The Mark of Stupidity

Enough time has finally passed that I can share this experience. It’s taken about thirty years, but I’m over it.


I think.

I was home sick (or sick-ish, it’s possible I embellished the severity of my symptoms as a child). I was camped out on the couch in the family room and in between cups of tea and reruns of “Facts of Life” I came across this popper toy I had gotten from some machine somewhere at some point. Those details are fuzzy and irrelevant. I also can’t recall why I had it at that particular moment. What I do remember is inverting it on the table beside me and watching it fly high in the air. That was fun for a few minutes. Then I discovered that if I just pushed it, it had suction cup-like properties. I could stick it on my hand, my foot, and, hey, why not try the old forehead.

I put a popper on my forehead.


This was not labelled with all the appropriate warnings
This was not labelled with all the appropriate warnings


This poorly planned experiment was followed by a nap. I was awakened a short time later by one of my sisters shaking me and frantically asking, “what happened to you?! Are you okay? Look at your head!”

I stumbled up and over to the main floor washroom to discover two overlapping circles on my forehead. Like two loonie-sized hickeys. Right in the middle of my forehead.

Unfortunately, I was nearing the end of my stay at home and there was no way my mom was going to let me wait it out for the few days it would take for the marks to fade. Thus began, Operation Cover Up.

Mom, my sisters, and I tried various make-up and hairstyling techniques, but at best we muted the red. There was no way those circles would be hidden. It was the eighties, so I had big bangs, but even those couldn’t cover the damage I’d inflicted. And so we launched the second part of the operation – Cover Story.

It’s not easy to create a plausible back story to explain why you have two perfectly round bruises on your forehead, but I did it:

“I was heading downstairs and at the same time my sister rushed up and opened the basement door and slammed it open and I whacked my head on the door.”

Completely believable.

Airtight alibi.

I rehearsed this story several times, making sure to include just the right amount of detail. I added a smidge of righteous indignation at my sister’s thoughtless door-opening with a hint of surprise that it would leave such perfectly circular injuries. It was a glorious cover story. I almost started to believe it myself.

The following evening I was at church for our girls’ group. I told my story and everyone bought it. I was home free. I was going to get out of this disaster a little wiser, but with my reputation intact. THESE FOREHEAD HICKEYS WOULD NOT DEFINE ME.

We were waiting for our rides home when my friend turned to me and said, “yeah, your sister told us. You stuck a popper on your head. Twice. There was no door. See you tomorrow.”

The real lesson here is: you can have the best cover story for why you have a hickey Venn Diagram of Stupidity on your forehead, but it’s only as strong as your weakest link. Or sister with the biggest mouth.


Your turn. Dumbest injury you’ve had. Share.

Author: Jan Moyer

Embracing my inner child since 2005.

21 thoughts on “The Mark of Stupidity”

  1. A “friend” told me to stick my tongue onto the school door handle in the middle of winter. I tore it off –>blood, tears. Teacher said I should have called her and she would have put water on it. Like I could have called…

  2. My grandma had one of those metal walkers with four little feet on the bottom and a curved handle. I played with it. It didn’t like playing. I had a perfect question mark knot right between my eyes for days.

      1. Well, she saw it happen so the entire family knew. I can’t remember what I told my friends. However, it has been a great story to share over the years for a laugh and a now fond memory of my time with her. Embarrassing moments make for some of the best stories once we survive don’t they?

  3. Learning to ride a motorcycle, I turned sharply to avoid my toddler brother who ran in front of me in excitement. I turned with the handlebars. I ended up on crutches and sold the bike. Over 20 years later, my brother still rides and is good enough that he has a YouTube channel with hundreds of viewers.

  4. Oh, sisters who can’t keep a secret make me steam! Rawr.
    My best injury is from 6th grade. I was on a Knowledge Bowl trip coming home from a competition when we stopped to get ice cream on the way home (I’m from a rural area. All such trips are hours away and we usually stopped to eat after). So I got my ice cream and a Snapple (which came in a glass bottle) and was walking down the sidewalk with my friend. I looked over at her (I must’ve been really into the conversation!) and didn’t see the fire hydrant materialize out of thin air just in front of me.
    I tripped, went flying, and landed Snapple hand-down. My drink shattered and left me with a nasty gash on the outside of my left hand. But the ice cream cone survived! I got stitches after we got back to school an hour later when I called my mom, and I now have a perfect frowny-face scar on my hand.

  5. I was talking in a group, and was using my hands to talk about something. Brought down an arm and this girl turns pale and asks if I’m OK. Turns out for some reason she had a pocket knife and had taken it out and held it straight up (Yes, it’s bizarre why she even had it or this this). The blade went right into my wrist.

    I say this classifies as a dumb injury because it was the dumbest thing on HER part.

  6. Mine was not an “injury” per se, but is in the same genre of accidents as yours. I remember being in 3rd grade, and we were watching some movie. It must have been really boring, since I was half laying across my desk, sucking on the inside of my elbow… I have no idea why, I was not one that sucked my thumb, or shirt, anything like that…

    Anyway… a little while later, I noticed this humongous purplish mark on the inside of my arm. I kind of freaked out. I went up to the teacher and told him something was wrong and I needed to go to the nurse. He took one look at it, and asked me if I had been sucking on it. I said “Yes, a while ago.” He rolled his eyes, and told me to go sit down. I didn’t understand!! How had he known I had been sucking on the inside of my elbow, and why was he not taking this injury seriously???

    A couple years later, I found out what a hickey was, and realized that I had given myself an arm hickey!! How embarrassing to look back and realize what had happened! LOL!!!

  7. I not only have a dumber injury, I have a dumber popper related injury! I had to take my oldest (step) daughter to the emergency room because she somehow managed to swallow one of those poppers while trying to pop herself in the head. She was 7! They had to perform minor surgery to remove it.

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