Axe Leg

The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip.

— Gn 32:31 (NRSV)


Ever since I got old, more and more of my friends seem to be old people too. The rest of my friends are animals. While most of the animals still look like animals to me, the old people don’t look as old as they once did. The truth is, they look about my age, and I enjoy being around them — most of them anyway.

I’ve discovered that the more time a person spends with old people, the more things you can learn. Sometimes you learn things you don’t actually want to know though. “Axe Leg” is one of those things.

Let’s talk.


“I’m old, and I can’t help myself.”

A lot of my friends say that (the old people, not the animals). Lately, I’ve found myself saying it too. It’s not just a cry for someone to come feed us or to change our soiled clothing. It’s actually more like a warning — mostly to younger people.

When an old person says, “I’m old, and I can’t help myself,” what they’re really saying is that they’re about to do something you will think is bad judgement. They (we) don’t actually care what you think, however. Despite what we look like, we’re in our prime, and we know it!

Now let’s be clear. Most old people aren’t trying to hurt themselves. That just seems to happen naturally. So spare yourself the argument. If you think I couldn’t have done it when I was younger, you’re probably right. But some things sound a lot better to an old person than they sounded when the old person was younger.

If you’re young and sober at the moment, just remember, “I’m old, and I can’t help myself.” I might love you, but I don’t actually care what you think about my latest “old guy exploit.”

Life is like that — get over your angst.

Anyway …


The latest adventure that my old friends and I are planning is called “axe throwing.” On the surface, I admit, old people with axes doesn’t really sound like such a good idea — not even for normal people. So we’re taking precautions.

Before we let any old person throw an axe with us, we require them to memorize the phone number for 9-1-1 emergencies. Just in case!

But axe throwing is actually quite safe. The way we see it, none of us is very strong any more. How much damage can we do — even with an axe in our hands!


I told my middle-aged son about our plans, and that’s how this whole conversation got started. He immediately said that I shouldn’t do it.

He reminded me that I taught him you don’t have to do what your friends are doing. I didn’t tell him it was my idea in the first place. And although his response was completely predictable, I have to admit, he surprised me with the rationale for the warning.

“Axe Leg, Dad,” my son said. “You might get Axe Leg!”

He is a perceptive man, so he surely saw the bewildered look on my face. He immediately offered an elaborate explanation.

“Sometimes, when the axe doesn’t hit the wall just right,” he said, “it doesn’t stick in the wall. Instead, it bounces back at the person who threw it.”

Apparently, I didn’t seem as concerned as he hoped I’d be, so he turned up the heat.

“You have to be alert, Dad. And really quick too!” he informed me.

I wondered if he thought I was getting slow or if he was just referring to some of the friends I’ve been hanging around with lately.

This would’ve been a good time for me to explain that most people tend to underestimate how capable old people actually are. But since I wanted to hear more about the “Axe Leg” thing, I decided to remain silent.

He told me about a friend of his — a guy considerably younger than anyone in my crowd. This guy actually had “Axe Leg,” and it took him weeks to fully recover.

My son did not let me miss the point that his friend was a lot younger and healthier than my friends. He said his friend had trouble getting out of his chair, and he limped everywhere he went.

My son seemed perturbed when I told him that my old buddy Mario has been like that for years, and he never messed around with axes in inappropriate ways in his life. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that “Axe Leg” just might offer me a real opportunity!

First, I concluded that “Axe Leg” was not necessarily caused by axes bouncing off the wall and hitting axe throwers. Perhaps, you could get “Axe Leg” just being around an infected axe thrower. Who knows — there might even be a mysterious “Axe Leg” virus. I decided not to pursue that idea.

But still, the idea of “Axe Leg” for seniors did have some merit. After all, it does sound rather adventuresome. And now, thanks to my son, I will have a really great story the next time I get together with other old people to complain about doctors, our ailments, and all the medical procedures associated with them.

“Axe Leg!” I will say, and immediately, I will become the center of attention in the conversation.

None of my old friends could ever top a story that grand! I’ll be the King of Decrepit Hill in the breakfast club down at the pancake house. I’ll be the only guy there who’ll never have to worry about ordinary ailments like heart disease, cancer, or dementia. My final battle will be against deterioration from “Axe Leg!”

It had taken me a lifetime, but I’m finally somebody special. I have become the old guy with “Axe Leg!”


That’s our story, and we’re sticking to it.


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5 thoughts on “Axe Leg

  1. I woke in the dead of the night Thursday with a lot of pain in my lower left leg, above the ankle and well below the knee. Never had this pain before? I’m guessing it’s most likely “ax leg”.. Can you get the virus just by practicing ace throwing in your head?? It’s amazing how the pain is in the exact location of a bouncing axe wound??? Someone mentioned that drinking 🍺 NA beer is best cure for the virus. Do you need a prescription to get the stuff?? I just know you’re the right person to axe about this..

    1. We are still researching this. Mario confirmed that he has never played irresponsibly with axes, and yet his leg hurts and he has trouble getting up and down.

      I told him that he should wear a mask or something. And also, he should keep a lot of distance between himself and others. You never know when you’re talking to someone who has been throwing axes. The virus is potent, or so they say.

      (NOTE: If you don’t understand satire, let us spell it out for you. This is satirical. It is “almost true,” which means it’s not actually true. Enjoy the humor, but don’t let it ruin your day.)

      Vivat Jesus!

  2. Just wondering “Can you split wood by axe throwing?” Splitting wood with a hydraulic splitter is so boring..Imagine setting up the wood so you can throw the axe directly at the face to split it by the brute force of a manly throw..Pretty exciting huh? You will need someone to kind of hold it in place so it doesn’t fall over before the well thrown axe hits the mark..You need a quick very observant guy to man the wood target. I been thinking about this “Splitting Sport”. Sounds kind of exciting huh? Somebody out there want to volunteer to be a “1st Time Wood Target Holder/Positioner Guy??” No skill required…

    1. Now how is this wonderfully, creative thought of yours like life itself? What life lessons might we learn from Axe Throwing, in general, and from holding the wood when another trusted friend is splitting it in his axe throwing lane? Surely, while we laugh at the “bafoonery,” there is much to be learned.

      Thank you, brother!

      Vivat Jesus!

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