Friday, March 18, 2011

Teenagers, Cars,Physics and... an Injury

Sometimes the best stories are also the most embarrassing. Teenagers can be quite creative. They can also be really dumb. It's embarrassing to admit but I was no different.

One evening a group of us went to the movies and on the way home, someone came up with a little "physics experiment" involving the car. On the way to our house, there are a number of hills and in the last little stretch approaching home, the road is flat. Someone wondered; if we started at the top of this one big hill, put the car in neutral, coast down and up the hills, and around the corners, if we could get all the way to my house using just the momentum of the car. We gave it a try.

Down the big hill we went, with the car in neutral, picking up speed. Then we started up the next hill, turned the corner, and proceeded to coast along a fairly flat area. Gradually the car slowed down and it quickly became apparent that we were not going to make it to that last hill where we would pick up speed again and coast along the last flat area to my house. This is where teenage ingenuity and stupidity kicked in. The driver and the person in the front passenger seat opened the car doors and proceeded to use their feet to paddle keeping the car moving. I was sitting in the backseat and decided to help. So I opened my door, stuck my foot out and started paddling. All of a sudden, I felt the tire grab my foot. Out of the car I came! The next thing I knew I was lying on the pavement with the car's tire ever so slowly rolling over my foot. Once my foot was free, I hopped up, said I was fine, and climbed back in the car. It wasn't a few but a few seconds later that my foot really began to hurt, and when I pulled down my sock. There was a hole in my ankle!

So we had to go home and explain to my parents. Everyone then piled into their car and off to the emergency room we went. An x-ray revealed no broken bones but I did have to get the hole in my ankle cleaned out and stitched up. The doctor said a stud from the tire probably punctured my ankle and that I must have really pliable bones to not have broken every bone in my foot. Then he took a look at the shoes I was wearing. You remember wedges? The shoes that were popular in the 1970s with the really thick rubber soles? That's what I was wearing. He said those shoes probably saved my foot.

I don’t really remember what my recuperation was like. I probably lay around with my foot elevated for at least a short while but as I’m not one to be kept down for long, I imagine that didn’t last. So that’s my stupid teenager injury story and I’m sticking to it!

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts to encourage people to record memories and insights about their lives for future descendants. It's not necessary to be a blogger to join in. Just record your memories on your own if you wish.

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum


  1. Cute storyl You were certainly lucky, dearie.
    Those are the kind of incidents that make parents hair go grey prematurely. I'm happy you came through it with no permanent damage!! If your own children have spared you this type grief...let them know how thankful you are. My mother used to tell me "what goes around, comes around".. But I never caused her any trouble.. so for once she was wrong ;-}

    I think those were called Famolares.. (from Nordstom)

  2. You're a brave lady to share this story. I don't know if I want anyone to know about the dumb, I mean, poor choices I made. Thanks for sharing! Very funny story.

  3. Anonymous, I googled Famolares and my shoes definitely were Famolares. Thank goodness for Famolares!

    Now that I'm older and at least a little wiser, I understand that yes, those are definitely the kinds of incidents that make parents' hair turn prematurely gray. Just thinking back on that has probably given ME a couple of gray hairs. Do you know how many bones your foot and ankle has? It could have been a real mess that affected the rest of my life!

    Scrappy, I had to think long and hard about sharing this story! Maybe my kids will read it and I'll have a little more credibility in their eyes. Mom wasn't so perfect after all. LOL.

  4. Oof, I've got a couple of "stupid me" stories. Have to think about whether to share them or not. Thanks for a good (but sympathetic) laugh!

  5. Michelle,
    You were so lucky!!