Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dress For The Fall, Not For The Ride

ATGATT is an acronym that stands for “all the gear, all the time.” It’s sometimes used as an adjective, as in “I’m ATGATT whenever I go out on the bike,” meaning you wear a helmet, jacket, gloves, and boots on every ride.

I’m thinking of expanding “on every ride” to include other situations, like taking out the garbage, which I was doing a few minutes ago when my boot grazed one of the glass jars I had set out for recycling on the garage floor.

The jar tipped over and rolled under my foot. Unable to see it thanks to the plastic bags of garbage I was holding, I stepped on it, had a sublimely slapstick moment, and belly-flopped hard onto the cement garage floor.

A few choice words later I stuffed the bags—and the jar—into the garbage can, rolled it out to the curb, and went into the house to survey the damage.

The fingers of my left hand had been momentarily bent at an angle fingers are not designed for. They hurt, but they’re otherwise okay. The main points of impact were both knees and my right elbow, which will all, I’m sure, have more to say about this in the morning.

The aspect of this that really makes me think about ATGATT is that just minutes prior to my swan dive, I had returned from a ride in, among other safety gear, a jacket with armor in the elbows, and pants with armor in the knees.

There’s a lesson there somewhere. Or maybe it’s just an example of one of the several kinds of irony. I’ll leave it to you to figure it out. Me, I need some ibuprofen and a long, hot bath.

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