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Pitiful Plight of Poor Boy Paul

Posted Sunday, August 3, 2008, at 3:52 PM

In recent tears I have been somewhat like ole Satchel Page, the famous black baseball player who said, "I never look back cause there might be some calamity gaining on me." I have also had a premonition that a fall would be the leading factor to my demise, and just last week this came close to becoming a reality.

It all started with a leisurely stroll through my yard, when I hooked my toe on a water hose and the ground flew up and hit me in the face. The world started spinning around me and I had to hang on to the grass until it settled down. I managed to get up and go in the house, and did not seem to have any serious injury, however the next morning I was so stiff and sore that I could barely get out of bed.

My daughter took me to the hospital, where they took at least a half dozen X-rays, and a Cat-Scan. After looking at these pictures Dr. Collie determined that I did have a slight fracture of the seventh vertebra in my neck. He fitted me up with a neck brace that was just about as rigid as the STOP sign out on Main Street, and reminded me of a picture of the old-time guillotine, with my fragile body sticking out one end and my fickle mind sticking out the other. The Doctor gave specific instructions that I should wear this torturous devise, 24 - 7, for a month.

My only medication is a few pain pills, and I have been surprised that I am able to sleep reasonably well under these circumstances. It does get rather lonely sitting here by myself, and time seems to drag, so I now have time to notice things that had never come to my attention. Would you believe that there are 42 panes of glass in the windows of my office, and I made the starting discovery that I have 28 doorknobs in my home, as well as 26 pictures and plaques hanging on the walls. Ain't that interesting???

In order to pass away the time I am working on some very scientific projects. I am endeavoring to determine just how many grains it will require to pop a quart of popcorn, and how many Great Northern beans are needed to produce a quart of bean soup. I am also trying to figure out some way to determine if that little light in the refrigerator really goes out when the refrigerator door is closed. Don't you think that these are things the world needs to know?

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I can help you on a scientific procedure to prove the refrigerator light does go out. If you have a camera with a timer, set the timer for 10 seconds, place in the refrig and close the door, you will need to disable the camera flash, and when the picture is exposed you will or should see complete darkness. Let us know what you find out. This should take a half day of your time.

Sorry about the fall, isnt it weird how as we grow older these little things take on significant meaning?? Now I'll need to count my doorknobs. Have a great and better week now.

-- Posted by changedname on Sun, Aug 3, 2008, at 6:48 PM

Paul Corbin, you are a wonder! A fall like that would have crippled a person half your age!

I think you need to keep us posted on your counting project, as it sounds most practical. Next possible items to count: # of books in your bookscases, # of pencils on your desk. Length of shortest pencil, and length of longest pencil.

My oldest son once made a point to keep a pencil and use it down to the eraser. I have never seen such a short pencil in my life! I'll bet if I called him tonight, he would remember how long he used it to get it down to barely enough to hold onto.

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Aug 3, 2008, at 6:57 PM

It won't take many beans for soup for one. Those little suckers really swell up! I'll bet you get some serious reading done while you're laid up. Let us know if you've found some really good books.

-- Posted by gardengirl on Mon, Aug 4, 2008, at 10:43 AM

Paul Corbin, I love reading your stories. You just have a way with words. Sorry about your fall, hope you recoup soon.

-- Posted by dexter lady on Mon, Aug 4, 2008, at 7:54 PM

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Bunyan Tales
Paul Corbin
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Paul Corbin is a 100-year-old historian, humorist, and amateur archaeologist from Advance, Mo. He grew up in the Greenbrier area west of Advance, where he attended Stepp School on the banks of Cato Slough and the Castor River, important waterways throughout his life. In an age when many area residents did not go to high school, the young Corbin made the decision to walk the five miles to Zalma, graduating in 1933. Throughout his life, he was an enterprising businessman, selling Watkins products from house to house throughout a large area - and later opening a variety store in Advance. He and his wife Geneva traveled throughout the United States, even following the route that the Lewis and Clark expedition traveled. His knowledge of Native American culture is extensive, and he has donated a sizeable collection of his artifacts to the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center and the Bollinger County Museum of Natural History in Marble Hill. Throughout the years, he has submitted articles to TBY, the North Stoddard Countian, the Ozark Mountaineer, and several other Missouri publications. He has also written two books - "Reflections in Missouri Mud," and "Fragments of my Feeble Mind." The first one is out of print.
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