Thursday, February 12, 2015

Perils of Furniture Surfing


If you’ve ever had walking issues due to multiple sclerosis, you are bound to have experience in the sport of surfing, specifically furniture/wall/appliance surfing. One engages in said sport by eschewing practical walking aids—a cane, a walker, forearm crutches, etc.—in favor ricocheting off of solid objects in one’s home.

Here’s how it works. Say you decide you want another beer … yet you find yourself sitting on the couch eating Cheetos while cursing your wonky legs. “I hate you, wonky legs,” you mutter (with or without expletives). Then for reasons unknown, you opt to step over your cane—conveniently resting aside the couch—to channel legendary surfer Kelly Slater. Off to the kitchen you go! Couch armrest to end table to wingback chair to family room wall to fireplace mantle to dining room wall to dining room chair to dining room table to kitchen wall to pantry doorknob to countertop to sink (nice hand holds!) back to countertop, and then finally to refrigerator handles. Cowabunga! You just rode that barrel and exited the green room unscathed! Now simply open the fridge, get your beer, and resurf your steps, which is cake since there is now a fresh smear of Cheeto orange all over your house.

But, as veterans know, shooting the tube can be gnarly if surfing is not done smartly and safely. To avoid being a Barney, aka a lame surfer, you have to keep your eyes peeled for potential perils, like men in gray suits—in other words: sharks. House sharks are things you should not grab for support. Floor lamps. Recliners that rock. Christmas trees. Lightweight tri-fold Shoji screen room dividers made primarily of paper. The horns of poorly mounted faux animal heads. Yes, the list of “sharks” is practically endless.

Alas I discovered after a recent mishap, there also are degrees of Barneyism, from mildly dorky to full-on moron. For example, after you cook a slab of bacon and move the hot pan off the even hotter stove, DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES then use the convenient cast iron grate of said hot stove for support. This dawned on me as rather obvious while I was running my left hand under cold water for 15 minutes as Laura fetched my cane while trying not to injure her neck due to repeatedly shaking her head in exasperation.

Yes, even though I typically avoid furniture surfing (and even warn against it due to potential mishaps), I went full Barney. No, I’m not proud of singeing my palm or freaking out my wife. But it could have been worse. I could have pulled a Barney while hanging eleven (uh, Google at your own risk). The lesson here: wade carefully into such waters and always use your walking aids. Or just blindly ignore my advice. Surf’s up!

14 comments:

Leslie said...

God bless you. We have all been there or close to it. Love you Dave. you are our voice.

Dave Bexfield said...

Thanks Leslie. As you can see, that stove offers a hell of a hand hold!

My Odd Sock said...

Two points:
1- Furniture surfing builds strength in your grip & forearms.
2- Doritos leave less DNA evidence.

I get asked constantly "Where are your canes?" Sometimes I stray so much I lose track of my sticks.

Funny post! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious! Sorry about the hand but as we all know, danger lurks around every corner for MSers.

L.

Lyla said...

It's so good to laugh, and after the fact that is often just what's best!


Dave Bexfield said...

MOS, good points. Cool Ranch Doritos leave almost no evidence, but they taste icky compared to Nacho Cheese. And thanks for the nice 2 cents, L and Lyla!

Anonymous said...

Sorry for your pain but you are hysterical! You should be doing skits on SNL!

Aaron Cohen said...

I enjoy careening around the kitchen preparing a simple meal or a snack. I'm just not allowed to do it when my wife's at home--drives her crazy to watch.

Anonymous said...

Way too funny! I laughed so hard I began to think there was something wrong with me!

Dave Bexfield said...

Glad to hear folks are laughing at my expense. Really! Maybe I should give SNL a shot. They are underrepresented in the disabled category. I mean, they finally added a black woman. Why not Gimpy Dave???

Dave Bexfield said...

And Aaron, I don't allow Laura in the kitchen when I'm cooking. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for making me smile when I've been feeling so sad. You should def. be on SNL!

Anonymous said...

LOL @ my odd sock. I have a research lab and I can move a certain short distance without my forearm crutches but it is SOOO much harder. So I start out with my crutches, end up carrying something and leaving one or both crutches behind somewhere. Much to my embarrassment, a colleague or two have even brought them from the women's room, just a short distance from my lab :) I guess the upside to progressive MS, as the forearm crutches become more necessary, I leave them in the ladies room less and less LOL.

Dave Bexfield said...

Too true, Anon! I sometimes switch devices (cane to walker or cane to forearm crutches) and then later have to go on a hunt.