a tapestry of thoughts and aphorisms from my journey
Friday, January 13, 2006
How Did We Ever Survive?
I usually ask, "How did we ever survive?" in reference to technology. But, tonight I got to thinking about that in a different light: We did some pretty stupid things as kids. I remember it being cool to "jump off the roof." Why? Who knows! From riding our go-cart around town like a car in traffic, to chasing cows, it's a miracle that we survived childhood. On more than one occasion, my near-death experiences included motorcycles. Two funny/how did we live moments come to mind. The first actually includes my little brother, Josh. We were riding a dirt bike in the field behind our house. It was a pretty big bike (a 250 if I remember right). At one end of this huge field was a drainage ditch that we would jump out of, either on the go-cart or on motorcycles. Once, as we jumped my 2-seater go-cart out of the ditch, Josh flew out and in front of the go-cart, where I ran him over! Anyway, on this particular day, my little brother decided to "open her up" with this big bike. It was amazing! He went by with a terrified look on his face, disappeared into the ditch (which was about 7' deep), and when he came out, he was doing an unintentional handstand on the handlebars. He and the bike flew through the air, and landed only long enough to bounce into a barbed-wire fence. Josh got a chunk torn out of his cheek, eyebrow, and lip! After some stitches, he was fine. Tthe amazing thing was, as we sprinted to check on him, Bruce (my best friend at the time) ran straight to the bike to make sure it wasn't hurt! Even more amazing is that Josh didn't break his neck, or any other necessary limbs! The other incident was a little more personal, and not for those with a weak stomach. I was in the middle of a BB gun war (yes, before airsoft, we used real BB guns and no protective gear). I was actually riding away on a Kawasaki 125 that belonged to a friend named Randy. Randy thought it would be cool to know if a BB could catch me, so he shot me in the back of the head as I was doing 60 mph across a field. I had no idea what had just happened to me, other than a sharp pain in my neck, just below my head. I reached back with my left hand...blood. I didn't panic, though, until I got the bike stopped. After a while we got the bleeding to stop. It was a miracle that I hadn't just dumped the bike. But the worst part was that the wound got infected. A couple weeks later, as I examined the nasty "head" that had covered the wound, I thought it looked weird. I couldn't see it clearly, but I leaned over the sink and squeezed...out popped the BB. Not only had I survived the near motorcycle wreck, but I didn't die from blood poisoning from the copper BB lodged in my neck. I hope and pray my kids are smarter than I was! How about you? What was your "I'm so stupid I shoulda died" moment?