When you hear the words, "black eye", what comes to mind? A scandal? A blot on someone's record? Certainly not an actual black eye, right? A bruising of the orbital bone. Because once you become an adult, those are mostly a thing of the past, relegated to days gone by, with images of 9 year-olds on a playground rolling around in the dirt, an argument over safe versus out in a game of pickup baseball.

I can relate. I played plenty of baseball growing up, and experienced many an argument, with it often escalating into fisticuffs. Boys being boys.

At age 44, I don't get punched much, which is a good thing. So you would think the odds of me acquiring a black eye would be low. But somehow I managed to do it.

The story goes like this:

I was in my backyard, Tuesday night, cleaning up some brush and general yard debris, and decided to tackle a large limb that had fallen from a thunderstorm. Normally, this would be a job for my trusty chainshow. However, it proved to be untrustworthy about a month ago when it ceased working. So it was up to me and my ax (or is it axe?).

I'm swinging away, making good time, as I hack the limb into 3 foot sections, perfect for my backyard firepit. All that's left is one, 6-foot section. However, this happens to be the part of the tree furthest from the trunk, so it's the thinnest and lightest. As I work, I'm especially careful so the limb doesn't go bouncing around...until it looks like it only needs one more good swing. So I take a mighty blow, and WHACK! My glasses go flying as a 3-foot section launches skyward, in a blink, making solid contact with my face.

Stunned, I gathered myself and checked for blood. A little, but clearly the cut wasn't deep, requiring stitches. I put away the ax (or axe, if you prefer) and went inside to survey the damage. "Not bad", I thought, but remembered from my youth that it always got worse a day later. And two days later? Even more colorful. 

It makes me wonder why it's called a "black" eye, when it's clearly purple.