- Sledding and the Perfect Rooftop Flip
- There are many grand tales of my stupidity as a youngster, too many in fact. Many of the people who knew me then were convinced that I had some sort of guardian angel following my every step. Looking back, that just might be true. It makes me incredibly happy to know that the internet was not around to document some of the situations that I found myself in as I slowly grew into the role of a serious responsible man that we all know I have now become. I feel that if the internet had been around, I might have found myself thrust into a video that served as a warning to others. Surely, you have seen the 'Darwin Award' comments after a foolish young man is found on YouTube shooting himself in the face with a paintball gun or involved in some other ass puckering misadventure. Luckily for me, the internet was not around during my youth. There are many grand tales of my stupidity as a youngster, and this is one of them.
- It was a frozen, wind whipped February evening during my senior year in high school. We had been tortured by a wicked winter and weathermen in our area had started referring to snowfall totals in feet rather than inches. There had been so much snow that the roof above our school gymnasium partially collapsed due to the frozen weight. There would be no more school until the township inspectors were satisfied that the building would not crash down and kill anyone inside.
- To celebrate the blessed days free from the burdens of scholastic endeavor, we gathered excitedly at our local sledding hill located by a vocational school . The hill was intimidating in both length and degree of incline. We built ramps halfway down this fierce hill, partly to test our amazing flying skills, but mostly with the intent to push any girls directly towards these ramps and watch as they tumbled from sleds and tubes with their hats and mittens spinning in colored woolen arcs. That was a game that we eagerly looked forward to every year. We all took turns trying to ride down the hill, shakily standing on the sleds like the courageous forefathers of snowboarding that we were.
- There was so much snow that the school district was forced to use more than just the regular snow plowing equipment to remove it. They used backhoes and other heavy machinery to scrape the dirty snow from the parking lots and place it in giant piles against the side of the building. At the corner of the school building located closest to our hill there was a particularly intimidating pile.
- A plan sprang forth from the one developing part of my brain that longed to impress girls. I would climb the large piles of snow that had been pushed against the side of the building at the top of our sledding hill. Not satisfied with only climbing to the top, and noticing that these piles were just feet short of being as tall as the building itself, scrambling onto the roof of the building was of course the next logical step. But where to go from there? I had already attracted some attention, but was it enough? Oh no sir, for me it was not.
- The remainder of my plan came in a flash of brilliance. I would jump off the side of the building into the piled snow. It was an amazingly daring plan. What could possibly go wrong? At first my jumps into the snow piles were a bit timid and lackluster. But with each successful attempt, I gained confidence. Eventually, I was ready for what surely would be the showstopper. It was time to break out the flips. I flipped off of the roof into the snow. And then I back flipped off of the roof into the snow. I felt like a stuntman, and I had certainly captured the attention of the gloved and scarved masses about a story below. They were in awe at my finely tuned flipping. They knew that upon that roof stood one man, unmatched in both daredevil skills and bravery, risking all for the pleasure of the crowd.
- My final jump was perfect. It was a back flip off the side of the roof into the snowdrift. I didn't curl into a ball to flip, I did it completely laid out flat the whole way through the flip. I even added a 180 degree turn for some extra points with the judges. I landed perfectly in the snow and sank down about 8 feet into the cold cushion. This is where my story takes a slightly unexpected turn.
- The dirty piled snow, now pockmarked with holes from my previous successful landings, was hiding a dreadful secret. My final landing, perfect though it was, placed me at a spot on the snow pile right above some sort of small shrubbery. There were sharpened sticks in those bushes, buried like booby traps just waiting for a victim of stupidity to set them to use. Evil punji sticks lurking within the depths of my frozen landing pad, yearning for blood...the blood of the obtuse.
- Without getting too graphic, I had to lift myself off of one of those sticks. It ripped about 3 inches deep into the inside part of my upper leg. Very close to...my butt. I was in shock. How could have things taken such a drastic turn for the worse when everything was going so well? I tried to keep my rising pain and horror to myself as I pulled my body from the branch that it was impaled upon. My adoring fans simply did not need to know that their hero had been undone by a sharply pruned branch. I quietly asked my friend Mike to drive me back to my mother's house so that I could survey the damage beneath my ripped jeans. I would say that Mike was a very good friend. Although he was annoyed that he had to leave the scene because of my stupidity, he still grudgingly drove me back to my house. He advised me not to bleed in his car as he spread newspaper over the passenger seat of his Ford Tempo. Yes indeed, he was a good friend.
- Thankfully, my mother was sleeping soundly when I got home. I snuck stealthily to the bathroom upstairs and filled a bathtub with warm water, stripped, and got my first good look at the damage. There was a nice 2 inch opening in my leg, and it was very deep. I cleaned out the gash on my leg as best as my minimal knowledge of wound care would allowed me. There were splinters so deep inside my leg that I was scared that they would surely infect the wound. Adrenalin fled my body and left me tired, I assumed, not unlike other daredevils after the glories of a successful show.
- I awoke early the next morning to my mother's scream. As I went to bed the night before, I had accidentally left the bloodstained jeans in a pile by the bathtub. My mother, after surveying the grisly evidence, was at once convinced that I had been in a fight and either gotten shot or stabbed. I calmly told her that while sledding, I must have run over a piece of broken glass. It was a damned good lie.
- She insisted that she see the wound on my leg. it was in a very embarrassing spot. To this day, only a handful of lovers have even noticed the scar and commented on it. I got a towel to try and preserve some sort of modesty and showed my mother the wound that I had suffered from some asshole leaving broken glass on the hill where we liked to sled.
- She was horrified and drove me to the hospital immediately. Because the wound had been left overnight without any treatment besides some half assed self bandaging, the emergency room doctors said that it couldn't be stitched or stapled shut. I left the ER with my leg held together by some butterfly type bandages and a warning to be more careful while sledding.
- Word travels fast, and when we did get back to school, I was known for quite a while as the guy who got a stick up his butt. No matter how much I explained the fact that the stick had entered my leg, my classmates were quite sure that it had to somehow involve my butt being penetrated. It took quite a while to live that down. I would like to say to any of my former classmates that might happen upon this that in fact, the stick did not enter my butt. There was no penetration to the butt. I cannot state that fact any more clearly.
- Years later, after the statute of limitations had passed, and I gave my mother a true account of the things that happened that night. She was not surprised by the depth of my stupidity. She already had knowledge of my getting stuck in the chimney of a fireplace, almost drowning while swimming in jeans, knocking myself unconscious with an aluminum bat, and trying my luck as a amateur beekeeper, so she was pretty used to hearing stories of her son's stupidity and the consequences thereof.
- I wish that there were some other conclusion to this story. I wish that I could tell you that I used this experience as a stepping stone away from disaster and dismay. I wish that I could assure you that there was some lesson learned. Read on my friends and you will find that there was not. Although that might have been the last time that I jumped from a building, it was not the last time that I found myself in a losing battle with elements targeted towards the annihilation of dim-witted people crowding our planet. If you would like some moral to my story...Don't be an idiot. Just sled down the damned hill.
a guest Sep 13th, 2013 40 Never
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