Freudian Slips: Oh Brother, Where Art Thou Screwdriver?

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

February 23, 2006

Oh Brother, Where Art Thou Screwdriver?

-Tornatore brothers in arms.
There are sentinel events in my life that I consider to be crossroads. One of these life altering episodes happened on a particular summer day. It gives me pause to reflect on what transpired that day and how it could have changed the course of my life.

As a sports-minded teenager, the backyard basketball court was a focal point for my brothers and I. While standing on the top rung of a ladder, I fumbled to adjust a basketball backboard. The bold sun seemed rude in its stare. Its rays caused the sweat to glisten off of my shirtless back. My struggle with rusted hardware convinced me that I needed a better tool. My youngest brother stood below me. As did I, he wondered if a game of hoops was in our near future.

I requested, “Go get me the biggest screwdriver from the garage.”

Be careful what you ask for in life. While I expected to be handed the tool, the screwdriver arrived by air mail before I knew what hit me. Let me explain. From the side yard a great distance away, my brother threw the screwdriver end over end high into the sky. For the precious seconds that the screwdriver propelled through the air, my future hung in the balance. I felt a conk upside my head and almost blacked out. I still do not know how I even managed to stay atop the ladder. I figured that something had fallen from the sky. I felt my head for blood, a gash, or an impaled attachment. Nothing. I looked around. The screwdriver that I requested lay by its lonesome on the concrete court.

Thankfully, the screwdriver’s wood handle clobbered me and not the pointy end. By the grace of God or the luck of the draw, it could have been worse. One half revolution more or less might have changed the course of my life. The other end of the screwdriver could have killed me or fractured my skull resulting in brain damage. If I even looked up at the wrong moment, the projectile could have pierced my eye and blinded me. I could have fallen awkwardly from the ladder to my death. A lesson to be learned, there are no positive outcomes from throwing screwdrivers like javelins towards people.

My brother came rushing to my side. “Joe, are you okay?”

I held my throbbing head, where a knot was quickly forming. Piecing the events together, I seethed.

I screamed, “What the hell were you thinking?”

“Geez Joe, I never thought the screwdriver would hit you.”

“It only goes where it’s told, you bleeping $#%&!”

Apparently, the loose screw on the backboard paled in comparison to my brother’s momentary lapse of reason. It took me awhile to completely forgive my brother. No matter how much tooling, that is the part of being hard-headed that I don’t relish.



Blogger PaxRomano said...

Great story!!

Ah, our families ... a never ending source of entertainment and dysfunction.

7:32 AM  
Anonymous Angela said...

That is reallly funny, Jim told me that story about your head bonk but it's even funnier when you actually read it for yourself. I laughed so much I cried:)

8:10 AM  
Anonymous et said...

Good story! Going through old pictures, are you? The trip to Disny was 11-11-88.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Didn't know if the pseudo sports theme would hold your interest.

until your comment, my brother went nameless.

Lots of memories from those pictures, some painful.

5:36 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Did he expect you to CATCH it? That would have been a sight to see.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

To this day i have trouble ordering a vodka and orange juice barside.

7:36 PM  
Blogger Antarro said...

Was it, at least, the right type of screwdriver? Don't ever play lawn darts with "ninja boy"!

9:37 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

In billiards he will break a rack of balls before your fingers are cleared.

12:30 AM  

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