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Stupid Stunts

March 6, 2013

This is an excerpt from my second book, “Memory Harvest of a Sharecropper’s Son,” which is now available in Amazon Kindle format and in printed format. This story is about some stupid stunts.

All of us have done stupid stunts in our lives. Many times the stunts were stupid enough to cost us serious injuries or more. Here are some of the stunts I remember and I am sure there were more. Fortunately, God is in control of our lives and I survived.

I was in on leave in 1951. A cousin and I were cruisin’ Main. Two girls pulled alongside us, honked and waved. They motioned for us to follow them. We followed them around Mineral Wells and up a street to the top of one of the little mountains in town to a parking area. They parked and we pulled alongside. About that time, the back doors of their car opened and two large boys crawled out. Apparently, they had been ducked down where we could not see them. My cousin calmly reached over the back of the front seat and lifted a rifle to his shoulder. All of our windows were down and he calmly said, “Get back in the car and go.”

We were in a well-lit area and the boys could see the rifle. One said, “He’s got a gun. Let’s get out of here.” They jumped back in the car and left immediately. My cousin calmly hung the rifle back on the seatback rack. We decided to go back home. We never told our parents about the incident. Thank goodness my cousin came from the farm and always had weapons in the car.

***

We had a 1971 Chrysler Newport and were going to Oklahoma on a long weekend. I needed to change the spark plugs. I found that the driver’s side rear plug could only be reached from underneath. I started to scoot under the car, but it was a little tight.

I had a scissors-style car jack that I had used as a jack-stand for many years. I slid the jack under the car and jacked it up just a little. I did not even lift the wheel off the ground. I slid under the car and reached up with a wrench to break the spark plug loose. When it was loose, I lay back flat and laid down the wrench.

Just then for some reason, the scissors-style jack toppled over and the shock-absorber action let the engine knock the breath out of me. Billie and Bill were just coming out the door. They heard the whoosh as my breath left me and saw the car drop. Bill tried to get the jack back under the car as Billie was asking if I was okay.

I scooted out from under the car and lay on the ground for a few moments. I then told Billie to go on in the other car that I would be okay. I went in the house for a few minutes and came back out to the car. I slid under the car, even though it was tight and changed the last plug.

After Billie came back, we loaded up and headed to her parent’s in Oklahoma. My chest hurt some all weekend, but we enjoyed visiting with her family. I returned to work the next week, even though I still hurt some. The first evening back at work, I sneezed as I drove home. Wow, did that hurt! The next morning I decided to go to the doctor.

The doctor x-rayed my chest and said I had two cracked ribs. He chewed me out royally for not coming in right after it happened. He explained that I could have punctured a lung or had a lung collapse. He had me wear a chest wrap for a few days to allow the ribs to heal properly. Just one of many little stupid stunts I have done in my life.

***

In the spring of 2003, I was trimming the hedges around our place in Quitman. I was not wearing gloves. Holding the hedge trimmer in my right hand, I extended my arm out to reach the back of the hedge. As I pulled my arm back, I inadvertently reached out with my left hand and grabbed the trimmer blade. I found that my left-hand ring finger will fit inside the trimmer enough to get cut. I turned the trimmer off and went in the house.

I got a washcloth to wrap my bleeding finger and went back outside to bring in the trimmer. I then showed Billie what I had done and asked her to take me to the emergency room. She took me to the Quitman hospital emergency room and they sewed up the cut on my finger. I now wear heavy leather gloves when I trim hedges to prevent that from happening again, I hope.

Some of these stupid stunts could have caused serious injuries or even death. But fortunately for me, God took care of me and I was never seriously injured. I thank God daily, for my salvation, for the years I had with my late wife and that He brought me through many problems.

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