Cultural Weekly readers are an inventive bunch.
Last week, I asked you to help me come up with a Tall Tale that would explain how I broke my ankle. The prize? A free lunch, and listeners who will not be bored by my mundane reality.
Every entry had its merits. Tricia’s one-liner, “Can’t remember if it was the pot, or I stepped in a pot hole…!” made me smile; Sarah’s phrase, “As they say in this town, a no is just a stunt man for yes,” is a stellar turn. Allon riffed on a football adventure and Amanda had me encounter a Jungian shadow.
But my writing partner Barry Weiss is the Tall Tale winner, because his is the story I see myself repeating and embellishing on… although he does some fine embellishments himself. Barry’s tale of how I broke my ankle as I rushed to deliver a manuscript to our publisher’s office in New York, along with its ankle-twist of an ending, will now become the official record of events.
So here’s what happened:
Our brave hero Adam was on his way to our publisher, in NY to turn in our final proof sheets. As he emerged from the subway, a sudden gust of frigid Atlantic wind blew the proofs out of his hand and into the madness of New York traffic. Undaunted, Adam headed straight into the treacherous and icy New York streets, dodging potholes, cab, and all manners of New York street obstacles, until he retrieved every page.
Safely returning to the sidewalk, his eyes met those of a ravishing redhead on the other side of the street. Adam deftly turned towards her, not seeing the NY Bus hurtling into his path. The bus approached Adam as he was in mid-street and stopped inches from Adam’s nose.
The bus honked loudly.
Adam, stepped back to let the bus pass, narrowly missing the pedicab going in the opposite direction on its way to Chinatown. The bus cleared, but, alas, so had the redhead.
Taking it as a sign, Adam turned his attention to the task at hand and entered the Bedford/St. Martin’s building. By now, profusely sweating and irritated, he made his way to the publisher’s office at 4:59pm.
A minute to spare.
He pulled the pages, our life’s work, and gently laid them on our publisher’s desk. She gratefully accepted them, but told Adam the deadline was actually the next day.
Though not known to lose his cool, Adam finally snapped and sharply kicked the file cabinet. Upon which another snap occurred. This time it was his ankle shattering like his broken spirit.
As accurately reported by Barry Weiss, Adam’s co-author.