Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Great Fall Of 86'

I thought I'd expand a little on my big Falling off the fire escape story by showing off the wonderful sculpting skills of one

Mr.Richard Pursel

He sculpted this piece for me not too long after hearing the story.

I think he captured the moment pretty well as I recall. I'm not sure my junk was that apparent but did but it was the fashion at the time to wear pants that didn't leave a lot to the imagination.

He got the eye buldge just right. I wish he had more time to sculpt. He beez good at it.

And now the story if you didn't already read it.

Thats kind of a long story Max. But I'll see if I can bang out the abridged version for you.

One dark night, back in the late 20th century.I walked out of the Cartoon Loft at 60 Warren street. I was heading back up town to a friends fancy shmancy Penthouse at 23rd street that I was house/cat sitting. (When living in a loft with 6 or 7 cartoonists and or their girlfriends, one jumps at the chance to sit around fart without ten witnesses)As I'm leaving I see my buddy Bob Camp standing across the street staring up at a fire escape. I go over to see whats up, and he tells me his girlfriend's cat (that he is cat sitting)has wandered out on to the neighbor's fire escape. He is trying to figure out how to climb up and get it down. (Yes I know we're both idiots) Being as I have no trouble with heights. I used to climb up the outside of our fire escape, rather than use the stairs to get to our loft on a near daily basis. So I say "Stand back Bob , I got this."
In three grabs and a hoist, I'm on said Fire escape and calling the aforementioned kitty. I should mention here that as soon as I attained the first landing, it started to rain. It was about 3 or 4 in the morning so when I go to lower the ladder. I did so with the greatest of care trying not to disturb the neighbors. I lowered it very quietly down through its' guiding slot. Then turn and pick up the cat. At this point I received a warning from on high in the form a monstrous thunder clap. But do I listen? No I do not. I swing out on to the ladder. At which time my good friend Bob asks the very pertinent question."Is that ladder secure?"To wit I answer "I hope so.'At this time the ladder that I had so gingerly lowered, chose to slip off of the stand pipe that I had inadvertently lowered it on to. So I had two choices. I could A. Watch my left hand that was gripping the now moving ladder, pass through the same slot as the ladder turning my hand into hamburger. Or B. Release the ladder. Toss the cat back to the fire escape and fall the twenty feet or so back to the pavement.Trying my damnedest to get my arms and legs behind me so I don't crush my spine.
Since both options included a plummet to the ground. I chose Option B. the less bloody of the two, since I would still have fingers to put behind me to break my fall. While falling I did manage to get my appendages behind me to absorb the impact. My right foot took the most damage. Dislocating the bones across the top of my foot. The left foot only had a couple of smaller bones broken, and whole lot of soft tissue damage. My right wrist I broke one of the small bone between the wrist and the thumb. My left hand was spared some damage no doubt because as I fell, I narrowly missed landing on Bob, all except for his right foot which absorbed the impact of my left hand. As I recall it nicely bruised the top of his foot. The only reason I'm not in a wheel chair is that at the time as in pretty good shape and strong enough to use my arms and legs as crumple zones. I hadn't had my air bags installed yet.

So long story short (Well kind of short)that is how I ended up on crutches and with a limp that lasted almost two years.

Lots of nice things came of it though. While I was laying in a demerol haze in hospital, my good friends banded together and had a benefit party for me. They pulled together what seemed to me a small fortune so that I could keep eating during my recovery.

It was also the accident that pushed me to driving a Limo for Saturday Night Live for a year.
Phil Hartman was great tipper until he married that crazy bitch who latter killed him.

And no its not a joke. I was a driver for SNL and Paul Simon for a while.


Fuzzhound Lluis said...

That's a good Yarn!

Love dropping by and seeing your awsome sketches!! and reading your crazy thoughts!!! he he!

All the best!

david gemmill said...

holy shit. so i am guessing your drawing hand is in good shape now. thank goodness. hand injuries scare the shit out of me.

trevor said...

Does Richard have a blog? He should. A lot of folks should. Robertryan Cory, I'm lookin' at you, sir.


- trevor.

Dave Fontana said...

Dang! Great story n' Brilliant sculpture... is that solid chocolate?

Vincent Waller said...

Hey David: Yeah I was very lucky . My right foot took the brunt of the fall. Leaving me with a limp that took almost two years to disappear. I did have a cast on my right arm for thirteen weeks.

The good thing to remember is that if you can draw, you can do it with your foot, or your mouth, or stump with a pencil taped to it if you have to. I know several artists (Mostly actual animators. Meaning that is their main job rather than folks like my self, that do more story telling and set ups.) that can draw just as well with either hand. Because at some point they blew out their original drawing hand. Plus they changed how they hold their pencils to put less stress on their hand. If you're doing a lot of animation you might want to start practicing with both hands just to stay ahead of the game. The main thing is that drawing comes from your head not your hands.

Trevor: Being a new daddy, I doubt Richard will have time to blog any time soon. He has been squeezing in some sculpting in the last few weeks. He is working a cool mermaid piece. I think RRCory is leaning toward doing a blog. Time will tell.
He could use the advertising. Right now he is doing our special poses on SpongeBob, but I'm sure he has time to be a great help to other productions as well.

Dave: Thanks. What's that old Chinese curse? "May you live an interesting life."It makes for great stories, but they can be not so much fun during the living of them.
That piece is Super Sculpey that has been bronzed. Its fragile so I have to be careful how I display it, with earthquakes and such in mind.

Happy 4th everybody. Have a beer for me, because the antibiotics mean I have to be a tea totaler (is that how you spell that? Being from Texas can play havoc on one phonics skills)for the holiday.

trevor said...

Anyone else like me out of work? Vincent, they're not hiring at Spongebob are they?

If you can identify, watch this awesome industrial film, GET A JOB! done in 1985 by Brad Caslor.

It's currently out of print and hasn't been available for a long time so.... nostalgia!

- trevor.

Vincent Waller said...

Hey Trevor, Yeah there are quite a few people right now between gigs.
No, the Sponge is fully crewed.
Is was going to answer your voice work question through email, but then this ick attacked me.
It is very unusual for people to be hired to do voice work from out of town. We've done ISDN lines when we're working with movie stars. But most people want you in front of them when they are directing you.
I wish I had better news to give.
With the economy in its present shape I think we should all be ready for a rough ride. I hope I'm wrong about that.

chrisallison said...

I want to hear more stories about the cartoonist loft! There's gotta be some good ones. Shit man, I'm living by myself for the first time and it's weird. Dunno if I like it yet. But my beer doesn't disappear from the fridge and I can draw naked so I guess there are pluses.

Robertryan Cory said...

Vincent has so many great/crazy stories (he briefly mentions the limo but there are a bunch of great stories involving that job es. Paul Simon). I remember once mentioning that NY cops said the worst death on record was a man trapped inbetween the subway tracks who didn't die right away. While I was telling people about it Vincent blurted out "yeah I was there"... that's Vincent's life.

I don't want people to bug Vincent about me getting a blog (although I'm flattered anyone cares)... I'm working on something but it won't be ready for a little while. I have to work on it between freelance so maybe late Oct.

Vincent Waller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
trevor said...

Well Vince,

This just confirms my theory that I need to move to LA, whether I like it or not ( and I don't ).

And Robertryan:

Great! Can't wait to see what you do in October. That's when I turn 30, so I'll consider it a birthday present from the BlogGods.

- trevor.

Kali Fontecchio said...

What a great story! Poor little kitties are worth it though- what a swell guy you are!

Marc Deckter said...

Crazy story! Cat sitting is dangerous.

James Sutton said...

That was the coolest story I've ever heard, and man the joy I'd be in if Hartman was still alive!

I loved all of the characters his voice brought to life.

Hartman: Hey don't touch my stuff!
Wait this isn't the YMCA..