Stan's Tuesday Walks

A Weekly Feature
by Stan Evans,
President, Santa Fe Always Online

October 16, 2001

When I woke up this morning at 5, I was still feeling the effects of my friend Tom Smith’s recent death. I told you about him in this space last week. The loss of a lifelong friend is not easy to get over. I can't imagine the feelings of his wife and family.

Yet an hour later, when I set out with my neighbor for our weekly walk, I found a good distraction. It was still quite dark outside, so keeping alert in order not to trip on the uneven sidewalks kept me from thinking about dear friends passing. Watching for cracks in the sidewalk eventually made me laugh, because it reminded me of a trip to Spain that my wife and I and some other couples took a few years ago.

As we walked around Madrid, looking at all there was to see, my wife and another woman repeatedly tripped on the uneven sidewalk. I kept telling Linda, "Watch your step, sweetheart, or you'll break your neck." The other woman’s husband also kept telling her to be careful as well. But our wives just kept on tripping.

Finally, the husband remarked that if he got 35 pesetas (the Spanish equivalent of pennies) for every time his wife tripped, he would be rich. I said the same was true for me. After that, each time one of the ladies tripped, her husband would say, “That's another 35 pesetas.” When one of the gals stumbled particularly hard and went running, in an ungainly manner, trying to catch her balance, the respective husband would say, “Hey, that one was worth at least 50 pesetas!”

Well, so went the trip. Fortunately, neither wife actually fell down and got hurt.

After we got back to Santa Fe, the other husband and I continued to insist that if we actually had collected money for each time our wives tripped in Spain, we would be rich. Our wives, tired of our harassment, grumbled back that we weren't so graceful ourselves. But neither of us husbands remembered tripping.

A couple of weeks later, Linda and I went up to our condo in Taos. She decided to walk around the complex one night to get some exercise. The asphalt driveway had a repavement bump in it where a water line had been dug out. Linda didn't see it in the darkness, and she tripped and took a very bad fall. Besides badly bruising her face, she also sprained her wrist and hand. As her fingers began to swell, a ring she was wearing began pinching her so badly that we though it would break the skin. The condo desk clerk told me that the police station, which was much closer than the hospital, had a special set of pliers that would cut the ring off her finger.

When we got to the police station, I went in alone to see if they did have pliers that would do the job. The officer at the desk, a woman, asked what I needed. I explained that my wife had fallen and sprained her hand and her fingers had swollen so large that her ring was digging into her skin, and we wondered if they had something to cut the ring off. The officer said she did have pliers for that purpose and to bring my wife in. I went back and got Linda, whose entire face was by now black and blue from the fall.

When we entered the station together, the shocked officer looked at Linda and asked me, "How did this happen?" I told her again that my wife had fallen in a parking lot and the officer sternly replied, "Sure she did!" After cutting the ring off the officer took Linda aside and told her, "Mrs. Evans, if your husband is physically hurting you or abusing you in any way, please tell me, and we can take him into custody right now.”

As they talked, both of them were looking at me—the officer with a mean glare and Linda with a sinister smile. Looking into their fierce stares, I knew that their conversation was about me and that it was not good. But Linda assured the officer that she indeed had actually fallen down and that I was not the cause of her injuries. I'm not sure the officer believed her, but she did let me leave.

Back in our car, Linda confirmed that the conversation had been about my possible misbehavior. Let that be a warning, she added, because the next time I chided her about tripping and stumbling, things could get very detrimental to my health. I haven't said a word about Linda’s walking style ever since that night. And should you see her stumbling along someday, don’t you say anything either.

Have a good day.


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