Katie and I were talking last night, and I asked her what I should do for today’s Top 10. She named a few things, one of which was childhood memories. I told her I don’t have any childhood memories, and she assured me I did. So I began to think and I realized that almost all of them were idiotic, bone-headed moments in my life. I started to crack up, and she asked how I survived childhood.
10. Hitting my brother
I was probably about 14 years old at the time. My brother and I were standing by the car port door in the kitchen. We were just talking with our mom. I looked at him, quietly formed a fist and hit him on the arm. To this day, I don’t know why I did that. It was like hitting a wall. He looked at his arm with my hand still glued to it, then looked at me. I immediately knew I was a dead man. I took off running out the car port with Gene right behind me. I ran around for about 4 acres until I was out of breath. He seemed to be more determined to catch me than I was to elude him. Down I went and he was immediately on top of me. I tried to fend him off, but it was no use. “Take it like a man. Take it like a man!” he yelled. I put my arms down. POW! right in the arm. I never made that mistake again.
9. Trying to flip off a trampoline.
“Three things are too wonderful for me; four I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a virgin,” (Proverbs 30:18-19, ESV). Guess which one of those had me trying to flip off a trampoline. I was probably 13 years at the time. I was trying to impress a girl who had come with her family for a visit. I had already done flips on the trampoline, but needed something for a grand finale. I had never flipped off a trampoline before, but I’d seen others at my house do it. How hard could it be? I got my hopping start, jumped at the edge, got parallel to the ground, and lost my nerve. Unfortunately my momentum had taken me a little more than parallel. I landed…face first on the hard red Georgia clay.
8. Starting the woods on fire.
Who gives a boy a huge box of fire crackers? This one is not really my fault, but falls on whoever gave a boy a huge box of fire crackers. I would fire them off here an there. Pow pow pow pow pow pow. Eventually after firing them off for three or so years, I got tired of them. I found a whole bunch one day, had to burn some brush in our burn area and thought I’d throw whatever was left in that huge box into the fire. Like a smart young chap, I threw them in and walked away. About an hour later, I’m sitting on the couch in the living room, my sister looks out our sliding glass window, and ever-so-calmly asked my dad if the woods were supposed to be on fire. Up we jumped and saw that there was no way we can put the blaze out. We called the fire department, the chief of which was a member of the church my dad pastored. It was a long time before we lived that one down.
7. Flipping out when my house was on fire.
This fire wasn’t my fault. It was my sister’s fault (the same sister who thought there might be a good reason for the woods being on fire). She loved her fried chicken. Somehow in the process of frying her chicken, grease got onto the burner, and the blaze began. I flipped! She still laughs about that moment. I put my training into action: stop, drop, and roll (except the roll part because I wasn’t on fire…yet). I didn’t just drop though, I jumped up and landed on my stomach with a huge thud yelling for her to get down. I army-crawled to the phone. Did I dial 911? No! I called a friend of the family who was probably 16 years old. “Lori, the house is on fire!” Click. A few seconds later the phone rang. Apparently I never told her who I was and she was confirming that I called and that the house was on fire.
My sister got me calmed down and we strategized. We doused a bunch of towels in water and were going to throw the towels over the fire. As I swung back to do so, my sister said, “Wait! It will spread the fire!” So we thought, what would fire-fighters do?? We had it! We ran to the bathroom, got the shaving cream and sprayed till the can was empty. It didn’t help; it got worse! If you didn’t know, shaving cream has acid in it.
Finally, we had to call the fire department…again. Technically, I think this was the first fire (of three, one of which I had nothing to do with; I was in school that time). Again, we never lived that one down. But we got a new kitchen out of it. By the way, after all was said and done. The walls and cabinets torn out, and the kitchen doused in water, there was that fried chicken still on the counter right were it was left just waiting to be eaten.
6. Slipping off a bumper
I was six when this story takes place. I recently blogged about my conversion testimony on our church’s blog. In there, I mentioned my friend Bobby. This story happened with him. My parents, sister, her friend, Bobby, and I went into Chicago to the natural history museum. It was a lot of fun. Actually, I don’t remember it at all. I do remember that we went in my dad’s pickup truck. This was 1986 and there weren’t crew-cabs or anything like that. Us kids were in the back. Now it wasn’t as bad as all that. He had put a topper on the back. There were benches that formed a perimeter around the outer bed, and a nice piece of blue carpet that lined the bed itself. Soon after he bought the truck, he bought a CB radio to go along with it so we could talk during roadtrips. However, he seems to have taken off the antenna at some point. It was a rainy day. My parents dropped off my sister’s friend and then Bobby. I got out to walk him back to the door and thank him for coming. However as I got out, my foot slipped off the bumper and down I went, my leg slamming into the metal that held up that CB antenna. I was crying like nobody’s business!
My dad thought I was over-reacting, but my mom wanted to take a look. I lifted my jean-leg and there it was: a huge hole in my leg. I had punctured my leg to the bone. They rushed me to the hospital. I had to have stitches inside my leg and on the outside. Over 100 stitches in all. Incidentally, we moved to Georgia 2 years later. I had never been checked into a hospital since that time. Katie and I moved back to Indiana. I can’t remember why, but I must have had the stomach flu and severely dehydrated that I checked myself in to the nearest hospital. When I gave my social security number, they asked if I had received stitches there. That was 20 years before! It was also the last time I had ever been in a hospital. Weird!
To be continued…
You’ve read long enough. I will do 5-1 next week.
P.S. While I never technically caught on fire when my sister set our kitchen on fire. I did get two burns. Two small flames of grease sailed through the air; one landed on my arm near my elbow and the other landed on my left hand. Both blistered, but stop, drop, and roll was still completely unnecessary.