My Favorite Fails, Part II

Broken Bicycle

Cartoony victims don’t bleed. My arms assured me I was no cartoon.

I picked out and reworked my funniest fails for you from earlier posts on Gunmetal Geisha. You’re about to read part two, but if you haven’t seen part one, check it out to fully grasp what I’m willing to put myself through for the sake of your entertainment. These fails are in honor of I Just Want to be Perfect, a collection of humor essays by women who (hilariously) fail at perfection. My essay in the book is called “The Rise and Fall of Perfect Seductress,” and if you know me at all, you can imagine the sort of ground it covers. If you don’t know me, here’s an intro:

4. A Rug Attacked Me

The only domestic inclination I have is toward home decor. I love it more than shoes, shoes being my one womanly over-indulgence. Years ago when I was in a relationship with Freezer, we — we, meaning he — bought a beautiful house in the Hollywood hills and I found myself in home-decorating heaven.

There was a huge, brilliant red rug hanging in a store. I decided to pull it down for a horizontal view. Relentless yanking released the heavy rug — right on my head, a hard corner crash-landing on my eyeball. I saw flashes like when your face is struck with a ball, except this kept going like a strobe.

Some months later, at a routine eye exam in an eyeglass shop, I was told to go to an ophthalmologist because my eye pressure test read too high. That’s the test where an apparatus forces an awful puff of air into your eye while the onus is on you not to blink. It sucks. A high reading can mean glaucoma. That really sucks.

After freaking out that I was going blind and realizing how nothing would matter if I lost my sight — our great view, choosing a sofa color — I looked online for causes of glaucoma. Since I didn’t fall into the specified demographics, the only category left was “severe eye trauma.” Like a giant rug colliding with your cornea.

It took me weeks to get myself to a real eye doctor, but before that, a semi-conscious bit of me woke up every day believing blindness could be part of my future. When I finally did get around to an ophthalmologist, he found nothing wrong with my eyes.

The rug didn’t manage to blind me, but when I had carried it into the house, it did put out my back. Inside, it unrolled too quickly and my shin caught another hard edge. This was one aggressive rug, but in the end, I’d like to think I tamed it, laying it flat in the center of the living room.

I was foolish enough to think the hazards of home decorating were done with me.

5. Cactus

There’s a reason why household chores bring me anxiety. On the one hand, I’m not good at doing anything I don’t want to be doing, on the other, I can’t have a bunch of undone-chore clouds gathering above my “live free or stay in bed” ways. For this reason, succulents are the perfect household plants not just because they look like awesome vegetation from another planet, but because you can go weeks without watering them and thus minimizing a terrible chore

We needed plants for the house on the hill, and the four cacti I picked out for the kitchen counter had a fascinating combination of thorn patterns — some curling, some thick and others fuzzy. Once I paid for them at the store, I gingerly placed them in a deep carton. The carton kept my prickly foursome snug and safe for the drive back. But there was nothing keeping me safe from them. Once arrived at their new home, the thorny troublemakers would naturally have their way with me.

You know the monkey with a fistful of nuts in a jar, neither letting go nor pulling his hand free? I was determined not to be that monkey while I battled the depth of the carton against its snugness around the sharp weaponry of my new friends. So twenty minutes ensued of me trying to outsmart the situation with various long implements in hopes of prying up the planters. But the planters would not budge.

It finally came down to me going in with my bare arms. In my impatience, gloves hadn’t occured to me.

Monkey would neither let go nor pull her hands free, all the while pulling and yanking.

No need to drag this on for you to imagine the scratched-up, thorn-picking aftermath. This is why in cartoons, a cactus on the screen invariably means laughs to come even before the hapless coyote lands on the plant to don a thorn-covered ass.

The difference is, cartoony victims don’t bleed. My arms assured me I was no cartoon.

I settled my foursome on the kitchen counter, dangerously close to where I often prepared food.

* * *

If you got a kick out of these preposterous fiascos, check out I Just Want to be Perfect, in which thirty-eight women try to make you laugh with their cringe-worthy fails.


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  1. Lizzi · · Reply


  2. Lizzi · · Reply

    Dear Monkey

    LET IT GOOOO! (or don’t, if it makes for good storytelling later, but try not to cut yourself banging that ol’ glass jar around on the end of your fist)

    Me xo

    1. Never! (Letting go.) Actually, so often I forget things that I’ve let go without even realizing I was holding on in the first place.

      1. Hm. I do it the other way around – I *think* I’ve let go of something, then it all rushes back and I realise I haven’t at all.

  3. Rugs can be such recalcitrant beasts, and cacti – oh, yes, adventures in re-potting without medieval full plate armor – need I say more on that? Great stories, GG.

    1. This made laugh! Tell me about it, hahaha!

      1. Well, about the cactus, do you remember the plant in Little Shop Of Horrors? A former roommate left this nice little finger cactus. I watered it. I fed it. It grew as if it want to grow up to be a Saguaro. It grew branches that broke off and which I planted. This was all in pots on the deck of my apartment in AZ, South facing with full sun. The spines on these beasts were a little longer and sharper than standard tooth picks. Re-potting was an adventure. When I moved, a coworker adopted them and planted them in the ground – smart woman.

  4. Reblogged this on cabbagesandkings524 and commented:
    More painful fun from GG

  5. Paul · · Reply

    Remind me to stand back if ever you are on a decorating binge.

    1. Interesting enough, getting ready to move so it’s all about to start again.

      1. Paul · ·

        With a little luck I should be able to make it to LA this summer. Love to have a coffee if you’re not busy redecorating.

      2. How fun would that be! I would LOVE it.

      3. Paul · ·


  6. The rug story. So sorry for the pain and aggravation, but thanks for the good-natured story.

    1. Thank you Sylvia, and thanks for reading.


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