It takes a special person to be able to say, “Hey, look I got a new piercing,” immediately after impaling their face on a tree branch.
Natty Hagood is special.
Last week, the 29-year-old Jackson, Wyo., ski instructor was out on the slopes with a few friends, carving up some fresh pow-pow (or whatever it is the ski fellas are calling it these days), when he decided to take a routine path through the trees.
“With my experience, you can bash between trees and it’s not that big of a deal,” he said, according to the Idaho State Journal. But this time it was that big of a deal. He hit the trees, lost his balance, and crashed into the snow. Then:
“I thought maybe my chinstrap got pushed up into my face, so I tried to brush it off and that’s when I felt the stick,” he said. “So, I shook left to right and saw the stick moving in my peripherals. I reached out and grabbed it and wiggled it before realizing it was pretty far in there.”
That was when Hagood had his first aha-moment. He said, “Holy crap, I just got impaled. And then I yelled over to Pete, ‘Hey look I got a new piercing.’”
Apparently, the incident occurred so quickly that Hagood experienced zero pain from the impalement, which left an 18-inch long timber branch gouged through one side of his lip and sticking out the other.
Before Ski Patrol transported him down the mountain, the newspaper wrote, Hagood braced the wood against his face and broke off about a foot of the giant splinter, in order to better stabilize it. Once at at the hospital, his caretakers shot his face full of anesthesia—the most painful part of the whole ordeal, he said—cut his lip around the exit wound, and freed the branch.
His ski students and the local community now call him “Lipstick,” the newspaper reported.
If this sounds horrific to you and you’re sitting there protectively clutching your lower lip, please know that ol’ Natty was totally, disturbingly ok with the entire series of events. I mean, look at his face.
It’s placid as a puddle. Not a tear in sight. There’s no tension in that jaw. If I absolutely had to assign an emotion to this face, it would be mild annoyance, but really, if it wasn’t for the giant twig protruding from his mouth I’d think he was about to drift off to a nice nap.
Not that I’d wish “impaled in the face by a giant stick” on another human being, but if anyone can handle it, it’s this guy! He’s the chillest guy in existence and he knows it. Just listen to how he explained his ability and willingness to break up a physical altercation at the ski resort a couple of weeks before the lipcident. Also from the Idaho State Journal:
“Being the individual that I am, be it my sense of right or wrong, my size or my huge holistic background, I wasn’t afraid to step in put the kibosh on the violence,” said Hagood, who is originally from Spokane, Washington, but has lived and worked at Jackson Hole the past three years now. “I’m the guy in the Jackson Hole jacket and pink hat saying, ‘Violence is not the answer, man.’”
Hagood wasn’t as chill about the steep hospital bill, though—“I certainly don’t feel bad asking people in the community to pitch in $10 so that I don’t have this crippling expense”—and he set up a GoFundMe page that’s nearly reached its $1,500 goal.
So, all’s well that ends well: Hagood’s lip healed nicely from the 15 stitches, his loyal pals helped cover the bill, and he’s back drinking beer, if through a straw. There are only a few lasting effects from the accident.
“When I laugh, I have to hold the left side of my face down at this weird angle that makes me look like this crotchety old man,” he told the newspaper. “And I drool more than I used to.”