Family falls victim to folding chair

Published 1:38 am Saturday, December 5, 2015

Rummikub tiles rested face down in the middle of the kitchen table. My daughter, my son, my granddaughter and I settled back for yet another game.

All of us helped scatter the tiles around the table to make sure matching ones were not jammed together. Each selected 14 tiles to place on our individual Rummikub trays. “You go first, Mom,” my daughter said, despite the fact that she had won the last round. It was time for action—almost. “Hold it,” Son said, stepping up to refill his glass with iced tea. “Ouch!” he roared on his way back to sit down. I knew what had happened. He had stumped his toe on a folding chair as he walked by.

We were well into that game when Daughter got up to get some dip out of the refrigerator. “Oh, that hurt!” she grumbled. She, too, had jammed a toe on the same folding chair with the same result—pain.

I heard that same complaint several more times before we all got bleary-eyed and quit the game. I headed for bed while the rest retreated to the living room to watch a movie. As I settled in my bed, I thought about that aggravating folding chair. It seemed to have taken on human characteristics. Did it harbor a grudge against us?

I identified with the pain associated with a stubbed toe. My son, daughter and granddaughter were not the only ones who felt its sting. Some years ago, when my husband found some leisure time in mid-summer for an RV trip, I went grocery shopping, returning with his favorite camping items like canned pork and beans, Vienna sausage and potted meat. I added my home frozen vegetables and a little meat for more healthful fare. For a whole day, I gathered bed linens, towels and washcloths, toilet articles, toaster oven, paper plates, movies on tape, and other items we needed.

Before I loaded those things, I vacuumed the RV, cleaned the sink and bathroom, and put fresh sheets on the bed. The more I worked, the more excited I got. I was wearing sandals when I somehow jammed a couple of toes into a folding chair we planned to take with us. Wow, did it hurt. I said nothing, just limped along in pain the rest of the day hauling stuff to the RV. My husband was so busy with his outside RV preparations, he did not notice.

By the time we reached our destination the next day, I was miserable. I had kept quiet, determined not to cancel our trip. But by that time, I had to give in. I confessed my injury. After we found a campground and settled in, we got out and found a podiatrist. He x-rayed. “Not broken,” he said. He gave my toes an electrical treatment and fitted me with a “cute” boot.

Since then, I try to stay clear of folding chairs. Now I am pretty sure their latest victims will, too.


Nina Keenam is retired from the newspaper business. Her column appears on Saturdays.