Kvelve's Comments: Richard Nixon, yes I said Richard Nixon!

| October 8, 2020 12:15 AM

I’ve been in some strange situations in my life with equally strange outcomes.

But this may have moved into the top 10 Kvelve moments.

Remember the movie Castaway, starring Tom Hanks? No, I did not have a cameo role in that film or any other for that matter.

But in that movie, Mr. Hanks befriended a volleyball which he named “Wilson”, a moniker linked to the maker of his new BFF (best friends forever, stay tuned for an upcoming column on my disdain for acronyms).

Wilson became his confidant, his go to sphere. A sure sign of a guy alone on a deserted island with way too much free time.

So where, you may ask, are you going with this one?

A little background first.

I’ve been involved in some activities in my time on planet Earth that have had their risks. Some great, some not so great.

Along the way, I have been visited by the concussion fairy at least five times. In a game of football way back when, I was hit so hard in the head by a monster-size human being that on my way back to the sidelines, I answered “Richard Nixon” to every question I was asked to determine how badly my “bell had been rung”.

In the days before concussion awareness, concussion symptoms were lumped into the had my bell rung category. If you’ve never had a concussion it is basically a mind altering experience.

Mostly temporary, this involves telling those asking you questions like where do you live with the obvious answer: Richard Nixon.

How old are you? Richard Nixon.

Teammates asking you, hey Chuck, who would you like to be making out with now? Richard Nixon. That one, I’m told, drew loud laughter from my “buddies.”

It’s a fuzzy kind of high. You have your eyes open, but your brain isn’t interpreting what your senses are telling it.

Get the damn phone!

On another occasion I was showing my young son how to punt a football. The morning dew was still on the grass and I had a pair of slick bottom shoes on.

The leg went up to kick the ball and the other leg joined the first leg in midair, sending me crashing to the grass with the back of my head leading the way.

My son, my beloved son, was laughing his little behind off, noting as he howled, “Gee dad it looks like your eyes are wiggling in your head.”

Shake it off. Put me back in coach, I can still play. But for God’s sake will someone please get that phone?

So this latest trip down the bell rung highway was, like the others, out of the blue.

I was at a volleyball game, front row sidelines, watching the players warm up. I decided to check my cell phone for any messages and had my head titled forward to read that screen that seems to be getting smaller every year.

I had on my usual ball cap, the ones that have the metal button on top to hold the beanie together.

Suddenly, I felt a WHAP that left me momentarily wondering what the heck was that?

I looked up and instinctively said “do I get an assist for that”?

The first thing I focused on was a young lady with a horrified look on her face. I heard the fans in attendance let out a loud “whoa” in unison as the sphere ricocheted off my nogging.

The ball had struck squarely on that little metal button just for giggles.

As cooly as I could, I returned to reading my messages but they were a bit blurry.

The webs cleared in a few seconds, then the headache set in, followed by a slight bit of nausea. I’ve CAT scanned concussion patients and had several of my own.

I know a concussion, we are not BFFs but I know a concussion.

A day or so later and I was alright. It was my bad for sitting in the front row and not paying attention.

What makes this kind of embarrassing is the fact that a volleyball, not a helmeted behemoth who’s job it is to rearrange my cerebral matter, had temporarily put me in the land of la-la.

And that ball was most likely hit by a teenage girl.

What next? A feather from an overhead bird falls from the sky and puts out an eye? I slip on a marsh mellow and tear what’s left of the meniscus in my right knee?

Put me in coach, I can still play!

Chuck Kvelve Bandel is a reporter for the Mineral Independent and Clark Fork Valley Press. Look for his “Kvelve’s Comments” column weekly.