Catholic School Part IV: more 3rd Grade:
It was after the 3rd day, I think, of my "doing anything" restriction. I was still at the school building, but class was long since forgotten. It was after school and there was a solid packed layer of Illinois snow on the ground. I was hanging out with my rowdy Cub Scout friends, and there was sledding to be done.
There was a small, but incredibly steep hillside on the side of the school and it made for wicked fast sledding. Even if you went down without a sled you could reach measurable speeds of 500,000 miles an hour. There was only one treacherous part. That year the hillside was solid ice, and at one point there was a spot that had formed horizontal ridges, like a washboard. If you went down it in your snowsuit, or a plastic bag, your butt was gonna get reamed!
Marcus Mitchell, resident jock, in a spirit of rowdiness (and probably in response to my big-ass mouth) scooped me up and threatened to toss me down the hill right at that very spot. "Time to go down the hill," he threatened. I was not going down that hill. I kicked and struggled, in spite of Marcus' outweighing me by probably half my scrawny little wieght.
All of my kicking worked, you could say, and Marcus lost his footing. I didn't go down the hill, but Marcus dropped me right there, and landed on my open leg, in what an orthopedic doctor would call a "lever position". Calculate the wieght of a 3rd grade meathead on my femur in a lever position and do a little math and you'll see that it's enough force to break the largest bone in the body.
I was very calm about it, as I am in crisis situations. "I think I broke my leg," I said.
"Bullshit," said Adrian Wallace, probably scared shitless, accusing me of faking. He threatened to jump on my leg if I didn't get up.
Tony Paisano, my roughneck protector (who once threatened to shoot the PE teacher with a .45) told him if he did he'd kick him in the nuts. I was touched (and deeply relieved).
It didn't take long before adults were notified and showed up in force. There was Mrs. Lund, putting her winter coat gently over me so I didn't go into shock. They asked me if I thought I broke it. "Yes," I said calmly, "I think I broke it."
Then I had my first ambulance ride (but not my last). I had indeed broken it, and we're not talking about some little hairline fracture. I had a tutor for the rest of the year, and I still didn't do my homework.
But that is SO another story.