Once there was a boy who was so clumsy he could prick his finger with a boiled macaroni. He managed to swallow a glass of milk, and that means including the glass, and mother had to thump his back for three hours until it came out again. And of course the glass came out last. He was so clumsy his bicycle drove backwards, and when he put on his trousers he always ended up with both legs in one trouser leg. When he picked his nose his finger got stuck and the doctor had to be sent for, and he was the only boy in the whole world who had broken his earlobe playing football.
“Why do you have to be such a klutz?” his father used to grumble.
“Why can’t you be more careful?” his mother used to wail.
And his sister said: “Ah, Robbie is too stupid even to take a crap !”
And although this was a very bad thing to say, there was some truth in it.
Because when Robbie sat on the toilet he always noticed to late when the toilet paper had run out and then he had to use a page from his book – because he always took a book to the toilet – or he had to shout until someone brought a new roll from the hall cupboard and handed it to him through the half opened door. And then, oh how he was ashamed! Once he sat on the toilet for five hours on end only because he could not get up the nerve to shout and then to listen to his families comments.
Sometimes his sister would ask some class mates to their home to show them her clumsy brother. The ladies then would ask him to bring them four glasses of lemonade from the kitchen and then they waited whispering and giggling until he broke a glass. Or at other times they would bring a model airplane kit and watched him assemble it and made bets what it would be, a baby stroller, a hippopotamus, or a pile of scrap. Most times it would be a pile of scrap.
One day his sister said to him: “I wrote to the Book of Records and told them that you are the clumsiest boy in the world. So you will have at least one thing to be proud of. They will send a team of supervisors who will examine you, and if they find everything as I wrote then you will be in the book. You will be the most famous of us all and your family won’t have to be ashamed of you any more.”
The team of supervisors arrived, and Robbie ate his macaroni without pricking his finger. He only got some sauce on his shirt and the stains would never go out. Robbie drank his milk without swallowing the glass. He only choked on the milk and spat some of it on one of the supervisors suits. He rode his bike through a slalom course and only knocked over some bottles. He put on his Sunday suit and nothing more happened than he had some buttons left over at the top of the jacket. And finally he assembled a balsa wood glider that immediately crashed, but don’t they all?
“But that boy is just plain dumb”, the supervisors said shrugging their shoulders, “there is nothing special the matter with him”, and they left looking bored.
Robbie’s sister didn’t talk to him for a week, and then everything was just as before. It really was a bleak, cheerless life for Robbie.