Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

October 1, 2012

Cathie Shaffer: Not sitting so pretty: 10/2/12

Cathie Shaffer
The Independent

GREENUP — I took a tumble the other day when the chair I was sitting on broke. I have a couple of deep bruises on my leg and my hand’s a little sore, but I mostly hurt my pride.

And naturally, this didn’t happen in a quiet, secluded place. Nope, it was at the Heritage Quilt Festival in South Shore.

So there I am, all whumpty-spraddled on the ground, the broken chair beneath me and the center of attention. My friend who’d loaned me the chair managed to contain his laughter until after he ascertained I wasn’t really injured, and I suspect he wasn’t the only one.

A member of the event staff came running to help me, which brought a security guard as well. Of course, the booth vendors near me came to see if they could aid me as well.

As these things go, the more people came to check on me, the more people came to see what the problem was. Everyone offered to help me up, but I declined their kind offers. I have a bad knee, so going from prone on the ground to a standing position takes a certain procedure.

It involves getting on hands and knees and rocking myself up. The result is similar to watching a wounded walrus crossing an ice floe, the same slow and lumbering action that entertains all who happen to see it.

I shouldn’t have been surprised when the chair went bad. I seem to be attracted to furniture that hates me.

Infamous in the annals of family lore is the bucking turtle. A footstool made by my son in high school, it’s a teensy bit wobbly, yet we’ve always stood on it when we needed to be just a few inches taller.

The turtle showed its wilder side when I stood on it to put the topper on the Christmas tree one year. I moved just right, the turtle bucked and wham! There I was, entangled in the tree.

And, yes, laughter filled the room because once again, I was not alone when it happened.

Back in the day, our family used those webbing lawn chairs when we went camping. We took the same ones year after year, storing them in the garage during the winter.

That fateful evening as we sat around the campfire, I simply chose a chair at random. If I remember right, I was in the midst of charring a marshmallow to my personal preferance when the chair moved a little, like someone was wiggling it.

No, it was just the webbing biting the dust after too much use. The plastic let go and down I went, behind first, clutching my marshmallow stick and calling for help.

Because of my innate knack of finding whatever chair is about to break, I have very solid furniture in my house. The recliner I sit in when I watch TV is solid with its working parts all in order.

The couch is only two years old, and the place of maximum seating — a church pew that can hold 10 — is up against a wall so that if by some horrible incidence something should happen, it can’t tip backward.

As for our outside chairs we circle around the fire pit ... well, let’s just say before I sit in one of those canvas contraptions, I check every seam and connection.

And make sure I sit a little behind everyone else just in case.

CATHIE SHAFFER can be reached at (606) 473-9851.