Those times when you are living in a Cartoon

Prompted by the Tales of Clumsiness thread.

Have you ever had an “I must be in a Cartoon moment?”

I have:

I built a frame for hanging a large (110”) movie screen out of 2” PVC pipe. We often have movie nights outside. The frame is made very simply, with two PVC uprights, and a long PVC cross-member that the screen hangs from. I was assembling it one time, and had it all together, but hadn’t put the pins that hold the top piece in yet. I was moving it into it’s final position, and I grabbed one of the uprights to position the frame, and the top piece came loose, fell down and hit me on the head.
It made the most cartoon-like sound - a hollow “BOOONNNNNKKKK,” to which I immediately exclaimed “D’oh!”


A few years ago I slipped on some ice. My feet shot out and I swooped up in the air until I was horizontal–head and feet at the same elevation. Then… I hovered in mid-air for a fraction of a second and fell straight down on my back.

Physics says I didn’t really hover but I did have a that distinct sensation.

Took 2 y/o to see Santa at my wife’s work party this year. He was so excited he was yelling "Santa! Santa!"while my wife was trying to hold him. When she went to put him down his little legs were already trying to run when he hit the ground. I half expected to hear that cartoon “feet-are-running-but-haven’t-started-moving-yet” sound effect

Around a year ago I was visiting relatives in California when I tripped on a sprinkler that must have been anchored in concrete because it did not give – my foot did. And the rest of my body did not, due to inertia. I flipped more than 180 degrees and was able to roll onto my back. Thankfully it was not exactly 180 degrees!

I did a similar roll when my ten-speed hit a curb at full speed, and I was launched over the handlebars. Tucked and rolled, then sprang up in the air. Then did a little bow to much applause from a row of homeless guys I didn’t realize were sitting there. “Did you SEE what you did?” “That was SOME thang!”

When I was 12, I took the biggest wallop I’ve ever taken in my life during a bicycle collision with another cyclist. I actually saw stars…just like what is on a cartoon when someone gets a blow to the noggin.

My life is closer to The Three Stooges.

My foster cat loved the heat from the woodstove. I was starting fire and the sound of the damper opening brings the cats on. Foster boy being in a hurry to win the race jumped and landed on top of the stove. He didn’t stay long, in a instant he hovered, touched (barely) and reversed direction, and flew off. He knew at once this was a mistake. Thank goodness the stove wasn’t very hot yet. I swear I heard the sound of cartoon brakes.

My folks had cats that used to chase each other around the house, and into the bathroom, where they would leap into the bathtub and make a U-turn. One time, my mother was giving my sister a bath, and had the door open, and the cats started to do their chase, and one of them flew into the bathroom, leaped up into the air, and, realizing it’s mistake, tried to turn-around in mid-air.

Yep, cats and water don’t mix well. My 2 cats love the kitchen sink faucet. I don’t know if there is some sound it emits when turned on that I can’t hear, but every time I turn it on they come running. We’ve had many near misses.

There’s a pond next to my brother’s old house (and I could probably dredge up some cartoon moments from the ordeal of turning that bit of swamp into a “pond”). There are cypress trees in it, and one day, we heard a woeful caterwauling from one of them. A half-grown kitten had managed to jump from branch to branch to reach a tree in the middle of the pond, but couldn’t make the jumps back. As we watched and wondered at the cat’s predicament, he decided to try a jump, anyway. He edged out to the end of a low branch, tamped down his hind feet…and the branch snapped.

He did, indeed, seem to hang there for a moment, looking affronted. His feet, already primed to run and leap, spun up to a cartoonish pitch as he dropped, and there was a tremendous spray as he made contact with the water…and suddenly he was on the bank, having covered the remaining 8 foot stretch in a blur. Except for his lower legs and the end of his tail, his fur was dry, leading us to conclude that he had actually managed to run on water for a short distance.

To quote myself from the “January Mini Rants” thread in the Pit:

“I’m working on a new work of art, and I assembled the frame backwards. I start with 1/4” plywood, then assemble the frame around it, then assemble the actual artwork within the frame. I didn’t notice until I finished the frame, that I put it together backwards. If I had continued, I could have hung the art on the wall, and the art would be on the back side of it. So now I have to take the frame apart and redo it the right way. Shit."

So I did take it apart and reassembled it. Then I went to assemble the actual art work onto it. And lo and behold, I made the artwork 1" too small.

I’ve done something similar in an icy creek, although something happened to me 10 minutes before that that was even more cartoonish. I was walking with my dad along a snow-covered trail along a steep hillside: the trail was barely visible and tiny, when I realized my Air Balances were not providing very much traction and I could slip at any moment. It was sort of like suddenly realizing you’re in midair whilst running. It was harder to retrace my steps because the snow had already been trod on and so provided even less footing going back.

So we retraced our steps and continued along the parallel creek downhill, stepping along the rocks and logs by the creek. At one point I slipped and fell into the icy creek, but got up so fast that my pants and shirt did not get wet at all, and my winter coat and shoes only got damp! One good thing about Air Monarchs is they are very water resistant.

I was hiking a stretch of not-very-well-marked trail in a Texas state park a couple years ago and accidentally got detoured onto what looked like part of the trail, but led downward at a steep angle. Instead of doing the smart thing and reevaluating the situation, I started down, holding onto a couple of tree branches for support, when my feet skidded out from under me on loose gravel, my plummeting body tore loose from the branches and suddenly I was levitating in mid-air, in imitation of Wile E. Coyote.

This phase couldn’t have lasted much more than a second (it seemed longer), as I spun and landed in the branches of a stout shrub partway down the hillside, fortunately not breaking my back or any other tender parts but acquiring some interesting bruises. :smack:

Which reminds me of another incident, in turn:

On a long-ago canoe trip, my family took on a river that we probably (i.e., definitely) shouldn’t have–there were lots of just-submerged rock in a river running fast with snowmelt, and we were not terribly experienced at the time. I spent more time under the canoe than in it on that trip, but one dunking was particularly spectacular.

We were coming out of a section of white water that we’d managed to navigate reasonably well, but we were going awfully fast, and we didn’t manage to dodge the very last rock. The canoe flipped forward over the rock, dumping us in the water as it spun. The current carried me forward as I surfaced and started to look around. I would swear that I had time to notice that the shadow around me was visibly darkening, and to try to dive out of the way, before the canoe fell onto my head.

My very own Wile E. Coyote moment. :stuck_out_tongue:

The home I grew up in had about an acre of flood plane backing up to a creek behind it. There was a huge cottonwood tree right by a clearing by the creek. I saw it get struck by lightning several times from my bedroom window since it was by far the tallest tree in the area. One night it decided to give up an broke about three feet above the ground and fell into a wooded area next to it.

So, picture a three foot or so stump with a tree trunk balanced on it (it would have probably taken three people to be able to reach around), horizontal to the ground (i.e. you could bend down and walk under the broken trunk). One end on the stump and the top of the tree in the woods. There was also a large branch angling up into the wooded area… we thought the first step should be to remove this branch.

So my late teens self is standing on the broken trunk, chain saw in hand cutting through the branch which my Dad had tied off to his tractor to pull and make sure it fell in a safe direction.

I yelled for him to go right as I was about to finish the cut through the limb. I finished the cut and that is when we quickly realized that the limb was wedged between two trees in the woods and was the only thing keeping the huge trunk suspended three feet in the air. I threw the chain saw one way, dove the other and Dad was sitting on the tractor with the wheels spinning tied to a branch stuck between the trees as the trunk went crashing to the ground.

It took a moment to realize we both survived and then we both burst out laughing hysterically. We had a few other tree cutting adventures after that and my family still refers to them as “the two Stooges go logging” tales.

I don’t remember how we got that branch out of the trees, but we spent many hours cutting that tree into firewood and after 40 years I would bet the current homeowners are still stocked for wood for the fire pit close to where that tree stood.

I was walking through the lobby of the National Gallery of Art in D.C. while looking at a map of the museum. I noticed out of the corner of my eye a sculpture, so I steered around it…or so I thought. Unfortunately, it turns out that it had a long projecting piece at exactly head level:

My head collided with the “brontosaurus head” and it made a comical BONGGONGGGONGG sound. I thought I might get in trouble for damaging museum property, but the security guard was too busy laughing at me.

On another vacation, my wife and I were touring a temple in Kyoto. I was looking at some kind of tourist guide (sound familiar?) while walking through a gateway. Unfortunately, the gateway was clearly designed for someone much shorter than me, so I bonked my head on the lintel and made a comical “whoa-oh-oh-oh!” sound as I keeled over backwards onto my backpack. As I flailed around on my back like a helpless turtle, the Japanese people around me tried to politely ignore my obvious embarrassment. This time, it was my wife who was too busy laughing at me.

A long time ago I was conducting an archaeological survey of a rugged canyon with a stream in it. I was standing perfectly still on a slick rock adjacent to the stream when suddenly gravity turned off and my feet no longer wanted to stay connected to the rock. Just as suddenly gravity turned back on and I fell on my butt and rolled into the stream.

I had loaded up my backpack with groceries, maybe a little too much, and was waiting to cross a wide street. When the traffic eased I stepped out, foot raised, but then a new car appeared around the corner, I tried to bring my foot back in, it hit the kerb just enough to tip me slightly off-balance, and with the weight of the backpack extremely top-heavy, very very slowly I toppled over backwards, completely helpless, ending up completely turtled on the verge many seconds later.

And then I couldn’t even stand up again. I had to slide out of the straps to even get myself to sit upright.

The passenger in a passing car saw everything and stopped to ask if I needed help. It must have looked comical yet concerning to them, like I may have actually had a dizzy spell and collapsed. I was fine, just a bit surprised and embarrassed.

I saw stars when I fell from swinging on a chinning bar.
They were arranged in a diamond shape, were red and blue and shimmered.