Posted in humor, life, musings, this&that

How to identify a klutz

Source: Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute the blog of certified klutz Perry Block

This informational excerpt from some medical journal (or not) is designed to help you identify a klutz and prepare for the inevitable consequences of encountering one. You may, unknowingly, be living with one at this very time, or perhaps you know one without knowing it, you know? Or, maybe you do know and you’re just in denial. This article is for you because contrary to common belief, klutzes can be easily identified with keen powers of observation.

Common sense

If you suspect but are uncertain that a specific person is a klutz, use common sense in approaching the subject. Observe the setting, first. Is there a knife or any other potentially dangerous weapon object in subject’s hand? If yes, turn and run. If no, proceed to approach carefully.

Beware of harmful instruments. Source:

Next, do not bluntly ask the person if s/he is a klutz. Klutzes are (or should be) among those specifically protected from discrimination and harassment. A direct question could cause an unexpected answer. Klutzes can be easily inflamed, resulting in wounded feelings (yours) and appendages (probably yours, too).

Lastly, remember that observation (sometimes from a distance) and preparation are key. Take your time. Observe quietly and frequently. Remain calm and vigilant. Be prepared.

Let us share some observations and assessments from the case file of 60ish female EKB, identified klutz. (Names have been changed to protect the afflicted).

#1 The first sign of a true klutz: denial

Another dangerous creature frequently found in denial. Source:

EKB can’t remember a time that she didn’t have scars, scabs or wounds. According to her these imperfections are completely out of her control.

EKB has a scar acquired at camp when she was nine. Her story is that a tent’s wooden cross bar jumped out at her to leave a gash on her shin. Her tent mates then fell on top of her to guarantee easy access for the camp’s dirt and germs to penetrate, subsequently leading to a case of blood poisoning. EKB states that the tent, her fellow campers, camp dirt and germs are completely responsible. Facts are inconclusive, but tend not to support her claims.

#2 The second sign of a true klutz: unable to visualize consequences


While carving a pumpkin when she was 19, EKB says she stretched her left hand across the top of said pumpkin to hold it steady and began to carve around the top in a circular motion with her right hand, intending to remove it so as to insert a candle. Said incident resulted in a deep slice between her thumb and index finger, nearly removing her thumb and an emergency room visit where EKB reportedly fainted and reflexively kicked the surgeon stitching her hand.

In each situation (cutting and stitching), EKB was clearly unable to see the big picture: (a) knives are sharp and cut easily, with the potential to cut things not intended to be cut, and should be used with caution; (b) blood, stitches and a bright emergency room lights can cause fainting and thus, reflexive movement.

EKB states that she did not think the knife would cut so easily and suggests that her mother and the surgeon were at fault (see #1). Further investigation uncovered similar holiday incidents (including food poisoning after eating mayonnaise from a non-functioning refrigerator and scorched phalanges from July 4th fireworks) which indicates subject is incapable of clearly visualizing possible consequences.

#3 The third sign of a true klutz: inattention and . . . uh, what were we talking about?

Source: Warner Bros.

In her mid-40s, EKB fell upstairs in her new home, broke a toe and bonked her head on the banister several times as she rolled to the bottom of the staircase.Facts were provided by her husband who witnessed the event as EKB stated she was unable to remember anything about the event.

During a later interview with she and her husband, EKB left the room for a glass of water, running into the coffee table on the way out of the room and running her arm into the door jam on her return. Her husband said these are regular occurrences. EKB claims her husband (and neighbors, friends or poltergeists) must move the furniture just to give her bruises. And, possibly the stairs, too (see #1, again). Further investigation indicates that EKB tends to hurry and lack focus. 

Preparation is key: Helpful hints for the friends and family of a known klutz

This is valuable advice in general, as well, since one never knows where and when they might happen upon a klutz in need.

Mad Eye Moody. Source: Warner Bros.

Know the location of the nearest ER; confirm that the klutz’s medical insurance is current; refrain from moving furniture unnecessarily; keep an enormous wound-repair-kit, i.e., lots of bandages, large gauze pads, Neosporin, antiseptic wipes, ice bags; and keep your First Aid and CPR training current.

Be prepared and, in the words of the infamous Mad Eye Moody, “Constant vigilance!”



I'm a writer making my way through life and offering observations as I go. Old enough to know better but that doesn't stop me.

5 thoughts on “How to identify a klutz

    1. Ouch, seriously? I considered doing an update to the post yesterday because I left my sunroof open and it rained, poured and because I dropped a pan on my now very black and blue foot. I want to be Princess Grace for a day — I love that!

      1. Yup, two stitches and a half-numb pointer finger for a month because I nicked a nerve. Lesson learned!

        Eek! I have yet to do the sunroof thing (but I have had mine repaired for a leak only to leave, immediately hit a rainstorm and discover the leak was NOT fixed) but I am all-too familiar with the dropping of objects on the feet. My toes have had more blood blisters than a ballerina. I must have tough bones, though, because other than a tailbone and I suspect a toe or two, in 30 years of klutziness I haven’t broken anything.

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