Laina & The Culvert Collision

Laina was a very active nine year old girl who lived in central Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. She lived with her mom, dad, and three sisters. They all resided on a beautiful little hobby farm just outside the city limits. On the farm there were chickens, ducks and a dog named Milly. They also had a huge vegetable garden and a small orchard which produced organic type vegetables and fruit.

Laina’s dad built various activity stations around the acreage for all the family to use and enjoy. There was a net work of challenging trails, a ninja adventure monkey bar apparatus, balance beam, zip line, bike skill tracks with various jumps and a multitude of swings, slides and climbing walls. The whole family stayed in great shape utilizing all these different venues.

One of Laina’s favourite sports was soccer. She was a member of a local girls soccer team that practices once a week and has games against other teams every weekend. She really excelled in soccer mainly due to staying in great physical shape while living at home. Her dad bought a small soccer type canvas goal for her to practice her soccer skills when not involved with her team. All this extra work she put in to fine tune her soccer talent made her one of the leagues best players. She was known and admired by other team players for her hard devastating and accurate kick which always scored goals for her team.

Well it was Saturday and of course that meant Soccer Game Day. It was a beautiful sunny warm morning with a light wind blowing. Laina ate a full healthy big breakfast as she knew it would give her lots of energy to play her best for the team. Soon she got into the car with her mom and dad and they headed to the soccer field.

When they arrived at the field, Laina was the first out of car and anxious to get playing. She gave her mom and dad a quick hug as they wished her good luck. She tightened her laces on her soccer boots, tucked in her uniform and ran over to where the rest of her team was forming up and kicking the ball around. After high five-ing all her teammates she got down to the serious business of soccer and put on her game face.

Over the next 55 minutes of the game the two teams battled each other trying to win. Laina’s team was playing one of the best other teams in the league. At the half the score was 3 to 3. Although Laina didn’t score any goals, she did set up other team mates so they could score. Plus she prevented the other team from scoring on a number of other occasions by playing defense as well as her usual offense position of center forward.

With five minutes remaining in the game Laina’s coach called a time out and huddled the team all together to try to set up a winning strategy. After the brief meeting the team ran back onto the field and there was a sense of renewed energy and vigor. The Ref whistled and the game was on again. Now with less than a minute to play Laina went into high gear, with her eyes focused on the ball, she ran like a demon swerving in and out of players, jumping over legs and dodging the opponents defense. Finally she got possession of the ball and at about 15 feet out she did her famous power kick towards the opponents goal and goalie. The goalie bravely tried to stop the shot but it was so powerful it knocked the goalie over and onto the ground and the ball went into the goal, and burst right through the back netting and over a small embankment next to the field. Her team roared with excitement as did most of the fans watching the game. Then the Ref blew the whistle and signaled the end of the game. Laina’s team won 4 to 3.

Laina’s team all hugged each other and congratulated Laina for the great winning goal.

Laina being a true sportsperson, went over and checked on the goalie that her shot knocked over. She helped her back up and onto her feet. By now other adults came over to make sure she was ok. She had the wind knocked out of her, her hands and arms were all red from coming into contact with the ball, but she was otherwise fine. Laina said to her, “Sorry, but you are a great goalie and did try your best to stop my shot.” The goalie said, “That was definitely a Bullet of a shot!” Then Laina yelled over to the Ref, “I will go and retrieve the ball that went over the embankment.” The Ref yelled back, “Oh, ok Thanks Laina, just be careful as they are doing construction work over there installing a water drainage system with a new culvert.” Laina answered back to the Ref, “Ok I will be careful, I could see the big new culvert from here that they are installing.”

Laina walked past the goal that she had just scored on and noticed the big hole that the ball made in the netting at the back. I think it is time for new stronger netting she thought to herself. Then she walked over near the construction area to look for the soccer ball. Oh, there it is, wow it went right inside the new big culvert. Hey she thought to herself, I just scored a goal on the field plus a goal in a culvert. She stooped down not to hit her head as she entered the culvert to retrieve the ball. Oh oh, she said, the bottom of the culvert is pretty wet and greasy, making it very slippery! BANG! SUDDENLY EVERYTHING WENT BLACK!

Laina opened her eyes and peered down to the end of the culvert and saw a Women’s World Cup Soccer game in progress. Oh No! she thought I am late for my game, I am supposed to be playing for Canada against that European team. I have to get to the game as soon as possible to help out my team!

Laina, although she was bleeding, bruised and sore made it down to the stadium but couldn’t get in because of security reasons and the fact that the game was now in progress. She talked to a security guard at the gate and explained who she was and that she needed to get in to play with her Canadian team. The guard said, “Ok, wait here I will go and advise your coach that you are here.” Laina said, “Ok, thank you, it is urgent that I get in as soon as possible.”

About 20 minutes later Laina’s coach showed up shocked but somewhat relieved. “Oh my goodness you are here Laina, the Canadian team needs you bad” said the coach. “Where were you and what happened to your left knee, it is all swollen and bruised?” asked the coach. “It’s a long story,” said Laina. Then the security guard let Laina into the stadium and the coach and Laina headed to the first aid room to treat and examine her left knee. While receiving care for her injured knee, Laina began to explain to the coach what had happened.

Laina said, “Well coach, this is what happened, I was at our hotel with the rest of the team getting ready for our big game today. With so many of us in each room bathroom time was very limited. I was the last to use the bathroom to cleanup and get ready for the big game. Then I heard you say, “Ok ladies, time to go now, the bus is outside waiting to take us to the stadium, we don’t want to be late or could be disqualified from the event.” I then heard everyone packing up their gear and leaving the room. It got real quiet, I heard the hotel room door close and lock. I quickly washed and was coming out of the bathroom when suddenly I tried to open the door and it was still locked! I pulled on the door but it wouldn’t open, I smashed my brush on the door nob but still wouldn’t open. I pounded on the door and yelled for some help, but everyone had left the room to get into the bus. It appeared that the bathroom door lock had broken and jammed in the locked position. I tried for about another 15 to 20 minutes to get the door open but couldn’t. Then I heard the bus start up and drive off to the stadium with my team in it. I guess they thought I was on the bus or had to leave without me to avoid be disqualified? I sat down and tried to think what to do now. Not only was I out of luck getting out of the bathroom, I was also out of toilet paper! I pounded on the door again and yelled for help, but no one heard me. Then I looked around the bathroom and there was a small window above the toilet. I climbed up on top of the toilet and opened the window. I tried yelling out the window, but again, no one was around, everyone left for the big game. Then I heard a roar of a crowd cheering. I thought oh no…the game has started. I climbed back up and looked out the window again, I noticed a drain pipe on the side of the hotel near the window and it went right down to the ground. I thought if I could crawl out the window and slide slowly down the drain pipe I could then escape from the bathroom. It was the only option I had.

I crawled out the window and clung on to the drain pipe, it was a little scary and dangerous as I was on the 4th floor of the hotel. I hung on tight and slowly lowered myself down inch by inch keeping tight against the concrete outside exterior. My knee started to bleed as a result of scrapping against the rough concrete exterior and my arms and hands began to quiver and shake. When I was about 10 feet from the ground the drain pipe came loose and broke away from the side of the hotel. I fell backwards and landed in a small bush and garden area. I felt a sharp pain in my back and lower body area, but otherwise I survived! I hobbled to the hotel front desk and asked them to let me back into my room so I could get dressed in my uniform and leave for the game. I told them about the defective bathroom door and they apologized for my inconvenience and offered to drive me to the stadium in their shuttle bus. Well, that is how I got here and what happened.”

The coach said, “Amazing, just amazing, but you are here now and all patched up, but are you able to play?” “Absolutely, even if I have to use crutches I want to be out there to help my team!” said Laina. The coach said, “Well, lets go down to the rest of the team, we are still tied 1 to 1 and there is only about 20 minutes left in the game.” When the coach and Laina arrived down on the field at the sidelines her team mates all gathered around her and said how happy they were that she finally made it to the game. Then the big overhead TV screen came on with a picture of Laina and announced that Canadian Super Star Laina had arrived and will be actively playing on the field soon. The Canadian Soccer fans roared with excitement as the other European fans kept quiet and thought….oh no! Soon the game resumed and Laina came running onto the field with the Canadian Fans chanting….Laina, Laina, Laina, Laina!!! Both teams were playing their hardest and it was pretty evenly matched going into the final minutes of the game. The Europeans would kick it into the Canadian end then the Canadians would kick it back into the European end. Suddenly Laina intercepted a pass meant for the opposition, she had a break away and headed for the European goal, she was about to kick it towards the goal when suddenly a wild rabbit ran across the field right in front of her and caused her to trip and lose control of the ball. The Ref stopped the game momentarily while the security chased the rabbit off the field and back outside the stadium. Soon the game got underway once again. Now with less than 5 minutes to play tensions were high on and off the field, both teams were going all out trying to get the winning goal.

All of a sudden a European player accidentally tripped and lost control of the ball, a Canadian player took possession of the ball and made a perfect pass forward right to Laina. A big watery grin came across Laina’s face as she took the pass and headed toward the European Goal. When she was about 20 feet away she let go a bullet like shot directly at the worried looking goal tender. The ball went right through the goal tender’s outstretched arms and knocked her to the ground and then into the back of the goal!

The crowd went Crazy! No time left on the clock. Canadians win 2 to 1. Laina is picked up by other team mates and carried around the field as she waves to the crowd that is still going nuts with excitement.

After the excitement calmed down there was a short awards presentation at mid field. And when they announced “Laina” the winner of the MVP (Most Valuable Player) award, again the crowd erupted into an all time loud boisterous cheering session for about 5 minutes!

Once things calmed down the Canadians slowly filtered into their change rooms where their coach congratulated all of them and handed out their World Championship rings and jerseys. They will be having a special celebration banquet dinner tonight before they fly back home tomorrow for a hero’s welcome and Grand Parade in Ottawa the next day.

Just then Laina heard someone yell, “Help, call the ambulance quick, Laina slipped inside the culvert and hit her head.” Next Laina’s dad gently picked her up and carried her out of the culvert and laid her gently on some warm blankets, covered her up and waited for the ambulance to arrive. She was soaking wet and all covered with greasy dirty mud. Just then Laina opened her eyes and looked at everyone. Laina’s dad said “Lay still, an ambulance will be here soon, you slipped in the culvert and hit your head, but I think you will be just fine, but we should get you checked out at the hospital to make sure.” Then Laina said, “Hospital? What are you talking about? I am going to my Special celebration banquet dinner tonight, then flying home tomorrow for a Welcome Home celebration party and Grand Parade in Ottawa the next day, we just won the Canadian Women’s World Soccer Championship!” Laina’s dad said,”I am sure you did, now lay still and quiet.”

The ambulance arrives on scene and gently place Laina into the back and take her to the local hospital for an examination and tests. Laina’s mom and dad follow her to the hospital and wait until the doctors finish their examination. About 1 hour later the doctor comes out and reports everything checks out great. Laina suffered a slight concussion but otherwise fine, she may have a slight headache but it shouldn’t last for more than a few days. She is resting quietly now for about another 45 minutes. It might be a good idea to get her a clean set of clothes to wear as the ones she had on are pretty muddy and wet. Laina’s mom then headed home quickly and picked up some clean clothes for Laina to wear when she comes out of the emergency room. Then about 50 minutes later Laina came walking out of the examination room. The doctor had given her a small soccer ball as a little gift and souvenir from being treated in the emergency room.

Laina then said, “Boy I am starved, could we go for sushi?” Laina’s dad then said, “Aren’t you going to your banquet tonight and flying home tomorrow for your big parade in Ottawa?” Laina then said,”Dad!, What are you talking about? Quit joking around lets go, I am hungry!” Then she said,”Thanks mom for the dry clean clothes, but you forgot my shoes.”