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lego man


I am face-down on the floor, the life force ebbing from my body. Must. Dial. Phone.

“9-1-1. What is your emergency?”

I croak but can’t speak.

“Ma’am? What is the nature of your emergency?”

Can’t. Catch. Breath.

“Ma’am, are you choking?”

“No,” I manage.

“Are you bleeding? Is there an intruder in the house? Are you on fire? Is there a Doberman hanging from your jugular?”

“No,” I whisper.

“Ma’am, I would like to help you. Please tell me the nature of your emergency.”

It takes every ounce of life left in me to blurt:


While picking up over the weekend, I got down on all fours to swipe under the couch.

I fell onto a Lego. An itty-bitty Lego.

Right in the funny-bone part of my knee. If I hadn’t already been on my knees, it would have brought me to them. The pain was sharp and excruciating, and the shock to my nervous system on that reflex-point made the room go white.

I slumped down to the floor, almost passed out. Roger was out on a bike ride, and I felt badly that he’d come home to find his beloved wife dead by Lego. That the kids, fighting with each other obliviously elsewhere in the house, would feel guilty about their role in my accident, and that Lego creatures would forever haunt their dreams.

But apparently it was not my time, and within about 5 minutes, I caught my breath and was able to re-join the ranks of the living. No one even knew how close I came to the. end. And there’s not even a bruise to prove my near transition from the quick to the dead.

Let this be a lesson for your knees.

(Tip of the hat to my sister, Tami.)

Lori Holden, mom of a young adult daughter and a young adult son, writes from Denver. She was honored as an Angel in Adoption® by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

Find Lori’s books on her Amazon Author page, and catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.

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41 Responses

  1. I’ll never forget the night my dad stepped on a Lego with his bare foot. We all feared for *our* lives that fateful night. Oh, and we were very careful to pick them all up after that incident.

  2. Gah! That’s worse than my near-death-by-Neti-pot experience. Glad you are okay. Did you melt that lego to teach it a lesson?

  3. I remember a trip to the toy store when I was a kid to buy presents for my cousins. I was very careful to choose toys with no small pieces, because my uncle was so cranky about finding them around the house.

    His crankiness makes more sense to adult Me than to child Me.

  4. Yeeoouuch! You poor thing. That was a pretty funny 911 call. Death by lego. I love it.

    I stepped on one of those suckers barefooted once (my nephew’s–Oscar is still too little for those) and a whole stream of expletives flew out of my mouth. My nephew just stared at me with his mouth open.

  5. Been there, done that and boy howdy does it hurt!!!!

    I hope you milked the guilt for a while at least!

  6. Oh yes, I have gotten the lego to the knee. It is the most painful non-injury I’ve ever had. My sympathies…

  7. We only allow the ginormous ones in the house thus far- but must remember never to step on one in the future.

  8. Oy! Those little butterfly hair clips are nearly as dangerous as Legos. I remember my Mama making near death threats to anyone caught leaving stray Legos & Matchbox cars laying about.

    So far we live in the land of Duplo…they’re easier to spot.

  9. Ah, the stuff of nightmares.

    My mother recently gave my daughter a set of JAX. While cleaning for the holidays, to my horror, I’ve discovered the 2.5 year old got into them and I am finding them sprinkled ~everywhere~. Every time I spot one (or three) on the floor, my barefooted life flashes before my eyes. It’s like living in a mine field.

  10. You mean it’s not embedded in your knee?

    Years from now you’ll have a mysterious knee problem. The clinicians will look at all the MRI’s and x-rays, and will nod and concur: “lego.”

  11. Dagummed Legos! I’m relieved you lived to tell the tale… If it makes you feel any better, my knee is having sympathy pain for yours.


  12. Remember our red tin full of Legos? That seems like a long time ago. I can’t believe Mom and Dad let us play with something so dangerous!!

    I guess the moral of the story is NOT to clean under the couch???

  13. Oh my gosh, I’d never considered the potentially lethal aspects of the Lego! I’ll bet that did hurt like heck–glad to hear you’re recovering. 🙂

  14. I never really liked Legos. Glad to know that my animosity is well placed. That sounds really painful.

  15. Those things are INSANELY painful. They hurt the bottom of the feet too. I’m shivering just THINKING about it.

    Glad you’re okay. *shudders*

  16. ouch. That sounds terrible. It reminds me of when you stub your toe. That is the worst pain. I have steps on several little toys and it hasn’t been a thrilling experience.

  17. You are getting to be such a great writer… nice job!
    That’ll teach you to clean under the couch.

  18. ROFL. You depict the excruciating pain just perfectly. Like others, I’ve never experienced a knee-Lego, but I HAVE stepped on one and felt the pain shoot all way up to my teeth. Yikes! Glad you recovered!

  19. If stepping on them is so bad, I can’t imagine what it must feel like to get it in the knee. Wait, I can because you just described it perfectly.

    So glad you didn’t die by lego. I think we ALL would be haunted by legos in our dreams if you had.

  20. Oh Lori! I’ve stepped on lego before and I know how painful it is. Your accounting of the incident is far more humourous than I think I would have managed.

  21. How much would it have sucked to write that obit–death by lego.

    I have stepped on those before and shouted “motherfucker!” for a good five minutes before I could calm. Yesterday, I stepped on a playmobil and though I was writhing in pain, the twins went to CHECK ON THE PLAYMOBIL FIGURE–you know, just in case, G-d forbid, I broke it.

  22. ACK!! I’m so glad you survived your encounter with A Lego. Those things are dangerous.

    Growing up, we lived in a two story house and anything belonging to my brother or I that needed to be taken to our rooms got put on the bottom step. Legos and Hot Wheels can sure tear up a foot.

  23. It was a mini-firefighter figurine for me. It was also the day that my son almost became the biggest donor of toys to the goodwill, as I swore they would all be given away if that ever happened again…lol

  24. Here from ICLW 🙂 Hysterical post. I feel like those moments happen to me all the time. I am forever being clumsy or unbalanced and having accidents around the house that find me lying on the floor waiting for the pain to pass. The cats always come hang out with me though – waiting to make sure their food machine is in working order 😛 Best wishes to you and enjoy your holiday if you’re in the states.

  25. Remember the large red canister of legos we had when we were young? Such an arsenal of “deadly weapons!” With all of the creative things we built with the legos, I had no idea how much power was contained inside that canister! I love your story and am glad you survived your lego tragedy. ♥️

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