Thursday, 11 February 2010

Teaser Revealed: Part 3 Circus Workshop

Two days ago I revealed that my medical records linked    snowboarding (in garden), mattress and a circus workshop.   If you wish you can read the first two stories – snowboarding and mattress.

For those who haven’t read the previous posts and can’t be bothered to do so let me summarise very, very briefly.  On my birthday in 2000 I attempted to snowboard in our back garden and I was successful twice, I think it was, but on my third attempt I managed, somehow, to dislocate my right shoulder and tear ligaments in my right knee.  There then followed a very long description of how I passed the next 10 hours or so.

The mattress was a much simpler story.  Eleven days after snowboarding I tried to pull a mattress.  The mattress won – hands down, my shoulder lost.

Now we reach story 3, the circus workshop.  Sit back, relax and laugh at me …. if you dare.

Circus Workshop

I can hear you asking, What on earth has he done here?  Was he swallowing swords and …… ?  Was he a clown?  The answer to that is already well-known.  Did he fall awkwardly on the high-wire and castrate himself?

None of these, fortunately.

I’m getting ahead of myself here.

During the Edinburgh Festival in August 2001, about 7 months after my two reported accidents, all was well: my knee was good and I’d had no problems of any sort with my shoulder.  We had noticed in the Fringe programme that a circus school from London was running free – they would have to be – workshops for kids in the Botanic Gardens. 

Along we went, I and elder child, to find a great range of activities – can’t remember them all now: juggling, balls and clubs; spinning plates; diablo; unicycles; rola bola and more.  I had a go at some – I can juggle but spinning plates was beyond me – but the unicycle I avoided other than holding  it for child.  No way unicycle.  You’re far too dangerous for me.

We’d had a great time but there was one event that we couldn’t leave before our child had tried – rola bola.  You may not have heard the name ‘rola bola’ – I hadn’t until today – but you will have seen this.


Courtesy of

This is how balanced one should be.  Rola Bola is a simple board balanced on a cylinder which is free to roll but the execution is not easy. 

As always children go first and, with a helper holding her hands gently, she stayed upright.

“Daddy, have a shot!”   To be honest, I wanted to try. 

Big mistake!

Before I tell you what did happen here’s a very short video – 13sec – of what can happen to an expert.  Don’t blink.   The “action” happens in the first 1.5secs.

What chance did I have?

You’re way ahead of my story, aren’t you?  You’re there already.  Why should I bother finishing the bloody story?  Because I said I was telling it and I am!

The helper held both my hands and for a few seconds I was upright – well, probably about 20milliseconds – but then my legs went to my left, the helper yanked my right arm to try to keep me up …….


I got up gingerly, my shoulder and arm were sore but  …. no dislocation!

Ha!! You were certain that I had dislocated my shoulder again. 

Ha!  You were already laughing at this old fool who never learns.

Well, I tried the Rola Bola and I survived!

After this I decided that we should make our escape and return home.  Driving was fine.  Just a dull ache now but, thank goodness, my shoulder was clearly strong again.  I was so pleased.  So easily I could have been off to hospital for another embarrassment but it wasn’t to be!

Soon home arrived.

“Daddy, almost hurt himself again!”

“What now?” was Mrs Carr’s resigned reply.

I explained and we laughed about how close I had come to being seen as a fool again in yonder A&E.  Ha!  The old fool survived …. or so the old fool thought!

My shoulder was still achy, not bad though.  “I’ll just check if my shoulder movement is restricted”, I thought.  I was SO careful.  Because I had to circle my arm, for everyone else’s safety, I went outside from the kitchen.  I didn’t want to be the fool who injured a family member when checking on his shoulder injury.

Outside.  Right, a gentle swing upright.  Take it easy.  Just before the vertical,


“It’s out now!   Aaaaaaagh!  Call a taxi ….. NOW!”

I had, at least, learned this lesson.

Only a few minutes and the taxi arrived.


Read tomorrow for the 4th episode of this saga of stupidity:  The Final Outcome!


  1. If you remain insistent that the golf game is still on (it does require a bit of swinging of the shoulders remember) do I have your permission to just relocate your shoulder by myself (Stiff pull outwards, twist, snap it back, while steadying everything with one's foot stamped firmly down on the prone patient's chest - see... I do know how to do it, and if I twist the wrong way first go 2nd go will do it), because that will save on the taxi fare and will let us get to the next tee without having to let the following group through. OK?

  2. Two minutes later and I am still laughing my head off by the way - the video really makes it so real for me, if I just alter the shape of the hapless performer significantly and imagine the pretty leotard being stretched somewhat. Laughing WITH you of course, not AT you - I wouldn't do that.

  3. What I'm afraid of, Andrew, is that you may stamp on my chest and twist and pull my arm just because I have beaten you.

    Glad you're laughing WITH me. AT would never have occurred to me!

  4. Well Calum, either way you are going to end up with a dislocated shoulder. That much is certain :)

  5. I doff my hat to a man who can match my ccident proneness and raise it a notch!

  6. Reading this series I have begun to see how accident prone/clumsy you are.

    I think it is a man thing ;-) LOL

  7. Andrew I may decide that playing golf is just a good walk ruined; that meeting you is ...... [fill in the blanks] :)

    I'll try to get the clubs out in a few days. Then either we'll know that the golf is on or I'll have another shoulder story to post.

    Jams Have you posted about your accident proneness? If not, please do. If you have can you point me in their direction?

    CP Clumsy? Accident-prone? How dare you say such a thing? :)

  8. Oh well, if the golf doesn't seem feasible perhaps just a battle to the death on the putting green. That's golf putting, not shot-putting. Or just coffees at Costa again - and I'll carry the tray in case you put your shoulder out :)