Sunday, May 15, 2011

Big Boned

I've heard the phrase "big boned" since I was a lad, to describe most of the members of the paternal side of my family. Most of us (including me) started out skinny and tough as any kid on the block, but later added more than a few unwanted pounds. The whole big boned thing became the inside joke for an out-sized tragedy. We tend to be big people.

Still amazing to me is that I know of no paternal relative who has broken a bone. None. And that's not for lack of trying. I've fallen from icy roofs and off slippery ladders, and received only some nasty bruising. The question remains: Is it the bones or all that soft tissue padding that prevents breakage?


Big Boned

Wee Geordie, an ancestor must have been,
Or was somehow related to our clan,
For ev'ry male relative I have seen,
Has grown to be a large or burly man.
Skinny growing up, durable as hell --
I've never heard report of broken bone,
It's not we have not slipped or tripped, or fell
Or been dropped off a ladder like a stone.
There have been abrasions and cuts galore,
And nasty bruises when we hit the ground.
Perhaps those big bones let us carry more,
Of that wonderful soft-tissue padding around.
Or maybe that, pound-for-pound, ounce-for-ounce,
Big-boned people have a little more bounce.

Mick McKellar
May 2011

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