An Inspiring Story



Sometimes, I get to a point in my life where nothing seems to be going right. That’s when I close my eyes and think about Richard Legman, the man who could not walk.

Once you get past the irony of Mr. Legman’s problem, there’s really nothing funny about it. But, man, that is pretty funny, with the Legman and the not walking thing.

Anyhow, the worst part was, Richard didn’t always have this problem. He used to be able to walk just fine. That was before The Incident: an event so horrifying, so disturbing, it needed to be capitalized and displayed in italics.

Here’s how it all went down:

It was just a typical day for Richard. There he was, walking down the middle of the highway, eating a corn dog and reading the latest Danielle Steele novel. Cars whizzed by on both sides of him. Horns honked. People shouted. But Richard kept his eyes on the page and savored his sweet battered meat. . . Damn, that didn’t come out right at all. I was referring to the corn dog, of course.

Anyhow, you can probably guess what happened next, but I’m going to tell you anyway. A couple miles away, a semi truck was charging down the highway. The driver, Mike Hamburg, had been on the road for 34 hours straight and was beginning to hallucinate. The vehicles ahead now looked like pink polar bears and the asphalt below was resembling a frozen lake. Suddenly, the surface began to crack and Hamburg swerved to avoid plunging into the icy depths. In doing so, he blind sided a few polar bears, then found his truck jackknifing and skidding towards what looked like a lone eskimo.

Richard looked up just in time to see the big rig barreling towards him. He took another bite of his corn dog, then lowered his eyes back to his book. That must have been a real page-turner. Hamburg leaned on the horn and turned the wheel as hard as he could. Richard turned the page. And then suddenly, the truck crashed into the center divider, missing Richard by just, well, a mile. But one of the big rig’s nude-woman mudflaps flew off the truck and bounced off Richard’s right knee.

Richard dropped his corn dog and grabbed his leg. He felt a burning sensation in his calf that made him want to fall to the ground and cry in pain. But then he remembered the words of his high school drama coach: “Just walk it off.” So, that’s exactly what Richard did. He stepped forward with his good leg. And then he took another step with his right. But as he put some weight down on his right foot, Richard came to the horrible realization: He could no longer walk. He could only run.

Richard ran all the way down the highway at Kenyan speed, leaving his novel and his corn dog behind him. At first, it was kind of a thrill, until Richard realized that he could not slow down. Soon, his spasming leg was moving so fast, it was hard for the other one to catch up. He was passing cars, as if they were parked. Which in this case, they were. But he was still really fast.

Finally, Richard couldn’t take it anymore and he dove off the highway and tumbled down a grassy hill, where he passed out from exhaustion.

When Richard came to, he was in a hospital bed, surrounded by people he didn’t know. Turns out, they thought he was someone else. The nurse shooed them all away and the doctor came in to check on his patient.

“How are we feeling?” The doctor asked.

“Okay,” Richard weakly replied.

“You’re a lucky man to be alive, Mr. Legman.”

“I am?”

“Yes, that sexy mudflap may have caused a little nerve damage, but we performed an operation that we think will remedy the situation.”

“Oh, wonderful!”

The doctor explained that the operation was a rather difficult one, on the account of all the blood and the tiny nerves and shit. But he thought they did a pretty good job in making the necessary repairs.

Richard asked the doctor when he could plan on walking again. When the doctor replied “Right now,” Richard should’ve question his authority, not to mention the fact that this so-called doctor was wearing a grey jumpsuit that had the word “Janitor” stenciled on the back.

But Richard wasn’t a very bright man. He slid his legs out from under the covers and lowered his feet to the floor. Oddly enough, he felt okay. He took a step with his good leg, then took a deep breath and took another step with his right. Unfortunately, he still could not walk. He could only skip.

Richard skipped his way out the door and down the hall. Children giggled and tried to follow his lead. Soon, Richard had a train of children skipping behind him. Their parents yelled at Richard to stop. “I can’t!” Richard screamed. Eventually, the orderlies tackled Richard to the ground, then a doctor — a real one, this time — shot Richard up with some kind of major sedative.

Anyhow, to this day, Richard still cannot walk. But that hasn’t broken his spirit. Every morning, you can find him skipping down the highway, reading his novel and devouring his corn dog. And when I think about what a fucking idiot that guy is, it makes me feel so much better about myself.

The End

Comments 4

  1. Glovia wrote:

    There is no way you scored low on the verbal. No fucking way.

    Posted 26 Feb 2004 at 3:34 pm
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    the story has inspired me to skip to work

    Posted 26 Feb 2004 at 3:43 pm
  3. Edith wrote:

    You are getting in the swing of things there in Hollywood: coming up with storylines that no one would guess the ending to.

    I know where this all is going. I double dare anyone there to do a movie version of Kafka’s The Castle. And they thought King Lear was the only classic that would always die like a dog.

    Okay, I don’t watch movies, but I think even fewer people enjoy Soap Operas, the only place where the psuedo existential train of thought scripting currently works. If movie producers go after that demographic they’ll end up only being able to sell comercial inserts to Palmolive.

    Posted 26 Feb 2004 at 5:54 pm
  4. Heather #2 wrote:

    That was great. Do you write for ‘Scrubs’?

    Hope all is well with you.

    Posted 27 Feb 2004 at 1:28 am

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