That Klutzy Stage

Seventh grader Aaron B. Mason’s first day back at school featured an inevitable catastrophe. But thanks to the foresight of his parents and the family plan they purchased from a California Health Insurance agent in Long Beach, Aaron’s recuperation wasn’t also a financial catastrophe.


Aaron, a lanky 12-year-old about to begin 7th grade, was in the middle of his pubertal growth spurt. His wrists and ankles seemed barely attached by their tendons and sinews to his arms and legs, and like a lot of boys his age – he was at that klutzy stage.  “Aaron, pick up your feet!” his loud-voiced mom would scream seeing her son stumble off, embarrassing him in front of his friend, he only had one, another young klutz named Ralph, but Aaron’s mom didn’t extend her nagging ear-piercing soprano to her neighbor’s kid. Miraculously, Aaron, who might have felt safer trapped during puberty in a Mason jar, didn’t get seriously injured during that summer before entering 7th grade with the rest of his tweener peers. Other than a few cuts and bruises experienced as consequences received from clumsily falling over steps and tripping over obstacles of sundry description, Aaron managed to escape that summer unscathed.

But the first day of school was another story. During first period, right after homeroom, Aaron was already late as it had been gym, he started running to his algebra class in the hall, and by the time his gym teacher could finish yelling, “Hey Mason! Pick up your feet!” Aaron had become tangled up in his own legs and tripped, falling flat on his chin and smacking his jaw against the middle school’s hardwood floor, just polished by the school janitor minutes before and very treacherous. Aaron was knocked cold and carried out of his school into a waiting ambulance on a stretcher.

Ralph went to see Aaron in the hospital, and was there when his friend woke up in his hospital bed. So was a California Health Insurance agent who happened to be courteously checking in on the Mason kid, a tall man with glasses whom neither Ralph nor Aaron immediately recognized. “Who is he?” Aaron whispered through clenched teeth to his friend, his jaw shot full of painkillers.    

“I’m Clark Kent, a California Health Insurance agent,” the strange man replied. Oddly, he also spoke through clenched teeth – but in his case it was merely an idiosyncrasy.

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