As a clumsy person, I appreciate the art of falling. But as an exceptionally clumsy person, I am running out of locations to bruise or embarrass myself. If your life is an unintentional slapstick routine like mine, or you too lack the hand eye coordination to smack a decent 'high five,' then you may have also hoped for a double to do it for you.

That is why I decided to take action and audition an action woman in my likeness. I began by searching the entire World Wide Web.

Finding a match turned out to be a lot harder than I thought it would be. Perhaps it has something to do with the speciality of my special skills. Take, for example, the Smurf cartwheel. Though some may call it the Mercury Sable of the cartwheel lot, I think that planting one's hands on the floor and hopping to the side is pretty much the same thing as break dancing is slow motion.

I did take Tae Kwan Do senior year of high school (in addition to regular gym) in order to graduate. But the ancient art of Tae Kwan Do I practiced involved more stretching (and sometimes watching Tae Bo Videos) than actually sparring (or actually grunting through the Tae Bo routine.)

I can imagine, though, that: 'fighting, firearms, fencing, falls, basic trampoline, basic tumbling, karate, jujitsu, boxing, rappelling, Western/English horsemanship, driving, bullwhip, dirt bikes, wirework, swimming and jet skiing' -- as one likely candidates' list of skills reads, requires some agility. So maybe we have more in common than I thought. Thank you Billy Blank.

But there were other logistics that still needed working out. Given the frequency and general unprovoked nature of my spills, I figured I'd pretty much have to employ my stunt double full time. I have to admit this idea has started to make me a little nervous. Because what if my stuntwoman turns out to be a total bitch? Like how she always takes shotgun in the monster truck.

There might even be a whole new set of reasons to be embarrassed. Like maybe she'd insist on wearing her harness in public, or on the outside of her clothes. Or maybe she'd be overly ambitious and fall too much. Then people would finally be able to conclude that something really had been wrong with you after all.

I imagine having a six-foot Norwegian woman lunging in front of every car when you crossed wouldn't convince them otherwise. How do you get rid of someone who is professionally indispensable and also avoid a potential headlock?

Since pushing her down the stairs won't work, maybe hiring her part time would. That way I could string my cross bow and not skate down the front steps of Van Pelt too.

For example, I could schedule her for the times when I was exceptionally off balance, like en route to 9 a.m. classes, or inebriated. But who really wants a drunken stuntwoman breathing down your Norton Anthology during a 9 a.m. class? Even if her keg stands are Olympic.

Maybe if I got her a stuntman to keep her company, she'd be easier to handle. But a stand-up stunt boyfriend was even harder to find. The best choice was a part-time wrestler named Nick advertising his services on Craig's list. If they don't end up riding their dirt bikes off into the sunset, it's still worth a shot, because he's only a rental.

Though no one can contest the value of a good stunt double, this search made me appreciate a lot more about myself and my special skills. Hoping for a friend who will bend over backwards for you out of a 15-story building, is a tall order and a long way down. Sometimes it's better to take the fall or bellyflop yourself. Because not everyone can spill their beverage without fail at every meal. And though I may never be able to shoot myself out of a cannon, or run through sprinklers of flame unharmed, I give myself a give high five for efforts. (It's easier that way.) I'll leave the 'down low' to professionals.


Comments

All comments eligible for publication in Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. publications.