Mets broadcaster Keith Hernandez took it upon himself tonight to horrify a poor girl with the story of the time his braces were smashed into his lips during a game of pick-up basketball, which required several painful hours of recovery work by the school nurse:
A bad story to tell a metal-mouthed child! Here’s a worse one:
When I was 12 and a newly minted brace-face, I once found myself playing a stupid game with my younger sister that involved getting a running start to do somersaults off our parents’ bed. As I said, stupid! Especially so when I did some kind of flip that resulted in me careening off the bed at a decently high speed with my mouth open, which in turn resulted in me getting my braces embedded in the wall. I cannot tell you exactly how this happened; all I know is that one moment, I was flying through the air and the next, I was literally one with the wall of my parents’ bedroom. Imagine a kid who is stuck after licking a frozen pole, but stupider. That was me.
You have very few options in such a situation!!! There is no school nurse to come save you, as there was in the case of Keith Hernandez. You are alone, just you and the wall you’re fast becoming intimately acquainted with. (And your 9-year-old sister, but like, who cares.) You can either send for your parents downstairs, or you can take care of it yourself. I chose the latter.
That involved trying to yank my head away from the wall, beginning to cry very hard, and then actually yanking my head away from the wall. Success! Except for chunks of plaster in my teeth, several broken brackets, blood on the carpet and a sizable dent left in the wall.
A few days later at my emergency appointment, I told the orthodontist that I had just been eating a lot of hard candy. He believed me. Meanwhile, my parents did not repair the wall until they sold the house last year, and I was forced to spend years reckoning with my own idiocy and trauma every time I entered their room.
But yeah, Keith, keep trying to traumatize kids with your little basketball story.