Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Bump on the Rump

Just in case you ever though of buying cattle, Don’t. They very quickly become a pain in the neck when they start jumping fences to get into your front yard, but they are especially bad when you have to transport them along a half mile jungle trail to get them home from the north pasture. The problem is that cattle have this curious character flaw that compels them to take any possible side trail that they can find, regardless of whether or not that trail leads straight into deep jungle and swamp. It seems like the only important characteristic that I cow uses in selecting which trail to walk down, is whether or not you want them to walk down that trail. The only way I was finally able to get my cattle home was to bribe them with salt, which meant that for the entire half mile hike, I had the constant companion of a hungry bull head butting me in an attempt to get my bowl of salt.
There are few jobs that I hate more in life than hauling lumber, especially freshly cut, heavy, wet, tropical lumber. For that reason, I guess today is my lucky day.

For my whole life I have been ashamed of my inability to play team sports. I have tried to compensate for this important gap in my life as a man by being good at other things such as spear throwing, shooting, running, hiking, and other manly outdoor sports, but try as I might, I cannot move past the shame that I feel every time someone is watching a football game and I don’t know what is going on. I have been so ashamed by my lack of knowledge, that I have been unwilling to risk the humiliation involved in trying to actually learn a sport at my advanced age. At least, that was the case until I came to Costa Rica.

For the past month I have been playing soccer regularly with my neighbors. I have gotten better to the point that I am no longer ashamed, and I have even scored a few goals. It is extremely difficult to play in the slippery mud, so I invested in a cheap pair of soccer cleats, which improved my playing tremendously. There is only one catch. The cleats have moved me out of the world of slipping and falling every 5 minutes, into the world of too much traction and sprained ankles.

Yesterday, I was trying to steal the ball from a particularly agile opponent named Daniel, when my foot planted the wrong way, and with a loud “Pop!” I was on the ground, holding my ankle and trying not to cuss. It was a very respectable sprain, one that merited me limping off the field for all of ten minutes, before returning to play stationary defense in front of the goal.

I managed to walk the half mile home that evening, but I woke about 10 times during the night because of the pain, and then this morning I found myself almost unable to walk. Pain killers and working with the joint have helped to improve the situation so that I can now walk around the house and yard (which is good considering that I am here by myself while Juan is with his family), but luckily I am not well enough to haul the lumber that we are cutting for the corral. I guess today really is my lucky day!