Editor’s note: A couple of weeks ago, inspired by a fun thread on Twitter, I asked my Facebook friends, “what’s the best story you have about accidentally injuring yourself?” It garnered 82 comments of hilarity, woe, and just-plain pain (one woman got bit in the tit by a horse). In honor of the first day of school here in Austin, a tale I suspect every last one of us can relate to. Have a great year, friends.

So, I was 13. Pretty much at the epicenter of awkward. Giant tits and acne. Boys had no idea how to deal with that combo. It was 1986, and my best friend was a brash, Madonna-loving girl who had the thing we all envied: a super hot older brother – Mike*. Varsity soccer. Perfectly maintained 80’s jock mullet. Insane calves. Total. Dick.

He tolerated us by alternately getting us drunk, flashing his ass, and slamming his bedroom door on us (which, I swear to god, had the classic Farrah Fawcett poster in the red bathing suit taped to it).

One weekend, I was invited to travel with Mindy and her parents to watch Mike play an away game. This was a Big Opportunity. Not only would high school boys be there, but a healthy contingent of our own middle school soccer team.

We dressed. I’m sure this involved some sort of tiered skirt, lace top, rubber bracelet combo; our hair the perfect level of “crunchy”. I’m positive about the skirt. This becomes important later.

We arrived at the stadium and found a socially acceptable place among our own. We wanted to be as far away from the parents as possible, so we sat at the top of the bleachers. I struck up a convo with a boy from school, Todd – future total dick. I was having a good skin day, but it didn’t matter. His eyes never left my tits.

Half-time. Or whatever they call it for soccer. The game stopped and each team headed to their benches. Mindy headed down to acquire concession-stand cash from her mom. I started to follow her while trying to exit the Todd convo with maximum cuteness when…Oh Fuck.

I trip. At the tippity-top of that cold set of Plano, Texas bleachers. And down I go. And I mean dooooooooooooooown I fucking go. Boom biddy boom biddy boom. Ass over elbows. Tiered skirt akimbo. All the way to the bottom of the stairs. Shit.

I landed in a heap in full view of everyone in the bleachers (including Todd, future total dick), the parents, AND the full varsity soccer team hydrating on the bench 20 feet away (including Mike, current total dick).

I was very still. Eyes closed. Skirt area distressingly breezy. Parents are reacting. Trainers and coaches are running. God-willing I am horribly injured. This is the only reasonable alternative to the extreme humiliation I feel coming. I mean, I fell at least 80 feet down metal bleachers—surely I am at least bleeding.

I chanced a peek. Above me, a fish-eyed view of concerned parent faces circle me. Mindy’s mom is there. She says “Darlin’, it’s ok if you need to cry.” Jesus, I’m still hoping paralysis will make that impossible. I’m brought to my feet, and unfortunately, I could stand.

Somehow I was miraculously and frustratingly not in need of an elegant escape via ambulance. Not even stitches or a motherfucking sling. I hobbled over to the nearest bench, smoothed my skirt and took a seat with the parents. Mindy brought me a Cherry Coke Slushee. I desperately wished for vodka.

I hear Todd say from high above us “That was AWESOME!”

Goddamn middle school.


*All names have been changed to protect the guilty.