I can't speak to tell them." One friend did not wait for my permission to laugh.

4) "Do I look like a professional wrestler stumbling around after being hit in the back with a metal folding chair?" Most certainly, yes.


After reading your last column that included a recipe for pizza dip I wanted to pass along to your readers a similar recipe from the folks over at America's Test Kitchen. I made both, and theirs is clearly better than yours.

Valdosta, GA

Always appreciate the constructive criticism, Larry. I've gotten some push-back on the idea of recipes without video tutorials since last month's recipe was published. Keep your eyes peeled this summer for some more recipes and maybe some associated video content.

Mark is a former lawyer who lives in Nashville. If you see a guy who looks like this caricature walking a golden retriever in Germantown, feel free to say Hi. You should know, however, that there is another guy who looks a lot like Mark who also walks a golden retriever in Germantown so you might be saying Hi to the wrong dude. It has caused confusion in the past—including one particular incident where the other dude's wife hollered down the street at Mark several times before getting a closer look and realizing her mistake. Anyway, say Hi. You can also find him on the internet at basketofchips.com and instagram.com/cmharrod.