She: Koss ran into a pole yesterday.
Z: That’s my boy!
She: His P.E. class was running a lap around the blacktop, when he ran head-on into the pole of a basketball hoop.
Z: Was he shooting a layup at the time?
She: Nope. Just running laps.
Z: Did the pole jump in front of him? Did he dent it?
She: That’s a very dad reaction.
Z: I’m just sayin’. I don’t want to have to reimburse La Colina Junior High School for any damaged equipment.
She: He went to the nurse’s office. They called me, and I went to get him. I was handling it all fine, until I had to call the doctor to have him checked out, and then I lost it. I started sobbing so hard I made Koss and two other kids in the nurse’s office cry.
Z: Could we back up to the moment when he ran into a pole? This wasn’t a new pole or anything, was it? An unexpected pole?
She: No. I guess he was distracted by a conversation.
Z: I don’t think this is the first thing he should put on his Stanford application.
She: Anyhow, back to me sobbing.
Z: Oh. Yeah. Why were you sobbing? Was there blood spurting from his forehead, like a Monty Python skit?
She: No. But he hit his head hard enough to have to go to the nurse’s office in the middle of P.E., which he loves. He hit his head hard enough for the school to hand me a head injury form and tell me that I needed to call my doctor right away.
Z: I used to hit my head all the time, and I came out OK. I used to hit my head all the time, and I came out OK. I used to hit my head all the time, and I …
She: So, yeah, I wasn’t thrilled to be calling the doctor about my son’s head injury.
Z: What did the doctor say? Did he recommend amputation?
She: You don’t seem to be taking this very seriously. I told you on his first day of kindergarten that we should dress him in bubble wrap. I should have fought harder on that one.
Z: I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the pole thing. Was it an invisible pole? A trick pole that pops up like a Whac-A-Mole?
She: You say you used to hit your head all the time. What were you hitting it on?
Z: Normal things, like the counter when I sneezed too hard. Or the ground. The ground got me a few times.
She: Anyhow, on the plus side, the doctor said he was probably fine, and that we just had to keep an eye on him.
Z: And keep him bubble-wrapped and away from poles.
She: Unfortunately, the doctor also described all the things we had to look out for in case of a serious concussion. Spaciness, nausea, vomiting, blurry vision, passing out …
Z: That explains why Koss kept thinking he was spacey, or nauseous or blurry-eyed all day.
She: He is a little bit suggestible.
Z: I told him that another possible symptom is that it makes your elbows itchy. He scratched at his elbows for two hours.
She: You’re not a kind man.
Z: I used to hit my head a lot. Did I ever tell you about the time I was swinging upside down from one of those doorway pull-up bars, and the whole thing fell down? I landed on my head. My parents had to wake me up every half-hour all night and ask me questions. Apparently, I was very good at math when I was asleep.
She: Yes. I’ve heard that story many times.
Z: Now Koss will have a story about the time he was running and a pole fell out of the sky on to his head.
She: Yes, dear.