Still Hanging On

I like to say that I’ve almost died more times than I can count, but that simply isn’t true.

1920 daredevil balancing on the edge of a high building

There was the time a wannabee serial killer tried to run my car into a concrete pillar while I drove down the highway.  The car started to violently spin, all traction between my tires and the pavement broken.  I went by the pillar without touching it, and then my car rolled up an embankment onto the acceleration ramp.  The roof of the car collapsed everywhere down into the seats, except where my head happened to be.  I kicked the back window free from the frame and crawled out from under without a scratch, spitting little chunks of safety glass that had gone into my mouth during the long scream I started when the car began to tumble.

destroyed geo metro

(My car wasn’t nearly this bad.)

A Rottweiler surprised me once, leaping for my throat before I could clear my gun.  It had me dead to rights, but a small dog I was walking at the time jumped into the jaws in order to buy me some time.  Since I couldn’t shoot the attacking dog without hitting my own, I took a step to the side and broke some big pooch ribs with my hiking boots.  This caused the Rot to drop my pet without seriously injuring him, which was good, but it also slowed me down enough so the owner arrived at the run and covered the Rottweiler with his own body before I could defend myself decisively.

At any rate, another episode gone by without a scratch.  My toes were bruised up from the kick, and smarted for a few days.  Hardly counts as a scratch, though.

snarling rottweiler

(Not the actual dog I mentioned.)

Someone saw me walking my dogs late one night, so he drove his car up on the sidewalk and gunned the engine towards me.  I was carrying a really big Magnum at the time, so I snatched it from the shoulder holster and aimed it at the driver side of the windshield and four inches above the hood.  He twitched the steering wheel and all four tires went back on to the pavement, the car never touching me or the dogs who anchored me to the spot via their leashes tangled around my left hand.  I couldn’t give anyone a description, dazzled as I was by his high beams and the rush of adrenaline.

model 686 357 magnum revolver

(That is the actual .357 I was carrying that night.  Still have it.)

There was the time I was shot at while hiking.  Three redneck teens who were out poaching before hunting season mistook my rustling for a deer, and opened up on the noise.  I flopped down behind a tree that was far too narrow for my ample girth, and listened to the solid slugs crashing through the bushes all around me.   When they stopped to reload, I went up the small hill they were standing on like some sort of super-powered gazelle and read them the riot act.  They were far more surprised that a fat man could move that fast than they were at finding out that the deer they were shooting at wasn’t a deer at all.

Peed my pants during that one, I was so scared.  The only time in my life I couldn’t hold it during a time of stress.

deer silhouette shaved into back of head

(Not one of the kids who tried to shoot me.)

And that is it.  Four close calls.  Not only can I count them all, I don’t even have to take my shoes off!

Oh, there are plenty of others that stand out in my mind, but I have to admit that the possibility of imminent death was not very high.  I just thought I was about to die, but there was no real chance that it would be worse than losing a limb or becoming massively disfigured.  Certainly not good enough to include the incidents in the “About To Die” file.

I’m sharing this sordid tale of a life misspent with you due to this essay.  It would appear that the author is upset that she is about to turn 50 years old, and is struggling with the whole midlife crisis thing.

That isn’t the way I look at aging.  For me, every birthday is a parade!  Hey, I managed to make it yet another year!  And I intend to get older and more wizened until I can’t walk anymore and have to confine myself to a wheelchair!

Don’t ask me why I feel this way.  It is a mystery!

According to this Wikipedia entry, a midlife crisis is often triggered when someone realizes their own mortality.  I think that happened to me when I was seven years old.

6 Responses to “Still Hanging On”

  1. guy says:

    Wow.

    I can honestly say no one has ever tried to kill me on purpose.

    And the only time I’ve had a gun fired in my direction was when a friend and I stumbled across a backwoods still as kids and the occupants fired over our heads(you could hear the pellets in the leaves way overhead.)

  2. JD(not the one with the picture) says:

    Got a late start one morning elk hunting in Montana. Hiking in to the area we wanted to hunt on public land we met a couple of guys coming out, asked them if they had seen any elk, they said, “no, we just had a couple of sound shots”. I was never so glad I had stayed up late drinking the night before.

  3. Fruitbat44 says:

    I have had few close squeaks involving motor vehicles, and I have had a fair few attempts made to kill me indirectly, not personally exactly, but by having looney muslims launch various calibre rockets in the general direction of a location where I happened to be at the time, but not for a couple of years now -touch wood and fingers crossed!

    But I have never had someone personally direct the grim reaper towards me.

    James, well done on coping with those occasions so well.

    As for those teens . . . don’t drink and drive, and don’t carry a gun if you’re a frakkin’ idiot!

    And as for the Gen-X article, well anything which involves posting a picture of Pheobe Cates in a bikini can’t be all bad, but other than that, stick with the old one:

    Growing older sucks, but it sure beats the alternative.

    • James Rummel says:

      ” … I have had a fair few attempts made to kill me indirectly, not personally exactly, but by having looney muslims launch various calibre rockets in the general direction of a location where I happened to be at the time, …”

      Let’s hope you didn’t give the Universe at Large any ideas about my next time!

      On a serious note: Good job, Fruitbat! Thank you so for your time in the service!

      It is a distinct honor that you find my unworthy scribblings to be of interest.

      • Fruitbat44 says:

        James – Thank you for your kind words. -blush- But – and I know this going to sound just sooooo frakkin’ pretentious – I am not a hero, however I have been privileged to work in their company.

        Anyhow I wouldn’t be reading your blog if I didn’t find it interesting/amusing/informative/occasionally provocative/very occasionally prurient. 🙂

        And don’t worry about me giving the Universe ideas. I am sure it’s imagination is boundless. -Yikes!-

  4. Sam L. says:

    So, did you hear about the nudist woman who twirled her baton while circling a guy named Buck? She was parading around Buck, naked. (You should be so lucky.)

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