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Watch Out For That Door!

Screen doors don't fare well against charging bulls…or big guys.

Do you remember the Windex commercials of a few years ago where the housewife got the patio door glass shiny clean? Two talking birds, imagine that – only in a commercial – are gloating about how the door is finally open and they can swoop into the house. One takes off and barrels toward the window. He hits the glass and bounces off. The point, of course, was that the window was so clean that he thought it wasn't there.

This is also the time of year when you're likely to hear a thud if you have a big picture window. A real bird, often a robin or blue jay, that signs but doesn't talk, sees its reflection in your window, thinks it's another bird after its young, and careens into your window. I've seen them hit so hard they fall down dead. It's amazing that in TV they could get up and fly off again. It doesn't always work that way in the real world.

I'm writing all this introduction stalling a bit, deciding if I want to share this tale on myself. Oh well, a few weeks ago, before daylight savings time made it dark in the morning and light in the evenings, my wife and I went to another couple's house. When we got there, the house was dark. There was a lambing emergency, so the farmer wasn't in yet. Imagine that – who would have any trouble with lambs? Certainly me!

We walked up the sidewalk to the porch. The house has a small entryway. It was already dark outside. The wife turned on a dim light somewhere in the hallway, opened the door and said come on in.

So I did, and bam! I walked straight into a screen door because I never saw it. My eyesight isn't the best, especially at night. Oh what the heck, no excuses. I just didn't see it!

The screen went flying into the doorway, clattering across the hall. No, I didn't put a hole resembling my image in the screen. The whole screen just popped out. I didn't know what to say – it's always tough to find words when you make a fool of yourself.

The wife was all apologetic, blaming it on the screen, trying to make me feel better. All the poor screen did was sit there, and it got pounded!

As it turns out, they finally convinced me that this wasn't the first time the screen had popped out, and that it wasn't installed right in the first place. I don't know if that was the truth or not, but it did allow my face to change from beet red embarrassed to just a foolish pink color.

I'd even reinjured my wrist on the door frame. The first time I injured it chasing down a sheep. That was about as intelligent as walking through a door. I wasn't about to tell them my wrist hurt. Finally, all calmed down, we went on to other conversations, but every once in a while, I swore I saw someone in the room look at me, look toward the door and smile.

Well, I guess it was funny, unless you were me or the screen door.

So remember that the next time you start to charge into somebody's house. Is the door glass so clean it's invisible? Is the screen hard to see because it's dark? Or are you just naturally clumsy like me? And understand that in real life, unlike on TV, if you hurt yourself smashing into a door or screen, it's going to hurt awhile. I don't know which hurt more – my pride or my wrist!

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