4. Miscalculate a staircase.

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You’ve been treading up and down stairs like a pro ever since you could walk. You opt out of the elevator, master that you are. You sprint past those steps like they’re homeless people and you’ve got a pocketful of change. You can take them two, sometimes three at a time. Heck, with your skills, you could ascend and descend Mount Everest, provided the Mount Everest Accessibility Association ever build a staircase with a sturdy handrail.

So it comes as as real surprise when both your eyes and your ability to calculate simple math combine to plot your literal downfall.

Sometimes brains just make things up. For instance, your brain may formulate the existence of an extra step. Your foot, foolishly trusting the massive hunk of gray matter that at one time convinced you that it was acceptable to wear L.A. Gear sneakers, decides to give this fictitious extra step a chance. Unfortunately for you and anyone in your path, this will only result in bruises, fractures, and possibly concussions, which is what your brain deserves for deceiving you so insidiously in the first place.

The brain is also adept at subtraction. Removing a step from your vision can result in an equal amount of pain. Tripping up the stairs, while not normally as disastrous as face-planting into the ground after several flights of flailed tumbling, can be just as distressing and twice as embarrassing, as perennial scapegoat Gravity plays absolutely no part this time around. It’s all you.

And finally, less humiliating but almost always fun to watch, are the small missteps that occur only at the top or the bottom of a staircase. Due to darkness or yet another brain aneurysm, you may not be able to detect that you have already reached the last step. You are on solid ground now, fully permitted to continue on your way like a normal human being. But not you. You’re such a steadfast fan of staircases that you want to continue this journey. So you continue to trod downward, expecting a stair but only encountering solid floor. This then causes you to stamp and wobble about, giving off the appearance of one who is simultaneously attempting and failing to dance, or that lame guy at the party who still thinks the staircase-behind-the-couch gag is funny.

Conversely, we have the always-delightful invisible extra step at the top, wherein your near-retarded brain has again decided to take an impromptu vacation and its absence causes you to believe that you are not, in fact, at the top of the stairs. So you take another step, only to find that you’re already out of the basement and fully in the kitchen, groping about with your outstretched leg as if you’ve morphed into an especially large and uncoordinated ostrich. This delights children and adults alike, and, were you more reliable about doing it on a regular basis, you could probably charge admission.

So if you want to suck, miscalculate a staircase. If you live in a ranch-style house, move.

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1 Comment »

  1. Lisa said

    Aww! I did this while I was pregnant and trying to vacuum. There’s a little turn near the bottom of the staircase, and I was in a rush, and holding a vacuum, and my balance was all off from the giant belly thing I had going on, and kerplut, I missed a stair on the way down.

    Not only did my father in-law end up finding me sitting at the bottom of the stairs sniffling and dejected from my own lack of grace, I ended up in the ER with a broken foot. Good times, all around.

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