Guest Post: Near-Death Experiences

Today I’m going to welcome Grrouchie to my blog. While he normally talks about poker, da Grrouch has honored me with a guest post. I’m pretty sure this came up because of recent events (no, I’m not dead!), but I remember hearing this story and thinking…

WTH were you THINKING!

And here’s Grrouchie!

My mind has been a blank slate for going on a month now as one of my oldest friends (and I mean that in the sense of length of time we’ve known each other and not in the WOW look at those wrinkles granny sense) informed me that she wouldn’t mind if I did a guest post on her blog.

I tried multiple times on multiple topics but nothing ever hit me, I’d get one or two paragraphs in and decide I hated the whole thing and scrap it.  I think the problem stems from the fact that Tricia and I have known each other for pretty much our entire adult lives at this point and as such I didn’t want to just churn out a piece of crap and submit it over to her.  Also, with her proficiency for writing and spotting issues I would prefer if I at least had a bit of substance so I didn’t get picked apart like a turkey on her Thanksgiving table!

So, with that aside how about I shut up and jump into it?

Children do a whole lot of stupid things and I’m going to include myself into this category.  I didn’t start doing stupid things until later in life but I’ll include myself being a child up until the point where I started listening to reason instead of the little devil on shoulder number two.

This story takes place during my college years when I suddenly started doing things I would have normally never done.  I guess you can say that my age of rebellion came rather late in life.  I played mailbox baseball for the first time, I stole my first Xmas tree, dangerously dropped stuff off of a train trestle and even experimented with a 100% organic smoking substance that made me really paranoid and thirsty.  This particular story takes place 1 week after two of my best friends and I completely destroyed a Ford Festiva by launching it off a cliff, sideways, into a bunch of trees while we were still in it.

Exactly one week later to the day I found myself back in Erie PA with a group of people that I semi knew based on friendships forged in High-School.  Scott I considered a friend and he was a relative of one of the drunks/potheads that I hung out with in HS.  The other people I only had gotten to know because we met up a couple of times a month to drink heavily (them, not me) and play Magic: the Gathering.  It was always a great time even though one of the worst nights (and subsequent weekends) of my entire life started with a simple game of M:TG with this group.

This story starts the same as that last, mindless fun and then a bad idea.  One of the guys in our group owned a small pickup truck (much like the one I would later buy) with a front seat and then this semi-backseat area where if you had children you could kinda sorta squeeze them back there on seats that folded out of the bed walls (which is where my first dog – the awesome Bennie – used to LOVE to sit during car rides, weirdo).  There was also a nice stretch of road where you could reach top speeds and an incline where you might be able to ramp it if you were going fast enough. To this day I do not remember how this conversation came up or when it came up.  I’d like to think that it was spur of the moment while we were all squashed into the truck like sardines but I can’t be positive about that.  Someone could have said “hey, lets go do something stupid” and then everyone else agreed.

So, cutting to the chase, there are 5 of us packed tightly into a small truck.  Two people in the front seat area and 3 of us somehow crammed into the back.  In the back, I need to point out, are the two fattest guys and the skinniest guy.  Skinny guy had one of the “seats” as did fat guy number 1.  Me? Oh I was in the middle on the hump with no safety device attached to me in case of an emergency (Brilliant!).

We increase our speed considerably as we approach the part of the road we think we can ramp and much to our dismay we just get the belly rush effect.  A bit of disappointment ensues when the driver turns the truck around to do it again.  We just know that we can make this work.  A longer approach with a faster speed will do the trick.

Attempt number two and three were both much better. We went faster and hit the hill harder and each time the tires actually left the ground and we landed with a nice fun thud and a bounce.  This was a little hard on my posterior as the hump was not made for sitting on.  Everyone else was having a blast with their fancy dancy seatbelts.

Attempt four is why I am typing.  Attempt four we drove further back.  Before the stretch is a curve in the road but not one that requires breaking.  So, we decided to get through the curve going about 60 so that when we hit the straight away we could easily get up to top speed on the truck and hit this hill with everything we got giving it one last attempt at awesomeness!

We succeeded, the truck left the ground by a good margin and we flew over the road like a bunch of idiots (for all of you wondering about the whole traffic situation, this was an out of the way area in the middle of nowhere at about 2 in the morning.  Traffic was not an issue).

Did you ever succeed so well at something that you passed your expectations only to realize that because you didn’t believe you’d accomplish what you just did you failed to plan for something else?  That is what we did.  We launched and landed much further down the road than we failed to take into consideration.  This is the point where I tell you about the road.  After the hill there is about 15 – 20  feet of straight away and then a curve.  If you ignored the curve and kept going straight instead there was a patch of Ent’s that would win every single time in a game of chicken with an undersized truck.  By the time the truck made contact with the pavement we had to immediately change directions to go through the curve in the road or face total destruction.

The truck landed and bounced and as we landed again we were forced into this unexpected turn.  As we tried to careen around the bend the truck finished with its final bounce motion and all the weight now forcing itself to the drivers side with the shift in direction forced us to Dukes of Hazard that sombitch (sorry for the harsh language) for about 10 seconds which felt like it took 3 days and no one was sure if we were going to get this back on all fours or if we would be climbing out of the passenger door or if we were going to wait for morning traffic to make a report to 911 about a truck that lost control and is tangled in some Ents.

For the second time in a week my life flashed before my eyes and for the second time in a week things managed to work out for the better.  Somehow the truck stayed on the road going around the curve and all 4 tires came back in contact with the pavement safely.  I had a bruise on my arse from the multiple impacts and at the same time I think I’m pretty lucky that I braced myself by pushing my hands against the roof with all my might in an attempt to not bounce around like a ping pong ball and probably land on the skinny guy and crush his poor puny body.

The course of those two weekends changed my life a good deal and are the de facto reasons why I am now a safe driver who even hates to speed.

Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read over this random story from a random internet stranger.  Unfortunately not everything I write is nearly this interesting but feel free to visit me from time to time on my own site!

grrouch out!

3 thoughts on “Guest Post: Near-Death Experiences

  1. Hysterical story, grrouchie. I would expect nothing less from you, and I mean in the area of “what were we thinking? behavior!” I guess you’ve grown a little since then!

    Very well done blog, Tricia. How did someone as respectable as you get to be pals with a character like grrouchie?

    1. Rob, over the course of my life it absolutely amuses me some of the people who are willing to call me “friend” for longer than just a year or two 🙂

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