In most of my previous close encounters of a vehicular kind I've always managed to get up, dust myself off, straighten the handlebars, put the chain back on and ride off into the sunset. On the few occasions when the bike was unrideable, I'd try to cadge a ride out of the offending motorist, playing on their guilt. The question usually comes up "do you want to go to the hospital?" to which I reply, in true John Wayne fashion, "No, ma'am, I'll just fashion a tourniquet out of my hankerchief, and I'll be all right."
On my last encounter with a car, there was no question I would be visiting the emergency room, as I gazed down at the proverbial pool of blood that was accumulating in front of me, and as it felt like some important part of my face was not attached quite as well as it had been. Visiting the emergency room as a cyclist has some interesting ramifications.
Your mother always told you to wear clean underwear for just such occasions. Well, my bike shorts could never have passed any mother's inspection. As they were x-raying various body parts, they decided that my jersey had to come off. Unfortunately, they decided to take it off with scissors. So I'm thinking, "What am I going to do for a shirt now that the jersey has been reduced to a single dimension?" The other concern was when I was released, my only walking apparel were cleated bicycle shoes. Lacking a bike, these really aren't too useful for getting around.
The really did all the ER stuff, just like on ER, all except for the paddles. They asked me my name about fifty times, just to make sure I was still on planet earth. After #30 or so, I was tempted to ask "Is this a trick question?" but I figured I'd better be good.
I was lying there bemoaning my fate, when I heard a discussion about the proper handling of severed fingers, so I decided my condition wasn't quite so bad after all.
In a futile attempt at levity, referring to my stitched upper lip, I asked one of the attending "Am I going to scare small children?" To which he responded "Do you have small children?" Tough crowd.
After sewing me up, it was time to discharge me. It turned out that it was a cool morning, so I had a flannel shirt in my bag that I had taken off after warming up. At least I didn't have to go topless. The other alternative was one of those slipcover affairs with no back, which might be useful if I were a flasher.
I managed to finagle a pair of styrofoam slippers out of one of the nurses, so I cut quite a striking figure as I padded out of the ER. Eric Ferioli would have been proud.