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I should have died, and this is why... [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
I should have died, and this is why...

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Congratulations- you just had a near-life experience! [May. 1st, 2008|04:08 am]
I should have died, and this is why...

[mood |insomnicacal]
[music |Fluke "atom bomb"]

Normally "falling asleep at the bars" means you've had one too many beers and someone has to take your keys.


My penultimate semester of college was a killer. I was working 40-45 hours a week and still taking twelve hours of combined engineering and accounting classes. Even on my off days, I couldn't sleep. It wasn't so much sleep, it was a brief respite before I heard that alarm and bolted up like a greyhound hearing that starting bell as the gate opens.

I have a 35-mile trip between home and college four days a week. It's October, it's getting cold, I haven't had a proper night's sleep in weeks, and I'm zombie-ass tired. I'm yelling Ministry, White Zombie, Metallica, whatever heavy metal medley comes to mind inside my helmet until my vocal cords are ragged and my voice sounds like I'm thirteen with twice the chronological experience and gargle with Drano and broken glass.

And the next thing I know, I'm opening my eyes, and me and 500lbs of motorcycle narrowly avoid becoming a Kawasandwich as I veer back out of the right lane and away from the ditch. Since my head droops down when I'm sleeping, it might be worth noting that one of the first things I saw was the speedo was coming down from 75mph when I woke up.

I still don't want to do anything to knock this out of the Top Three Things I Don't Want To Do Again.
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Two-wheeled close call [Apr. 6th, 2008|04:10 am]
I should have died, and this is why...

[mood |contemplativecontemplative]

I'm new here! I enjoyed going back and reading old entries to this community. A few of jspurlin's entries I'd heard before and got a chuckle from once again.

This post clicked this memory back into focus. So it's my story for the group today.

Fifth grade, a friend of mine had THE biggest party of the year. It was her birthday, and she'd invited half of our class as well as a good chunk of the sixth grade class.

I was never the socialite in school, and due to that, i went only really knowing maybe four people at the party. Oh, I "knew" everyone there by name. But as for being friends with any of them... I wasn't, and nor did I have any idea how to relate to anyone other than my few close friends that had been invited.

This party started mid-day on a Friday, when we got out early from school. The afternoon was co-ed until around 10:00 at night, when all the boys left and it turned into the huge slumber party. Complete with truth and dare, and the first person asleep having their underwear frozen.

The next day, the party continued through the afternoon. It was a rare warm day in mid-March, so of course we all gravitated to the outside. The girl who was hosting the party had two younger sisters, and somehow there was a large collection of bicycles at our disposal. We were out in the middle of nowhere, her house deep in the country.

The girls I was close friends with all had places to be that morning, and they left early. I found myself left to myself, feeling a stranger among familiar faces. So, I soon snagged one of the bikes and hit one of the gravel dirt roads near the house. I eventually started to catch up with a group of girls, and I held back. I felt the odd duck... so I opted to pace them and stay back. No need to rush anyway. It was a gorgeous day, and the tree-lined road was a pleasure to be out traveling.

The road soon sloped down, heading for the paved farm-to-market road. I watched the girls ahead of me drop out of sight, picking up speed. I came to the rise just as they were entering the roadway. I took a deep breath and followed suit. I felt my speed continue to rise. The wind whipping through my hair. In a brief instant I realized there would be no way for me to stop before I entered the road, and I hoped that there would be no on-coming traffic.

Just as my wheels hit pavement and I crossed into the highway, I realized I was directly in front of a car. They missed my back wheel by only inches as I darted out in front of them and made a quick left.

They never blew their horn. I think they were as shocked as I was about what had just happened. The girls who had been ahead of me had all come to a stop and stared as well. I rode past them, shaking but also without speaking. Terrified about my close call, but also exhilarated to be okay. I sped up and road to the house as fast as I could. I didn't touch a bike for the rest of the day.

I never told my parents what had happened. I never told ANYONE what happened until now. I think because it was too close of a call for comfort... I didn't want to acknowledge it. Yup... that day I probably should have died -- or at least have gotten pretty badly banged up. But my guardian angel or something pushed me out of way at the last instant. Boy am I glad for it.
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You know...I could blow up the whole goddamn world with this thing. [Feb. 25th, 2008|03:30 pm]
I should have died, and this is why...

[mood |working]
[music |AC/DC "thunderstruck"]

A conversation I had earlier with a classmate reminded me of this story from a few years ago.

When I was still working at the boozatorium, one day we started sharing our own ishouldhavedied stories. One of them told me about a buddy of his who was in the National Guard. This is secondhand, so bear with me for any slight inaccuracies. His buddy was in the Artillery division, specifically, the M110 howitzer. For those of you not into military stuff, it is a BIG fucking gun. It fires a 200lb projectile at 2300 feet per second over 18 miles. Suffice to say, this thing could really fuck up your day if you were on the wrong end of it. Or careless. See, his buddy wasn't a bad guy, it's just that the guys who were assigned to his section were unfit to guard the bee, and were constantly finding new ways to screw up. They had already demoted from driving the howitzer to just driving the ammo carrier.

One day, they get back from artillery practice and they're taking inventory of ammunition.
Sarge: How many rounds ya got left?
Pfc Gomer Pyle: 23*.
Sarge: 23?
PGP: Yeah.
Sarge: Well, the tally of rounds fired was 26.
PGP: Oh. I meant 24.
Sarge: No, you said 23. *takes count* There's only 23 rounds back there!
PGP: Yeah...
Sarge: Where the hell is the other one?!
PGP: I dunno- maybe we left it behind?
Sarge: Maybe? You left it? Behind?
PGP: It's gotta be somewhere out there. Can't we just go get it in the morning? It's getting dark.

The Sarge realizes that he is talking to someone unfit to handle chewing gum, picks up the radio and tells everyone to stop what they're doing and cease all traffic. So they send out the EOD's (explosive ordnance disposal) and the dogs and try and find the missing shell. Sure enough, since it had been improperly secured in the back of the ammo carrier, it was lying right in the middle of the trail, like a speed bump capable of repositing your dental records over the tri-county area.

My old coworker's friend put in his papers for a transfer out the following week.

*Don't remember the exact number, but you get the idea.
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Playing Chicken- unknowingly [Apr. 29th, 2007|06:02 pm]
I should have died, and this is why...
[Current Location |Pasco, WA]

I was 14 and I wrestled. That is not the point of the story. I was on my Jr. High wrestling team and that is why I always had tape on my glasses. My glasses were always getting broke and hence I had to tape them together. Without the glasses I was blind. Ok so then we fast forward to the summer of 1981.

I was riding my bicycle to band practice. I was in this marching band and they practiced in the summer in this giant stadium at the other side of town. I rode my bike with three of my friends and I was not wearing glasses. We approached the long steep road down to the bottom of the stadium. My friends and I decided to race...again...I was not wearing my glasses and I was blind as a bat. I started the race and my friends were trying to keep up with me. Toward the bottom of the ramp they slowed down and stopped. I won! I did not even know why I started flying through the air. I was flying so I I was looking down at people practicing and then back at my friends, sitting on their bikes staring at me in wide eyed wonder.

I hit the ground with a crunch on my arm. I got up. I was stunned but I thought I was ok and started to lift my arm. It hurt...really hurt. Then I saw that the angle was funny and I passed out. I was driven home and I called my mom. We went to the doctor...my arm was fractured and took 3 months to heal. She told me there was a steel cable stretched across the bottom of the road.

My friends thought I was playing chicken with them...
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not the brightest crayon in the box [Apr. 27th, 2007|08:14 pm]
I should have died, and this is why...

As a child, I was the quiet type. Mostly in the corner, reading a book or drawing or what have you. Not that this ever stopped me from doing some really stupid shit in the name of "I wonder what'll happen if..."

In my time, I have:

* hit firecrackers with a hammer to make them explode.
* sword-fought with long fluorescent lightbulbs found in the dumpster (why was I playing in the dumpster? I don't know, either)
* jumped off the roof into the swimming pool. The shallow end. Good thing I was short, or else my knees would've been driven up into my chest.
* took a running leap over a barbed wire fence, caught my shorts on them, and dangled upside down with the barbed wire partly in my shorts and partly in the skin of my upper thigh.
* did a backflip off the monkey bars during recess. That one ended with a broken wrist and a split lip.
* totally de-hymenized myself at about the age of four while trooping about in the house in my mom's high heels. I took a wrong step, my foot folded under me, and the spike heel went right into my girly bits.
* while playing tag with the dog (in the house) (and yes, the dog played tag with me - I was an only child), I jumped over the couch and fell face-first into the glass coffee table. And then the dog jumped on my head. Stitches in the face. The dog thought it was funny. My mom did not.
* sprayed hairspray on the sides of my shoes, then lit them on fire. Put rubber cement on my shoes, and then lit that on fire. Melted plastic sides of tennis shoes? Stick to the skin underneath. Just so ya know.
* killed flies by making fireballs out of the aforementioned hairspray and lighter (ahh, I miss the days of Aquanet hairspray. That shit was awesomely flammable!)

And the one that nearly did kill me: while visiting friends of my parents, I went outside to play with their son, Cal. Cal was a budding stuntman. At eight, he'd broken every bone in his body at least once, I think. They lived in Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles, at the very top of a steep hill. Not only was their house on stilts, their driveway was a straight shot into the street, then down the hill allll the way down to the canyon intersection. So Cal was showing off with his new skateboard, and I was bored. He'd given me his old, f'd up skateboard to play with, because I was just a girl and he didn't want me scratching up his new board. I practiced skating down the driveway, ending up on my ass each time. After eating it for the fifth or sixth time and sick of getting laughed at by ol' Cal, I had a horrible lightbulb come on in my brain. I'd seen the luge on the winter Olympics, and thought it was pretty cool. So, long hill + skateboard = street luge! I was brilliant! I got myself laid out on the board, feet downhill, and had Cal give me a push. Away I went, somehow staying on the board while I rocketed down the hill. Then I realized the intersection was coming up, and I had to stop myself somehow. I put my feet down, but I was - yes - barefoot, and it hurt so much, I pulled my feet up again. Instead of hurling myself off the board, I went straight through the intersection (only a two-lane road, the light was red, not many cars, but still), over a curb, and into the parking lot of a little grocery store. I put my feet down again, which slowed me enough to slam into a parking divider and then right into the brick wall of the store.
I swear, my short young life flashed before my eyes when I went through that intersection. I just remember horns blaring and seeing car tires closer up than I ever had before. I thought about the gross film about bike safety the cops had shown at my elementary school, and the picture of the kid with his head crushed like a watermelon under the front of a car. I would be smushed. It was almost as bad as being eaten alive, or peeing your pants in class.
I ended up with no skin on the bottoms of my feet, my overalls ripped up the sides, my forearms and hands skinned up and crammed full of dirt and gravel, a bloody nose, and the imprint of a brick-shaped bruise on the side of my face. I then had to walk myself back up that hill, bleeding and sniffling, and had to face my parents. They were tipsy on strawberry daiquiris, and at first laughed at me. Then they saw the bloody footprints I was making on their friends nice white carpet. At first they thought Cal beat me up, and I nearly went with that story until he ratted me out. We both got grounded, and it took me almost a week before I could walk normally again.

Never did take to skateboarding much after that.
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How Much Ya Benchin'? [Apr. 27th, 2007|11:21 am]
I should have died, and this is why...

[mood |amusedamused]

My senior year in high school I got my first legal, paying job. I'd had jobs before, but they were either off the books, flat out illegal or paid in the form of favors or comped services.

My dad was semi-retired and was working as a mechanic at the local Wheel Horse dealership and small engine repair shop. I'm no super-wrench, but I could tear apart a 5 hp engine and slap it back together, rebuild a carb, etc., and Pop thought it would be fun for us to work together.

One day after I'd been there a few months and learned a few more things, Pop told me to pull the transmission out of a cub cadet riding mower. I put the big chocks in front of the front wheels, lifted the back end and kicked the jack stand under so I could take the housing off the tranny.

You should note the two procedural flaws in the last sentence. I KICKED (not carefully placed, mind you) the ONE jack stand into place.

Read the painful outcome hereCollapse )
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Hope I didn't brain my damage. [Apr. 26th, 2007|04:34 pm]
I should have died, and this is why...

[mood |working]
[music |Black Sabbath "electric funeral"]

A ways back, an ex-girlfriend of mine was touching the back of my head, and suddenly stopped.
"What's this?" she said, pointing to a lump just down and to the left of the flat spot in the back of my skull.
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you." I said.
"Try me."

I'm six years old, at my friend Pat O'Brien's birthday party, and I'm in line for the Ferris Wheel. Now being ADD and not much of the patient type, I'm completely overjoyed and go running out to get in the car. 'Cept the car hasn't come down. YET.

You know that loud gonnnggggg sound a ferris wheel car makes when it strikes a six year old in the back of the head? NO YOU DON'T!! LIARS!! (And if you do, we need to start hanging out on weekends) I am literally knocked cross-eyed. The attendant is freaking out "OhmyGodareyouokaypleasedontsueshouldwecallthedoctorareyouokaypleasedontsue." Being raised with two parents working in a hospital, I didn't bother seeing the doc- I wanted to get back on the damn ride!

So, once my vision returned to normal, the attendant- very carefully- helped me into the car. I got to go around twice.
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I can see this making the national news, if it had gone differently... [Jan. 10th, 2007|09:46 am]
I should have died, and this is why...

[Tags|, , ]

So I'm from a little town, originally, right. And there was this little gun shop downtown, since, well, gun shops exist in Texas in weird places. My dad's in there one day, and sees this bolt-action .308 on the table. The shop guy goes "go ahead, pick it up." My dad sees that the bolt is closed. Pops the bolt open to check the chamber. *bloop*, a shell pops out.

My dad, at this point, is understandably NOT OKAY with this. loaded guns in a gun shop are NOT GOOD. NOT GOOD. The shop guy seems unfazed by this, walks over, works the action, and *bloop*, out pops another. and then three more, as they make sure the internal magazine is clear. Shop guy is all "God, I hate when he does that." As if some random guy comes in and loads all the guns in the middle of the night...

I've been to lots of gun shows, lots of gun shops, right. And invariably, some stupid bastard will dry fire a gun toward some light source or far-off wall. Never us, but there's always SOMEONE. See, and this place had one window.

That looked right at the Federal Government Building...

(yeah, this shop closed soon after that. And we still avoid these particular guys at gun shows.)
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these stories, they occur to me at the oddest times.... [Sep. 25th, 2006|12:28 pm]
I should have died, and this is why...

[Current Location |mop mop mop, all day long....]
[mood |amusedamused]

So in my hometown, when they (cheaply) resurface the roads, it's mostly just sprayed-down tar and loose crushed rock, right? So at some point, the rocks get all pushed into the tar, and then there are mounds of loose little rocks at the turns and against the curb.

So in middle school, right this buddy of mine rode his bike to school, since he lived something like a mile from school, and had a million siblings. (lesliessexxy, you may remember this, actually. And you should know exactly who it is.)

And one day, when he was riding to school, they had just redone the roads, and he fell off his bike. And got hit by a car. Gently, i might add. Which, by itself, isn't funny. Neither were the giant scrapes on his knees.

The license-plate number bruised into his leg, though? Yeah.

Funny. Shit.
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the Big Toe story [Sep. 21st, 2006|01:43 pm]
I should have died, and this is why...

[mood |crushedcrushed]

So at college, you're exposed to all sorts of magnificent injuries, right. Some magnificently unlucky, some monumentally stupid. This... this was some of both.

Freshman year, I see this guy walking on crutches, with a bandage on his foot, right. I've had random stuff done to my feet, and I figure "hey, the guy had toe surgery," something like that. Nooo. Not so much.

Talking with him, he and some friends were apparently preparing for a party, and (heh, I almost couldn't help but laugh)


That will make a good story for the grandchildren.
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