Christie Craig shares the truth about the insipiration for her characters' embarrassing accidents ...
|Oh, it hurts to fall on our tushes. If it happens in front of people, the thing usually bruised the most isn't our butt cheeks, it's our pride. But let's be honest, those ego-bruising mishaps make us laugh — well, as long as there isn't too much blood. Even without it, it's generally after the fact that we see the humor in the situation. Regrettably, at the Craig household, we’re familiar with those situations. So familiar, that I’ve added some of these painfully funny mishaps to my new release, Shut Up And Kiss Me.|
Poor Jose, a character in Shut Up And Kiss Me, is having a long string of both ego-bruising and plain ol’ body bruising accidents. I mean, between the car accident, the skunk, the fire ants, the thorns that ripped into his nose, well, he’s having a bad fifteen minutes. Then while naked in the bathtub of V-8 juice, while pouring woman's douche products over his chest, and sipping from a bottle of Mr. Daniels, the thorns still in his nose, both eyes blackened, sporting a goose egg on his forehead and ant blisters on his family jewels, and the smell of skunk still scenting the air, he’s caught in all his bare-ass glory by the woman he longs to impress. What can I say, life just wasn't going Jose's way.
Unfortunately for Jose, but fortunate for the readers — because it’s funnier than hell — life doesn’t get any easier for him for quiet a while. It’s as if a black cloud is following him around. And hey, this is Precious, Texas, so anything is possible. And by possible, I mean, it could really happen. Yup, a few of Jose’s stunts weren’t just figments of my imagination.
Let’s start with Jose’s head-through-the-sheetrock accident that happened in a later chapter. Now, I set up the situation differently in the book, but here’s how it played out in my house. It was Saturday morning and hubby graciously offered to get me coffee. This was his ploy to keep me in bed a while longer. But deciding to placate him — hey, I like the guy — I agreed to spend a lazy morning in bed if coffee was delivered.
I heard him trotting down the stairs, a few banged dishes sounded, then he came trotting back up. That’s when I heard a crash, and the muffled sound of the word, “Shit!”
I made it into the hall to see him on his feet, bent at the waist, a cup of coffee in one hand, some tea in the other and his head completely buried inside the sheetrock wall — hence the muffled sound of his word “shit.” He pulled his head out. Sheetrock fell around his face, he spit out a few more words along with bits of drywall. His cheeks were covered in a powdery white substance and his black hair was now a chalky gray.
Hubby’s foot had gotten caught on the top of the stairs. With his hands full, he couldn’t catch himself. So he fell forward and buried his entire head into the sheetrock. Luckily, he missed the studs.
“Are you okay?” I asked and bit my tongue to keep from laughing. I mean, we have rules, no laughter until you express concern.
He nodded and passed me my coffee, but not before a piece of drywall fell from his hair and splashed into my cup. We both look back at the wall. The hole was the perfect shape of my husband’s head, the bottom half even had the shape of his nose. And then we did what we do a lot of in the Craig household, we laughed our asses off.
We laughed almost as hard as we did when he took a flying flip over the dirt-filled wheel barrel he’d been pushing. Because it was raining cats and dogs, he was barreling through our backyard pushing the wheel barrel. The front wheel of the barrel hit a stump. The barrel came to a sudden and jarring stop. Unfortunately, Hubby didn’t stop. Hands still holding on the wheel barrel, his mud-caked feet went air born, and continued up over the barrel, his head dipped chin deep into the cone shaped dirt that was pilled in the barrel, where he stayed suspended for a fraction of a second, then he flipped the rest of the way over, and landed face down into a mud puddle. If I’d gotten that on tape, I swear we’d be millionaires. I had to apologize profusely that day, because I couldn’t get out my concern before I lost it in a fit of laughter.
Luckily, I wasn’t there when hubby was playing basketball with my son and caught the basket ball wrong. He said it hurt like hell, but he didn’t go into shock until he looked down at his hand and his pinky was gone. Well, it wasn’t completely gone. However, all but the last knuckle had been jammed back into his hand. My ten year old son saw it and started searching the ground for the missing finger. Doctors and nurses lined up at the hospital to see it, because they’d never seen anything like it. Only hubby ... but not really.
Oh, I wish I could tell you it was just hubby. But nope. My daughter, who’d never broken a bone, never had a stitch, went through a six-month period when she was eighteen years old where she visited the emergency room so many times that we knew which doctor was seeing which nurse and who was cheating on their spouses. Daughter broke two bones, had two sets of stitches, one allergic reaction, and two operations.
One accident happened in a batting cage, one when her flip flop got caught in a moving door, another happened while washing dishes — how do you break a bone washing dishes? The craziest one happened while she was using an arm exercising band, to exercise her legs, all the while talking on the phone and eating a popsicle. (We don’t recommend you try that at home!) Thanks to the plastic surgeon on duty — who wasn’t cheating on his wife — you can barely see the scar.
While my son has evaded any broken bone and stitches, his big crisis involved a pack of angry geese. The whole family laughed so hard at that one, we cried. It’s a regular story we share at Thanksgiving and pretend we’re eating a goose instead of turkey.
What about me? I haven’t had any mishaps. Well, as long as you don’t call collecting a mattress under my car and only getting rid of it after it caught on fire or being sexually assaulted by an elephant in the zoo as mishaps. Of course, they were not funny. Hey, you try having an elephant’s trunk suctioned-locked onto your right boob while a hundred zoo goers laugh themselves to tears — including my hubby.
Seriously, if anyone tells you that fiction doesn’t emulate real life, don’t believe ‘em. But you know what, when life goes wonky on you, you can either laugh or cry. At the Craig household, and in the lives of my characters, laughing is the preferred method. Because as my parents said, “If you laugh at it, you can live with it.” So here’s to laughter, love, and to both my crazy family and the even crazier but lovable characters in Shut Up And Kiss Me.
- Christie Craig