Dropped On My Head? Funny You Should Ask ...


Depending on how well you know me, you may or may not be surprised to hear how often I get the question, "Did someone drop you on your head as a child?!" But whenever someone asks me that, I just feel a little warm glow of contentment, because I know I have the conversational ace up my sleeve. It was many years later before I got all the details, and I had to find out through casual dinner conversation, but yes: My big brother and big sister dropped me on my head on my first birthday. And no, this was not a family tradition. We think maybe we might be German but we aren't sure, and we're casual Methodists, so the only tradition we ever had was Potluck Wednesdays. Anyway, the story is very short. I was being held and admired and bounced on top of the kitchen table as they prepared for my first birthday when the doorbell rang — at which point both my brother and sister turned and let go of me at the same moment, like in a Charlie Chaplin movie but without the padding. I went down quick and hard, straight on the noggin.

I have no other deets beyond the fact that it happened and they told me about it, but inevitably having been dropped on my head became a go-to reference and part of my personal profile. What might surprise you is that this kind of notoriety has its upside as well as the obvious downside — for example, it could cut me some slack when I got in hot water about something. "He did WHAT?!" "Well, you have to remember he was dropped on his head."

If you'd like an example, here's one inexplicably dumb thing I did (and yes, I still feel deep shame and confusion about this one). In a pinch for a baseball to toss one day, I grabbed my brother's fully autographed 1972 Cubs baseball and used it in the street for a highly intense game of hotbox. Yep, not proud. Let's just say the autographs read like a Goofus and Gallant word puzzle handled by a two-year-old at the dentist's office. Perhaps even more inexplicable is that I returned the ball to its little stand hoping that somehow my brother wouldn't pick up on the scuffs and the blur of ink. Well, guess what? He did, and after several charley horses ensued, it all culminated with the prosecutorial question "How could you be so curse word, curse word STUPID?!" Fortunately, I had the answer to that question ready to go. After all, he knew for a fact that I had been dropped on my head as a child.

ComedyKathryn Lake