The Weirdest Injury
by Cody Clarke
I was in Junior High School. Professional wrestling was popular; imitating the moves, even more so. Not a lunchtime went by without kids elbowing and kicking and pile driving inanimate objects, or fake-fighting each other. It was a second gym period.
The teachers and supervisors largely ignored the horsing around. They had real violence to worry about. Spontaneous brawls would occur at least once a period, and if they didn’t catch one quick enough, the gathering of hoots and hollers would become a labyrinth. By the time they made their way to the center it’d be long over; the perps, bloodied rag dolls to be dragged off to the infirmary.
The weirdest injury I’ve ever seen in my life did not arise from fisticuffs, but the stupidity of one fat asian kid in a Steve Austin t-shirt. On that fateful day, I was sitting with my friends watching said fanboy beat the ever loving pulp out of his book bag. He’d flip it into the air and ‘people’s elbow’ it as it crashed onto table. Drop kick it into the concrete wall. Pile-drive it onto the greasy, mushed french fry laden floor. We laughed, but were a little impressed. The kid had conviction.
We knew him for doing this sorta thing once in a while, but on this day, he went all out. Little did we know this would be a final curtain call. As he readied himself for what was sure to be his closing move, we stared in awe. In retrospect, one of us should’ve told him ‘dude, no’, but he was as close to a professional as we’d ever seen. Surely he knew what he was doing, standing high on the adjacent table, his bag out cold on the one we were sitting at.
Our Icarus flew through the air, his leg bent. He was going to flying knee that JanSport to death. There was no way in hell for him to land it without hurting himself. Even if his knee hit the thing on a soft part, there was still 200 lbs. coming down on the leg. We were sure we would see a break. What happened instead was far stranger.
Pseudo-Austin didn’t even graze it. He came up far too short, his shin landing with a thud on the edge of the long seat that spanned the table. We gasped. He lay on his side on the floor for an eternity of a few seconds, then quickly stood up. We leaned in en masse, expecting to see gore. What we saw instead was a grey mark on his flesh, no larger than a half dollar. We were staring at bone. There was a bloodless hole in his leg.
The moment he saw the wound, he began shaking like he’d been electrocuted. Then before we could say anything, he ran his ass off the span of the lunchroom and through the double doors. That was the last we saw of him for the day.
We were delirious. People don’t just not bleed. It’s impossible. Did you see blood? I didn’t see blood. Was there blood? Theories were abound, most presupposing android technology. When he finally came back to school days later, we half-expected the leg to be fully healed– a fitting swan song to a mind-fuck of an injury. Instead, it was sealed with a line of black stitches. He was human after all.
When we’d approach him about the injury, he’d refuse to talk about it. He was a changed man. No more wrestling t-shirts, no more horsing around. He’d become his race’s stereotype of a studious pupil, likely at the demand of his parents.
I don’t remember anyone else hurting themselves wrestling during those three years. I don’t remember anyone else as good as he was in his prime, either. The boy had spunk. Had YouTube been around back then, he surely would’ve been a sensation. Star Wars kid had nothing on him. Asian Stone Cold, you are greatly missed.