How to Have Fun in a Cast
Written By Pat Maloney

Illustrations by Krystian Fernando.

O

n 4/20 of this year, I broke the top of my foot while skateboarding drunk. I already hate 4/20. Especially in 2012. Not only was there the yearly idiot march, where parading around yelling about marijuana will apparently legalize dat crawn, but now they were adding Kony "awareness" to the ballot as well. A day of slacktivism was in full force. My skateboarding injury, of course, makes me no smarter than the people I just mentioned. Being twenty-five and spending six weeks in a cast is totally as great as it sounds. Six long weeks of frustration, hobbling, a leave of absence from my day job and trying to keep myself somewhat sane.

Week 1

When they told me I'd be in a cast, my first thought was to come home and cut it off. I don't know exactly why I thought that was a good idea, but for the entire time they were applying the cast, I was thinking about how soon enough I would be cutting it off. Then I repeatedly rubbed my hands together like Birdman and white doves shot out of my armpits.

When I got back home, I was swiftly talked out of removing the cast that medical professionals had applied mere hours before. Thanks for that, Mom. Instead, I kept myself occupied so that the depression and boredom wouldn't kick in. I did what anyone else would do and hopped on the JustEat.ca support chat lines while pretending to be Brandon Frasier, but as we all know, that's only fun for so long. I decided to pack up my bags up and head over to my parents' house in Niagara Falls.

Week 2

I drank martinis and watched the Blue Jays with my parents on a nightly basis. I couldn't have cared less about that fiberglass ball and chain at that point. I had nowhere to go and nowhere to be besides on the couch next to my parent's yorkie; McPoochington. (Ed: the dog's name is actually something like Buddy or Brother or Pal but Pat insisted on renaming it. This name change is only recognized by Pat. His family, at least on my last visit, does not refer to the dog as McPoochington).

Being in a cast seems like such a kid thing to do. Maybe some kids even think it's cool, like silly bands or Lance Armstrong wristbands or friendship bracelets. But they also don't have to go to work and bars like I do. I have to go to bars.

Week 3

I got back to the city and immediately thought: fuck this shit. Independence sucks. I missed satellite TV and home cooked meals. I decided to head back to the land of Haunted Houses and waterfalls. Back to Jays games and martinis and my cute little pup, McPooch (Ed: see? He changed the name again kinda). A very quiet week passed by when the unthinkable happened. The neighbourhood goth kid dug a hole in his front yard, for no apparent reason, and hit the cable line. He knocked out the internet for the entire street. The block wasn't pleased and he was most likely sacrificed to Bon Jovi. Everyone in my suburb prays to Bon Jovi at night in their Iroc-Z race-car beds. I took this as a sign to go back to the city, where the internet was hiding.

Week 4

With two more weeks to go, I decided that this cast from hell had to be sent back to its infernal birthplace. I started going back to work at this point and on my first morning commute back, a gorgeous girl offered me her seat on the street car out of sheer pity. That made me feel like the coolest guy in the world! Then later that week I was lucky enough to lose the velcro sandal that acted as shoe for my cast in the middle of a busy intersection. Well isn't life grand! Then, what a blessing it truly was when I stepped on a nail and it went into the heel of my only my good foot. Cast on one foot, annoying hole that hurts every time I step on it puncturing the base of the other. Bloody socks? Don't mind if I do! All I needed then was is an original 8-Track copy of Lesley Gore's 1965 hit, "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows" to bob my head to since I was physically incapable of dancing.

DAY OF RECKONING

It was the one month anniversary of getting my cast on and I was on my sixth Guinness (Ed: hand delivered by the editor of this magazine, me). I was outside enjoying the weather while lamenting my loss in a poker game earlier in the night when I started ranting about my distaste for the cast around my foot with Kevin Gridley, a good friend of mine. Kevin informed me that last summer he broke both his arms, thirteen bones in one arm alone, and he took his cast off by himself after a month. I had a single fracture, he had thirteen.

I hollered at my neighbour to grab her garden shears and Kevin did the honours of snipping and pulling away the cast. After twenty minutes I was free. I showered without a bag on my leg for the first time in a month and I walked to work. Suddenly, I was not afraid of making eye contact with women! It was a small victory for anyone that's ever had foot pain. So consider this article a big thank you to everyone who helped me along the way, laughed at the cast and listened to me complain. I can't wait for to do it again when I start skateboarding again and break something else. Oh, but fuck you to the goth kid who cut our cable. Stop digging holes in your yard. That shit is weird. 


Originally published in Summer 2012, Issue 6.2