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Scrapes, Scabs, and Scars · 9 May 2010

My wife, The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi, says that I am a scuddy boy. (“Scuddy” is just a word she made up that is a combination between “scummy” and “cruddy,” but that is a different story.) The reason that she says I am scuddy is because I always have scrapes and scabs on my body. These of course can lead to scars, and on my body they often do. However, I am not the king of scars.


I must admit that I truly am a scuddy boy (which I know is a redundant phrase), but like most boys, I take pride in all my scrapes, scabs, and scars. As a matter of fact, a few weeks ago, one of the track kids noticed that I was enjoying telling the story of how I got my newest scrapes that day. And that little owie had not even scabbed over yet! (More on that story later.) I do not think that the scrape and subsequent scabs will turn into scars, but like most people, I know where I got most of the scars that I do have.


The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi knows and proudly proclaims that she gave me one of the scars on my arm. Well, maybe not proudly, but she does not shy away from the fact that she put a couple permanent short lines in my arm. She was bragging about how tough she was and squeezed on my bicep to show me. Her nails dug in and left a couple marks. When it actually did become a scar, The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi said that she could put her brand on me by squeezing my arm again to add the lower part of a capital “L” to the scar. Naturally, I have always refused, but all these years later, she still offers from time to time.


While my branding scar is probably a better story, my favorite scar is on my knee.


When I was younger, I used to say that the people who skied with shorts in the spring were crazy. Secretly though, I wished that I was good enough to do it too. Then one day, I was good enough to ski with my shorts on so I did. I was having a great day and I am sure somebody said I was crazy while secretly wishing he could ski well enough to ski with shorts on too. But I have always believed that skiing without falling means that you are not skiing hard enough or learning anything. So naturally, I fell a few times that day. The sun kept me dry and warm even though I did get wet on those falls. However, one fall left me with a scar from a ski edge cutting my leg. I barely even noticed it so I figured I did not need stitches (or if I did, I never got any), and I got a small scar and a story to tell from the day of skiing with shorts. I know it is not the greatest scar story, but I like to think that it is story of my skiing prowess, rather than my dimwittedness.


I have more scars and stories to go with them, but the king of scars is my dad. Unfortunately, his biggest scars and stories do not have great adventures to go with them. His biggest scars are from surgeries – open heart and gall bladder. His long scar on his leg from where they took a blood vessel for his heart is at least five times the length of my brother’s and my Achilles tendon scars. The scar down the middle of his chest is also about five times bigger than my largest scar. Like boys of all ages, my dad tells stories about earning his scars too. I have even heard him say as he pulls up his shirt, “Oh yeah, well my scar is bigger.” And in his true philosophical fashion, Dad always puts it all into perspective when he says that it is better to have those scars and their stories than the alternative – needing others to tell those stories because he is gone.


Although I am happy not to have all the scars that my dad, the king of scars, has, life without scrapes, scabs, and scars would be a life without daring or adventure. For me, it would be a life without as many stories of being dumb, clumsy, or foolish. It would be a life without risk.


I am glad that The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi notices I always have scrapes, scabs, and scars on my body. And even though she wonders out loud where they all come from, I know she knows. They come from life and just being a scuddy boy.

© 2010 Michael T. Miyoshi

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