Over the years I have been asked some of pretty crazy questions as well as some blatantly obvious ones. The most common and probably the funniest (for me) is the really loud “WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR LEG?”.
The question itself, I agree, is not that funny. The look on the unsuspecting parent’s face as they rush to apologise for what their child had just asked…well that’s pretty funny. For the record, I love that kids have no filter and a parent should not feel bad for their child’s curiosity.
Over the years I have told a few tales on how I lost my leg, I thought that I would share a few with you – I hope you can have a good laugh, because I know I did.
The Top 5 (fictitious) Tales I’ve Used to Explain My Missing Leg.
1. Avoid South Africa, or else.
About 5 years ago we decided to go for a trip of a life time to South Africa, and about 10 days into the trip we had planned to go shark diving. When in Rome, Right?
Anyway, we went through all the training and we were both ready for the most terrifying and exciting experience of our lives. We’d jumped into the cage and so far we had seen 3 small great whites, and things got really interesting when we saw the biggest shark we’d ever seen; It was about 5 meters long.
The shark passed by a couple of times, the next thing we remember the shark hit the cage and it broke the front straight off, we were in line with each other, and in one bite he got both of our legs.
My housemate, also an amputee, and I have used this one a few times and it’s one our favourites.
2. You’ll Never Sleep Soundly Again.
This next one is a little bit mean, and not one that I would use. Not long after I became an amputee, a young girl approached me and asked what had happened to my leg. At the time I was in the middle of something, so my sister took over answering all the questions. I overheard my sister respond saying “the bed bugs bit it off”. The poor kid, I am sure she’s still probably finding it hard to sleep 13 years later.
3. A Stupid Form of Transport.
I crashed my kangaroo on the way to school. It’s amazing what some people will believe, for some reason there were a couple of people that believed we actually ride kangaroos to work and school in Australia. So when asked, I answer “of course we ride Kangaroos”. For proof, one needs only to google a couple of photoshopped images – the internet never lies, right?!
I then tell the gullible suspects that I was riding too fast around a corner and had a head on crash with another transport kangaroo and I broke my leg so bad I had to get it amputated.
4. In The Ocean, But Don’t Blame The Sharks.
I was attacked by a massive bloom of jellyfish. It seems random I know, but the place I used to waterski was full of jelly fish.
Every time we were in the water, there was always a certain amount of fear of getting stung, so why not add to the fear? The story goes something like this:
“I was attacked by a massive bloom of jellyfish. Did you know that they have teeth; they are so small that you can’t see them, and they barely can penetrate the human skin but when there 1000’s of them the can eat your leg off in no time at all. I was lucky that I was pulled out of the water when I was, otherwise I could have died.”
5. With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility.
I have used it for serious matters too.
I have a great story that can be used for every person to convince them to tie their shoe laces. Let’s face it, we have all been told it numerous times to do it. It can also be used for making kids eat their vegetables, doing their homework, and basically everything you want them to do.
Sometimes it has been necessary to convince people to think about what they are doing. Especially within the workshop. People having no idea what they are doing and not using safety equipment…it’s scary to watch. Thankfully, saying I cut my leg off with a saw is usually enough to make people think, so they do end up doing the same!