BOWLING GREEN, KY—Stumbling around his study with a large metal bucket lodged firmly over his head, area accountant and father of three Michael Dewley once again found himself in a situation traditionally reserved for film stars of the early 20th century.
Dewley, who works at a local investment firm and once mistook two men inside of a horse costume for the genuine article, got himself in his latest fix early Monday morning. According to sources, this is the fifth time in as many weeks that the 43-year-old has experienced the sort of bumbling mishap usually portrayed in silent American comedies.
"It's always something with Michael," said longtime friend and former business associate Phillip Bowman. "Either the poor bastard is getting smacked in the face with a plank of wood, or he's tumbling head over heels down a long spiral staircase."
Added Bowman, "I don't think I've ever been out with the guy and not seen him end up covered in feathers."[slideshow:92654:left]
Over the course of his life, Dewley has reportedly fallen from a 20-foot barn ladder on seven separate occasions, slipped into a giant vat of fresh cream at least three times, and once, while vacationing with his family in Egypt, managed to stir a 5,000-year-old mummy from its restful slumber.
While the accidents were amusing and even entertaining at first, sources close to Dewley said that watching him repeatedly hammer his own thumb and hop around the room in excruciating pain has grown difficult over time.
"It used to be funny—you know, in a broad sort of way—but now I just feel bad for him," brother-in-law Peter Havemeyer said. "I mean, how many times can you watch someone get punched in the face by a trained kangaroo before it starts to get to you? Poor Michael. The man is just covered in welts."
Dewley's blunders have reportedly taken a tremendous toll on his physical well-being. In April, the 43-year-old was disfigured beyond all recognition after walking into a plate-glass window, while earlier this month, Dewley had to be rushed into surgery following a bloody encounter with a rolling-pin-wielding matron.
According to doctors at Greenview Regional Hospital, if Dewley trips on one more discarded banana peel or is struck in the face by one more malfunctioning Murphy bed, he runs the risk of suffering permanent brain damage.
"We've been banned from every opera house in town, and pretty much any hotel with a bellhop or, God forbid, a revolving door," wife Sheila Dewley said. "It's getting to be too much. Please don't tell him, but I'm seriously thinking of taking the kids and just leaving."
In addition to the strain they have put on his marriage, Dewley's mishaps have reportedly ruined his personal finances. Three small children, stacked in a teetering column and concealed beneath a full-length trench coat, sold the accountant nearly $6,500 worth of life insurance in November.
Making matters worse, Dewley was laid off from work late last week after mistakenly wrestling his boss's wife, a dignified woman in a large peacock-feather hat, to the ground.
"I heard they were going to have to sell their home and maybe move in with Sheila's parents," former coworker Robert Daverson said. "With everything that's happened, it's hard to even look at Michael these days. Especially when his pants fall down in front of large groups of people."
According to those closest to him, Dewley may have reached the end of his rope. He frequently breaks down at the sight of seltzer water and often experiences crippling nightmares in which he is chased by a giant bicycle horn. Friends are worried the unemployed family man may be on the verge of a complete mental collapse.
"Please make it stop," said Dewley, his legs slowly sinking in a patch of fresh cement. "I beg you, please, just make it all stop. I'll do anything—anything!"
As of press time, a strange shadow roughly the size and shape of a concert grand piano, was growing around Dewley's feet.