my life, in danger
At work, we keep a lot of our tools and supplies in some storage sheds out back. There’s an apartment amidst them, where the owner lives. She has several dogs–a few yappie ones, but at least one big, Rottweileresque, scrap-yard wannabe. She routinely lets them out to play frisbee in the empty corridors between the storage sheds.
Ever since I got nipped in the seat of my pants by our neighbor’s dog while ringing the doorbell, I have a healthy respect for the aggressive canine. If nothing else, it’s embarrassing when the neighbor opens the door and you’re left there stammering with a furry animal furiously hanging off the ground, attached to your bottom.
So the other day, I pulled in and saw that the dogs were out a few corridors away, playing with their owner. Including the largest one, busy chewing a frisbee in two between his powerful jaws. No matter, I’m brave. Courageous. Etc.
As I got out and walked around my truck, I heard a sudden scurry of claws on pavement. And yelling. “Get back here! No! HEEL!”
They weren’t words I wanted to hear.
Calmly I assessed the situation.
I jumped on the hood of my truck (F-150s are pretty high off the ground, btw. If there was a video camera around at the time, I’d be on the front page of YouTube by now). The roof of the storage shed was only a mere five feet more to go. With a bit of healthy adrenaline, perhaps I could get away with the carnivorous monster hanging off my heel, instead of my ass.
Just then the frenzied clacking of claws rounded the corner.
I jumped down and patted the little curly-haired terrier on the head.
Right about ankle height.
I went to a nearby state park recently. When we got there, several hundred people ringed the lake. Darn.
Then it started to rain. Score. Everyone left.
The rest of my guests camped out under a pavilion. I was left grilling. Under an umbrella. Darn.
My fire went out about five minutes after igniting the briquets. Darn.
So I did what any rational person does. Especially if they’re male.
I got the lighter fluid. Score.
I didn’t exactly drown the coals in flammable liquid, but I did put a healthy dose of tonic over their steaming surfaces. Nothing happened. Darn.
I got the lighter. Score. I like doing this.
I kneeled down in front of the grill. It was one of those kinds that had a solid, pull-down lid on top…leaving only a horizontal opening to the outside.
The thought struck me. This might not be a good place to have my visage. Plastic surgery wasn’t high on my priority list. No matter. I’ve done this before.
I inserted my lighter and clicked. A small flame flickered, then died. Nothing. Darn.
I clicked again.
When I picked myself off the ground, all I could recall was an enormous, hot, booming wall of liquid fire enveloping my every sense. And all I could smell was my burning hair. Daaarnnn.
I scrapped the ashen remains of my hair off my forearms and pried open my molten eyelashes. DARN.
Are you alright? My friends casually asked as they stuffed their sandwiches into their greedy, lazy, somnolent bodies.
I came back to the shop just a day or two ago to get some pipe fittings for a coworker. Driving out of the parking lot, I noticed two police cars across the way. That’s odd. Maybe they were having a speed trap. I wasn’t exactly going fast, but I slowed down and took a closer look.
Holy crap. The one dude had a pistol behind his back.
Holy @#$^!!! The other guy had a freakin’ AK-47 Rambo gun!
Ok, it was just some big semi-automatic, bu–. He’s firing. Smoke is coming up from the gun in little puffs of grey smoke. Cool. Wow. Weird.
Cool? I hate guns. What am I thinking?
OK, but it was a boring day, so far. This could be Big. Really BIG.
And I’m about twenty feet behind their cars. Directly behind their cars. Hmm. I think I’ll continue on. H-e-double hockey sticks, I was born in The Ghetto. I know what can happen when the cops start shooting. Yes, I was three years old when we left, but that’s what the Ghetto will do to your psyche–it makes an Impression. Especially on my sister, apparently, who routinely alludes to her time there. Everyone knows you can’t over-dramatize the impact a few months in a newborn’s life The Ghetto will have…
I stepped on the gas, hard, without even seeing what the Fuzz were firing at. There was a police station right around the corner. In this day and age, maybe they were having an anti-terrorism training routine.
Another cop car passed me on the road, going Quite Fast. Lights on, the works.
Hmm. Maybe there was a rabid animal. A bear, perhaps. There was one on our porch last fall, when we were gone. I still regret missing it. I’ll have to return and see what they were shooting at.
By the time I came back, there was about fifteen squad cars, lights whirring. An ambulance was just pulling out towards the hospital.
I left it at that and got back to work.
At the end of the day, my boss looked at me, eyes wide and a huge grin on his face. You were there??
I was indeed.
They took him out. The guy with the shotgun. After a substantial firefight.
It made headline news around the world, btw.
I’m enjoying life. Chiefly the being alive part.