I got a black eye. It's ugly. It hurts occasionally. I've had people wonder, myself included, how it took this long for me to get one. Most people know that if it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all. While I say that very tongue in cheek, I do have some strange things happen to me on a regular basis. With this knowledge, how did it manage to take me thirty years to get my first black eye?!
I found the event online. Snow Day Seattle. They planned to truck in 34 dump trucks of snow from the mountains into the Seattle Center. There would be a snow fort/castle competition and then attempt to set a new Guinness Book of World Records record for the largest snowball fight. The previous record was for a snowball fight held in Taebaek City, South Korea with 5,387 participants on January 22, 2010.
Snow Day was last Saturday, during a stretch of very clear but very cold days here in the Puget Sound region. The snow fort building started at 1pm. We arrived about 3:30 or 4 and got checked in. We had read the website and brought goggles for eye protection as apparently eye lacerations are the most common injury.
Out into the snow we went. There were lots of folks milling around. Top Pot had a coffee truck so we each got one and had a walk around. At some point we'd made a lap and stopped. We were both thinking about needing snow for snowballs but most of the snow was part of the snow forts. The small amount on the ground, and what was in the fort, was really compacted, more like ice really. We both picked up a "ball" and said something to the effect of "this is really hard. It's going to kill someone". At which point we dropped it on the cement to see if it would break. It didn't. Several other people came and stood where we were and did the same thing; pick up ice ball, comment that it would hurt to get hit with, then drop ball on floor to confirm how hard it was. We stepped on some of the ice balls to break them up.
The official snowball fight was supposed to start at 5pm. Inevitably, "snow"balls started flying early despite the warnings over the loudspeaker not to start early. It didn't take very long before I'd been hit in the shoulder, the arm, the leg. 25 took a couple hits, as did the girls standing near us. We all yelped and comments that it really hurt. I found a slightly strategic position with my back to a wall of a fort where I could watch for falling deathballs. 5 o'clock came and went. They were still mucking about with checking people in and whatnot. By this time it was dark, it was really cold and getting colder. The deathballs were really flying. I'd been hit a couple more times and was really over the whole thing. I wanted to stay just long enough to officially be a part of the record and then bail.
It was about that time that in short succession I took a deathball to the back of the left side of my head and then a bigger one to the right side of the back of my head/neck. Right. Done. 25 had been patient with me being unhappy but trying to stay on. At that point he said he was done too. We tried to start heading for the exit which was maybe 50 yards from where we stood, but the trick was getting there across the slippery ground with deathballs flying.
25 took off towards the exit. I lost him in the crowd. I made it to a place with less crossfire. I took my google off to clear the fog so I could see where I was going and WHACK!
I got hit on the right side of the bridge of my nose. My eyes immediately filled up with tears for a variety of reasons. A girl standing nearby who saw it asked if I was ok. I couldn't answer but when I looked up she said "you're bleeding!". Damn it. I couldn't tell what was ice, tears or blood. I tried to pick my way through the crowd and eventually (maybe 20 seconds but it felt longer) made it to where there had been a big exit when we came in. I snagged 25 and we headed for an official to get out.
He wouldn't open the gate. He insisted on directing me up the hill and out a small exit. I just wanted out. I wanted to be where I knew I wouldn't get hit again. He refused. He did mention that First Aid was in the adjacent building. Fine. I stormed off, a little panicky, in pain, furious. 25 led me inside and we asked the event organizers in there where first aid was. Oh, um, well, they thought it was out where the snow was, wasn't it? Screw it. I went to the bathroom to take care of it myself. No one seemed particularly sympathetic or willing to help, considering my face was rapidly swelling and blood was running down it (aside from 25 that is, he was wonderful).
After a mop up and assessment, we decided to go for food and drinks. I thought whiskey-cokes would make a nice anesthetic, which they did. My right eye swelled nearly half shut and by ten that night was already showing shades of purple. The swelling went down remarkably quickly. The purple however, has gotten darker and darker. The blue and green now reaches nearly all the way around my right eye. In the inner corner of my left eye are tinges of blue, green and purple plus a shadow across the bridge of my nose that just appeared last night. The bridge of my nose is really the only place that has continued to hurt.
|24 hours later|