I don’t know about you, but the world seems to be getting pretty (insert your favorite colorful word here) intense. While I like to stay informed, I also like to laugh to deal with stress. And, I need some chuckles these days.
Today, the wonderful Serena J. Bishop is here to help us laugh with an embarrassing story. Also, Serena is giving away 1 ecopy of Dreams. Below the guest post, you’ll find more details about the giveaway.
Take it away, Serena.
Landscaping Gone Awry: The Lawnmower Story
About ten years ago, a medical ailment struck me: back spasms. This was a first for me. I didn’t know what caused it. All I knew was that after a few days, I noticed the only time my lower back didn’t feel like it was attempting to tighten itself into knots was when I was active. Being still was the enemy. So, until I could see my doctor (scheduled for the next day), I tried to move as much as possible. This included, but was not limited to: general exercise, pacing while I watched TV, and cooking from scratch.
It probably will not shock you to learn that after a 90-minute commute, my pseudo-tramp stamp of a tattoo felt like it had been sucked into my spine and redesigned on my vertebrae. I started to think of the workout I could do to ease the pain. Maybe a brisk treadmill walk? Lifting weights? However, once I parked in front of my townhouse, I noticed the tall grass in the front yard. I abandoned my plans to loosen my muscles via pumping iron and instead decided to mow the lawn. I threw on a pair of old, hot pink-striped running shorts, my black workout tank, and tied my hair back for epic yard maintenance!
Unfortunately, my equipment did not match my attitude.
The lawnmower at my disposal was my girlfriend (now wife), Nicole’s, push mower. I’m talking about the kind where you can see the blades spinning as you whittle the grass down to size. I’m talking about the kind where at some point in its rusted-out existence, the metal handles lost their rubber grips and end caps. I’m talking about the kind that had loose wheels because one-time Nicole threw it for something akin to insubordination.
Did I mention it was a terrible lawnmower?
Donned in my mowing clothes, I commenced the yard work! The first few passes went alright enough. The grass was a little damp from rain the day before, but the lawn was getting cut, and my back was starting to loosen. Victory! But, I forgot the cardinal rule of using this lawnmower with a wet lawn: one had to pull out clumps of grass. As a consequence of not doing this, the blades jammed, and my forward momentum ceased. “Dammit,” I muttered. Next, I kneeled down and started pulling clumps of grass from between the blades with my bare hands.
Satisfied that I had pulled enough grass out from the blades, I began to push again, which worked. Until it didn’t. I abruptly stopped, and the handles went into my gut. After saying yet another muttered curse, I kneeled again to inspect the blades, and here I saw that the grass wasn’t in the blades, but rather weaved itself around the wheel assembly. Luckily, the wheels were mostly held on with rust, so I figured as long as I muscled the frame from the side, I could unstick the wheel. On this particular day, I must have been challenging my inner wrestler, because my effort didn’t result in a gradual release of the wheel and frame, but rather a quick snap. Such a snap that the handle hit me right in the back of the head.
“Son of a bitch!” This was no longer a time for muttered curses.
I held my hand to the back of my head and winced from the sharp pain. I took a quick look around my townhouse community to see if I had publicly embarrassed myself, but there was no one in sight. At least there was that. I kicked the tire to enact my revenge and lowered my hand.
A flash of red caught my attention.
My hand was covered in blood. I staggered on to the sidewalk where a few drops fell and made tiny, crimson splats. I looked around again for help, but there was no one. It was 5 p.m. on a sunny day and no one was outside! Realizing I was on my own, I took off my tank top, exposing my sports bra and very pale abs, and pressed the dry-fit cloth to my head. I knew I needed help, but I also knew I should try to self-assess my injury.
I made my way into the house and stood in front of the bathroom mirror. There I was, shirtless, hair coming out of my ponytail, and blood smeared down my ear, neck, and shoulder. I started to cry. I had never seen myself look so vulnerable. Still determined to examine my wound, I tried to angle my head, fold my ear down, pin my long, light brown hair to the side so I could see, but I couldn’t. I had to make a decision. Do I call 9-1-1 or my medical-professional father?
I didn’t feel light-headed, so I dialed my father. I tried to stay calm, but all I could say was something to the effect of, “I got hit in the head with the lawnmower and I’m bleeding really bad!” I’ll be honest. I don’t remember much after this. But I remember three things with crystal clarity: (1) when I got off the phone, the keypad was covered in blood, (2) I sat down and tried to calm down, and (3) sitting down again made my back seize. And three other things happened, but I don’t remember…I just know they did, because of what happened next. One, I called Nicole and told her what I had done. Two, I moved around to alleviate the back cramping. And three, I put my tank top back on.
Yes, I am a bit modest.
About 10 to 15 minutes later, the doorbell rang. Confused because my father was over an hour away and Nicole worked 45 minutes away, I answered the door. I needed help! And help came in the form of Nicole’s best friend/former roommate/gymnastics enthusiast, Kelly. I’m sure we had a moment of greeting and me trying to explain what happened, but I don’t remember. What I do remember clearly is Kelly inspecting my head and her saying those epic words in her delightful, sing-song voice.
“Um, it’s not that bad. Like maybe a quarter-inch cut.” Kelly moved the hair behind my ear around a bit more. “You’ll be fine.”
Logically I knew that faces and scalps were highly vascular areas, but given the amount of blood I saw, that didn’t make sense. “Is it a deep cut?”
“No. You probably don’t even need stitches.”
I wanted to curl into a ball of shame and disappear. Nicole sent Kelly to check on me, and all I had was a wound that amounted to be a papercut. As Kelly filled me in on what Nicole had told her, like magic, my mother appeared at the door. My father, who was unable to leave work because he had patients of his own, had sent her to check on me. She was worried sick over the tearful report I had given her (apparently, I called my mom too), so she left work in a worried frenzy, and drove see to me.
As my mom, Kelly, and I talked about my flesh wound, how the hell she managed to drive to my house so quickly, and her fears of getting lost (I had recently moved and she didn’t have GPS), Nicole appeared with every type of bandage the pharmacy sold.
“I told them my girlfriend had a lawnmower accident and I needed Band-Aids,” Nicole said in one breath. “How is she?” she asked as though I weren’t in the room.
“Well,” Kelly began, “she’s a hot mess, and we cleaned her up the best we could, but she’s fine.”
As a glue-like wound closure substance was applied to my scalp, I was given a stern lesson. Apparently, dramatic phone calls with crying and the words “blood” and “lawnmower accident” really set the wrong tone. They also agreed that when I saw the doctor for my back, I should get a tetanus shot. That lawnmower was too rusty to be trusted.
“Hi, I’m calling about my appointment,” I told the doctor’s receptionist. “I would like to add a tetanus booster.”
“We’ll have to check your records to see if you’re due.”
“Okay, but you should know I was hit in the head with a rusty lawnmower.” There was a long pause on the other end of the phone. “Hello?”
“You were hit by a lawnmower? Are you sure you only need a tetanus booster?”
“Pretty sure. As far as lawnmower accidents go, it could have been much, much worse.”
If you’d like to read another entertaining story of how I injured myself, please check out my website’s latest blog where I tell the tale of how I went through my drywall.
Aurora’s life is perfectly mundane. She has a job she hates, an ex that ran her out of her hometown, and the highlight of her week is Monday breakfast with her best friend. That changes when Aurora starts dreaming of a woman who can’t remember her own name. A woman who Aurora falls head over heels for. She knows the romance that develops between them isn’t real, but the dreams make life so much better that she hurries to bed every night…until she discovers that her dream woman isn’t imaginary. Her name is Leela and she is in a coma.
Aurora must risk everything—her job, apartment, friends, and her sanity—to save Leela, a woman she’s only ever met in her mind. But in order to help, Aurora must convince Leela’s neurologist and parents that she and Leela have a bond that transcends the physical plane.
Can Aurora fight through a progressively nightmarish landscape to wake Leela? And if Leela wakes, will she recognize Aurora as the one who saved her? As the one Leela said she loved? Their dream-relationship might not be real, but if there is any possibility of making her dreams come true, Aurora has to try.
Dreams is a sweet lesfic romance about a love that defies the laws of physics.
MEET THE AUTHOR
After writing technical, science-based pieces for two decades, Serena J. Bishop decided to start turning her daydreams into stories. She writes witty, character-driven novels with romance and societal issues blended in to create unique storylines. She self-published her first novel, Beards, about chosen family, in 2017, and has since signed with Eos Publishing. Dreams, a sci-fi/fantasy-romance was released by Eos in September 2019 to strong reviews, and Leveled, a romantic-comedy where the impact of family and anxiety on relationships is explored will be released in Fall 2020. Miracles, the sequel to Dreams, is planned for 2021.
CONNECT WITH SERENA J. BISHOP
Thanks so much for stopping by today.