My Scar Stories


“If Adventure has a Name…”

Impulsive actions make great movie scenes. But in real life they can get you killed. Or worse: in trouble with Mom and Dad.

I mentioned previously that I was clumsy. I’ve come to the conclusion that my clumsiness is rooted in impulsive actions taken while I am, 1) moving in one direction and, 2) looking in another. There’s never been a time when this wasn’t so; I was moving in one direction and looking in another when I exited the womb.

All of the events that happened in Downey, California, occurred before I was 7, because that was when we moved away. So, although the exact date I climbed The Great China Cabinet is unknown, it was definitely during the classical period known as The Downiad.

I decided to scale it at around 4 a.m. (Mom and Dad were still inexplicably asleep.) It was a mysteriously dark summer morning, perfect for adventure. After much deliberation, roughly 1/3rd of a second, I began my ascent. I opened the bottom drawers, et voilá, two perfect steps appeared! Soon my feet reached a precipice, above which lay the legendary shelf-lands.

I opened the oaken doors, careful not to lean too far back. The climbing was easy at first: the porcelain serving dishes and crystal goblets watched placidly as I glided past them on my epic journey upward. But soon the cliff began to rattle. I tightened my grip. The rattling ceased. But then something occurred that I was powerless to stop: an avalanche! The entire mountain lurched forward. And then, in one breathless moment The Great China Cabinet that had stood for millennia crashed to the valley of Living Room far below!

Why wasn’t I killed? Somehow those open doors and out-slid drawers created a hollow just big enough for a skinny sherpa-boy.

Mom and Dad, who weren’t awake when my adventure began, were now suddenly present. They were terrified that I’d been killed. Or that I hadn’t and they’d have to do it themselves.

Miraculously, I survived without a graze!

The porcelain didn’t.

How is this a scar story? I felt so bad about destroying Mom and Dad’s china that a week later I decided to make it up to them by fixing them breakfast in bed. At 4 a.m.

Who knew those old glass milk bottles were so heavy, or so slippery when you lifted them off high refrigerator shelves with one hand, while fishing for strawberry jam with the other, and looking over your shoulder? Or that they hurt so bad when they detonated on your foot, producing torrents of pink milk?

I still have an elegant half moon scar on my left foot to match the one on my right. And every time I look at it, it reminds me of the moon on that fateful morning, the morning I climbed…

The Great China Cabinet!

To read my next Scar Story, click here.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Memoir and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to My Scar Stories

  1. My middle daughter (now 31) had her life saved by a doorknob when she was a toddler. She decided to climb the toy shelf — there must have been something on one of the higher shelves that she wanted, or maybe she just felt like climbing something — and the whole thing came crashing down, but the knob on the door next to the shelf prevented it from falling on her. After that we bolted the toy shelf to the wall. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. joyroses13 says:

    OH my gosh! I can just imagine the panic your parents felt when suddenly awakened by the crashing noise and than realizing that you were under it! Glad you were OK! And how sweet of you to want to make it up to them by bringing them breakfast in bed, but did you ever sleep at night, or were you always wide awake at 4am! LOL!
    I guess its good to have plastic milk cartons now, eh! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Now you understand why people try to “child proof” a house. This is, of course, impossible – fact I think you prove right here with these posts.

    Why even the “Great China Cabinet” fell quickly to child powers …

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Bill Sweeney says:

    Hilarious! 🙂 I wish the realization that we are not invincible would come to us earlier in life, but then you wouldn’t have these great stories. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  5. says:

    Wow😳those old glass bottles were lethal weapons for sure . I dropped a Coca Cola bottle and a piece of glass cut a slice in my hand which required 12 stitches

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This reminds me of a time we’d put my then 2- and 3-year old daughters to bed. We were downstairs talking with two other couples when a loud crash and some screaming caused all 6 adults to bolt up the stairs. My youngest was pinned between their dresser and the mattress (thankfully cushy enough that she only had a bruise or two). That little monkey had been showing her older sis how to pull out the drawers so they could climb the dresser for reasons. Apparently, it didn’t work so well when scaled as a duo…

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Wow! Double wow. This so much reminds me of our beloved grandson Joey, now 26. He was a real-life incarnation “Dennis the Menace” Let’s just say he was “creative” in his mischief. My daughter had to take him to the E.R. so many times, the nurses would greet him by his first name. It was like, “Okay, what is it THIS time, Joey?”

    Liked by 2 people

  8. revruss1220 says:

    I love your scar stories! You certainly were a handful, weren’t you? I think I can speak for your other readers and express gratitude that you survived each of these “adventures.”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You were a climber for sure!!! Neither of my sons were climbers, so I was spared the excitement that comes with it! Great story!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Re-Farmer says:

    Oh, my goodness!!!! What a story!

    Isn’t amazing that we survived our childhoods at all? LOL When my daughters were small and I had the urge to helicopter parent, I would remember the things I used to do at their ages and back off. What they were doing was no where near as stupid or dangerous as the things I had done! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ann Coleman says:

    I really, really hope that you were very good to your parents once you grew up. And I mean REALLY good!! LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The scar on the palm of my right hand was caused by a firefly. I was 3 years old & I had caught my first firefly in a mason jar. I was running to show my mom & tripped. the glass went in one side of my hand & just barely broke the skin on the other side. My hand still works because the sliver of glass was small on the end that went the deepest.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Nancy Ruegg says:

    I wonder how many guardian angels God put on Mitch-duty when you were born?! (And how many times do you suppose they’ve come to your rescue?)

    Liked by 1 person

  14. nancyehead says:

    May God especially bless your parents.

    Liked by 1 person

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