I guess it’s because most of the time when someone is described as “crabby,” it’s a comment on their disposition, and I like to think I am fairly upbeat most of the time.
But on the weekend, I had someone at my apartment describe me as “walking like a crab” as I went down the steps.
It was a reasonably accurate description, I guess, since I was going down almost sideways. I would put my left foot fully on the top step at about a 90-degree angle to the direction of the steps. Then I would move my right foot to the next step down, pointed in the same direction.
I continued this until I reached the bottom of the steps, then resumed walking in a ‘normal’ manner.
It is a style I developed for going up and down steps in the winter. It came about from a rather painful accident some years ago.
I had been at Mom’s for dinner and when I left, I failed to notice that what had been puddles of water on the steps had now become ice.
I went to step down onto the first step, and my feet went out from under me.
I came down HARD on my back on the steps.
It made for a rather unusual sensation, since the pain was in clearly defined lines across my back, where the edge of each step had hit.
I lay there for a few seconds, a little winded, then slowly made my way down the steps, into my car, and back home.
When I got there I discovered most of the pains had already stopped. The one that persisted for some time was right across my shoulder blades, when the top step had made impact.
There was no bleeding or bruising on my back, just the pain in my shoulders which, as I say, lasted off and on for a few months.
I did suffer one other injury in the fall, and I still can’t explain it. I had a rather good-sized gash on the front of my left leg, about halfway between the knee and ankle. As I say, I fell on my back, so I’m not sure how I gashed the front of the leg.
It was shortly afterwards I developed my new style for going up and down steps if I think there’s any chance of them being slippery.
I haven’t fallen since, and the occasional remark about walking like a crab is a small price to pay.