I would like to post up my favorite Wookie Stories here so that I may read at my pleasure while at work. Keep in mind these are not written by me but by a person who plays FFXi
Adventures in House Sitting
It really wasn't until I was a teenager (a late teen that is) that my parents trusted me home alone. I don't blame them of course, after all I did set a running faucet on fire once...
But that's neither here nor there.
Today's topic is about how I got left home all alone, in my late teens...
And I still managed to get every emergency vehicle in the city parked on my parents lawn.
Granted it's not a very large city.
Maybe four cop cars total. A few fire trucks at most. And an ambulance with medics who haven't seen any real action since '84 when some poor kid named Wally broke the sound barrier on his BMX and was blown into a million pieces.
My parents where out for the day. They had gone up to the big city for something. I don't remember because I didn't care. My younger brother was... somewhere. Again, complete apathy on my part to keep track of these things. I did have a house guest however.
As much as my young mind fantasized about the girl next door coming over to do "homework" it was, in fact, a repair man.
Cope. ( I had too)
Mr. Repair Man is over to do some work on the solar panels on top of the house. Since my parents have owned the place they have never worked. When they found out that all they needed was some simple maintance, they got a man over on the spot.
Then they left for the day and told me to "keep and eye on him" while they are out.
Wee. I get to prove my self as a trusted adult.
I will prove myself the best way I know how. I'll watch cartoons in the living room while Bozo the Solar man is in the attic doing... something to the solar panels. Three hours goes by with no major incident that would require the police or the fire department or anything like that.
Any moment I will be enjoying a level of trust that I have only dreamed of since I was...
Actually, I will be enjoying a LEVEL of trust.
Bozo wanders into the living room at this time and asks me if I have a spray bottle.
Strangest question ever asked by a random person in my life.
A spray bottle?
Besides, he's a repair man. A proffesional. Doesn't he already HAVE every thing he needs? Why the man wants a spray bottle is beyond me. I tell him we don't have one without even looking at him. Of course we don't have a spray bottle. I challenge you to get up and go get the empty spray bottle that is just sitting around unused in your home.
Didn't think so.
Bozo makes his way back down the hallway and climbs back up the step latter that leads to the attic. I keep watching Foghorn Leghorn torment that stupid dog completely ignoring my Spidey Sense which is tingling a wee bit.
Within 15 seconds Bozo comes back. He seems agitated and nervous. He says "Look, do you have a bucket? I really need a bucket. Or a bottle, or something to put water in. Yeah, a bucket would be great. Can I a bucket please? Now?"
Aside from the odd need for a bucket and the demanding nature of his request I don't feel anything is wrong. My Spidey Sense is screaming and I just keep watching cartoons.
"Sorry, Mister, I don't think we have a bucket either."
"Well, I really need a bucket right now could you please go look for one because if I don't get one I'm not sure but I think there will be a problem."
He said it just like that. One big garbled run on sentence.
I sighed, got up and told him that I'll look in the garage. If I actually was Spiderman my head would have exploded in Spidey Senseness. I kick around for a bucket. After a few minutes I manage to find a flimsy plastic one with a wire hanger-like handle.
I open the door that leads from the garage to the kitchen and into a house that has smoke in it.
Not: "Woops, I burnt the toast" smoke.
Nor: "Shucks, I just set fire to a phone book, but I managed to put it out and now there is smoke in the room." smoke.
This is: "Bozo the Solar Man has set fire to my parents house and I need to put it out or it will be my fault for the rest of my life" smoke.
All down the hallway gray smoke is pooling along the ceiling. It's collecting in the kitchen and it seems to be coming from the step ladder down the hallway. It's coming from the attic.
That's the first thing I think of.
My parent's house has a really nice ADT home security system. So nice that when it detects a lot of smoke it will call the fire department. In fact, it will make a high pitched beeping noise and a computerized voice with yell "FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!"
As I stared slack-jawed at the smoke in the hallway it started to do just that.
That made me panic.
Never panic. I know it's easy to say and hard to do, but just don't do it. It's ugly. It's embarrassing. It causes you to act like a fool.
Your only hope is that you survive what is happening too you so you can tell a great story one day.
Inside the garage is a faucet and a hose. That would be way better than a spray bottle.
I whipped around and bolted into the garage. It was a short trip because I forgot that I had closed the door. I picked my self off the floor and tried to open the door. I was so panicked that I couldn't open it. I thought it was locked and tried to unlock it. It was unlocked so I managed to lock it. I then pulled, screamed, and pounded on a door I had just locked.
It was at this time that I thought to myself "This door has been sealed by the security system!"
I bolted down the hall way towards the front door. On the way, I passed Bozo the Solar man who was shouting that what we really needed a hose or something. I shouted to him that there was a hose in the garage and Bozo started fighting with a locked door. I shot out the front door and made my way to the door on the side of the garage.
Once I was outside I could see what it was the Bozo had done. The roof had a flame jetting out of the top. I don't mean like a lot of orange flame leaping from the wood like you see on TV. I mean it looked like NASA stuck a shuttle booster rocket into my house and test fired it. The flame was blue hot and was shaped like an afterburner flaming fifteen feet in the air.
Apparently there is some type of oil that flows through the solar panels and Bozo managed to set this oil on fire. At least in the after math that's what Bozo said had happened.
Way to go Bozo.
I sprint all the way around half the house through the side door and into the garage. I slap the button for the door to open and turn the wheel on the faucet. I grab the hose and dash under the door as it slowly opens, running for the front door where I plan to do.... something.
I got the front porch and pointed the hose at the rocket of fire coming from the house. I was trying to aim low.
I was waiting for water to show up.
In my panic I had completely failed to notice that the hose wasn't connected to the faucet and there was a large puddle of water flooding the garage.
Sprinting back I tried to twist the hose back onto the faucet. With the water running. The faucet also has one of those annoying Y joints on it, and I can't figure out which end the water is going to come out of. NEVER MIND that I can see it spewing out of the left socket! What's important here is that I AM PANICKED AND I CAN'T THINK!
ANY SECOND NOW GODZILLA IS GOING TO SHOW UP AND EAT MY HOUSE!
Those where my exact thoughts.
See what panic does to you?
After a fun little bath and a few pinched fingers I took off running for the back yard. The hose back there was attached as it should be and I turned on the water and started running for the garage.
I should mention at this time that again I was panicked. Actually I already did. Anyhoo, my grasp of three dimensional space was flawed a bit. My parent's house is long on the East/West axis and I was running a really far way to get to a fire that I was standing next to. I ran out of hose really fast.
A running back flip is not something you should try at home. You definitely shouldn't try it with a hose.
Once I got my wind back, (the landing had knocked it out of me) I had a flash of insight. I could go in the back door, be right next to the step ladder, and maybe put out the fire.
I did so.
A very loud hissing noise was followed by more smoke than you could believe bellowing out of the small attic door. I dropped the hose and ran back out the front door to see if there where any results. On the way I passed Bozo who had managed to find a spray bottle.
I think that while I had done all my running around the oil had burnt it self out. All I had done with the hose was cool off the solar panels and put out the small licks of flame on the roof. Either way. There was no more fire.
And this was about the time that four police cars, two fire trucks, and an ambulance pulled up on my parent's front lawn.
Running into a door and doing a back flip on the sidewalk must have left a mark because as soon as the medics saw me they tackled me and started to bandage my left foot to my right shoulder.
These guys don't get out much. A real fire alarm had them a little panicked.
A cop started asking me questions. I tried to answer but one of the medics stuck a tongue depressor in my mouth and bandaged it there.
Bozo chose this time to run out of the house in a blow of smoke waving a spray bottle wildly.
The four cops panicked and dove on him. Within seconds they had every one of Bozo's limbs handcuffed to something twice over. The spray bottle was in a plastic bag marked "evidence". And some guy in a trench coat was saying to Bozo "One more question sir..."
It was at this time that my parents came home.
My mom is a very cool and calm person. Unless she sees smoke billowing out of the roof of her house and her baby boy being wrapped to a stretcher by medics while several cops wrestle with a man screaming about a spray bottle.
After it was all sorted out the damage wasn't too bad.
I still don't know where Bozo found a spray bottle.
Busting My Bumb At Boot Camp
I think it's high time for a story.
As some of you know I'm in the Navy.
Just like every branch of military service, to join you have to
do your time in boot camp. Navy boot is on the short side compared
to the Army and the Marines, but none the less it's hell.
And the worst part of hell for me came in mid November.
I'd been there about four weeks. That's the week when you start
learning how to march. Yes, the Navy in fact does learn how to march.
It's a skill we all promptly forget after boot camp.
I was sick.
The kind of sick you get when somewhere in the middle of your small
intestine some snooty body function thinks it's high time that everything
in the digestive tract get booted out and by the quickest
But I was going to tough it out. If they found out I was sick
they would let me stay in bed for a few days, but they would
also set me back a class and I didn't want to stay there any
longer than I had to.
And so we marched. Well, more like we did a good impression of
85 men trying out for the role of the Scarecrow in the local
production of The Wizard of Oz. We stumbled over each
other. Some of us fell. Many of us where told to get a brain.
All of us clicked our heels and said "There is no place like home."
Sadly the part of Dorothy had already been taken by a young
recruit who announced to the whole class that he was gay.
After 3 hours of marching it was time to head back to our compartment.
Did I mention that we march everywhere at boot camp?
And did I mention that we sucked at marching?
Every time one of us made a mistake, one of our instructors would
stop the whole group and tell the one in error how badly he
needed a brain. So even though we only needed to travel about one
quarter of a mile, it was going to take us about three days to get there.
Which was fine by me until a tiny little man in my head raised a
red flag with a big number ONE on it.
I had to tinkle. According to the little man, I had to do it Now.
I'm not sure how it is for you, but for me, holding my pee is
simple as long as I can keep doing one activity. Such as walking.
Or standing. Its when I have to keep changing from walking to
standing that I have a problem.
Our marching progress was going something like this:
Step Step STOP! Wait Wait Start Step STOP! Wait Wait Wait Start...
And so on.
Clearly I was going to wet myself long before I got anywhere near a toilet.
As best I could I held it in and tried not to look like Richard Simmons
in a speed walking contest.
Then the little man in my head raised another flag. It was red and
it had a TWO on it.
Not good. At the time my number twos had been violent and uncontrollable.
I wasn't going to make it and if I tried to hold it in I stood a
good chance of killing the unsuspecting recruit behind me.
So for the greater good I committed a cardinal sin.
With 100 yards to go I broke ranks and started speed walking to
the oldies en route to the nearest potty.
Breking ranks is really bad. I could have burned a flag right in
front of the commanding officer and not been in as much trouble
as breaking ranks.
Within milliseconds my Lead instructor commanded that every one
halt. When they all did and I didn't he asked me calmly, at the top
of his lungs, what the hell it was I thought I was doing.
"I've got to potty, SIR!"
"Get back in ranks!"
"Not until after I see a man about a horse, SIR!"
My last comment left him speechless long enough for me to make it
around the corner of our building. At this point I could actually
FEEL fecal matter start to press against my tighty whities.
(normally I wear boxer briefs but the Navy doesn't issue those.)
((I have no idea why I just revealed that...))
(((Given the nature of the story, I guess it doesn't matter what I say.)))
Where was I?
So, with only three flights of stars to go, I started running.
I bolted up the stars and into our compartment and two problems
struck me at once.
1) Our compartment is the living quarters for 90+ recruits. It's a
really long narrow room. So long you can see the curvature of the
earth. And the door I came as far away from the bathroom as possible.
2) It's mid November. Mid November in the Great Lakes area. It's
really damn cold and to make sure us recruits are snuggly warm
our instructors instructed us to wear three layers of clothing.
I dashed down the compartment tossing odd bits of outerwear left
and right. I was about half way across when from somewhere inside
me a tiny Mr. Scott shouted "SHE CAN'T TAKE MUCH MORE OF THIS CAPTAIN!"
Regardless of whether I wanted to or not, I started to poop my pants.
I reached around with both hands and grabbed my cheeks, pressing
them together. with every ounce of strength I had I flexed my
sphincter closed. Keeping my legs together I HOPPED the rest of
It's amazing how fast you can hop when you really need to.
In fact I was hopping so fast that I blew past 5 toilets before
I was able to slow down enough to land in a stall.
Once I was in the stall I dropped my pants and aimed my ass at the bowl.
I relaxed my bums biceps and... er let nature take it's course.
And that course amounted to the largest explosion of human waste
I've ever witnessed. Chunks the color of black fudge managed to
connect with the ceiling. I sat down on the bowl and allowed my
bowels to empty them selves.
About this time my instructor had caught up with me and came
storming into the bathroom. There is little privacy at boot
camp and none of the stalls have doors. He waltzed right into the
stall and then stopped cold.
All he could say was "Jesus."
I sat there and continued to poop.
Finally he said to me "What is the matter with you."
"Shit happens, Sir."
The story is real but the names have been changed to protect the young and the retarded.
1989 was a good year for snow in Utah.
A good year for snow means a great year for tubing.
A great year for tubing means a drastic increase in health care costs.
If you are not aware of exactly what tubing is then it means that you probably
didn't live around snow and that you haven't broken your collarbone.
A "tube" is the rubber insole of an old fashioned car tire.
Over-inflated, they make great flotation devices in the summer time.
They make a great way to snap a limb in the winter time.
Why all this bleak talk about getting hurt?
You can't steer a tube. The tube determines your destiny.
You pick a hill packed with snow and hop on the tube.
Gravity and the tube do the rest.
If you're smart you pick a hill that has very few obstructions in the way.
If you are crazy you climb up the side of a mountain
and hope to hell that you are going less then mach 7 when you hit the tree.
In 1989 I was 13 and completely nuts.
My kid brother, Drew (age 8) and our two friends Bill and Ted (age 11)
decided that we wanted to go super tubing.
(Note: In 1989 we didn't use the word "uber")
Super Tubing involved a tractor tire tube that was a gift from my uncle.
This tube was large enough that all four of us could sit on it without touching each other.
Upright, as it would be if it were in a tire, the tube was taller than I was.
On its side, it was almost to my waist.
Taking turns we lugged this tube to a spot that was on the hill behind our houses.
We thought it would be a great hill on which to try out our new Super Tube.
One section of the hill dropped off at an extremely sharp grade that you would have to be at least
18 years old to see that it was FAR too dangerous to ride a tube on.
After about only 15 yards of what others may call a cliff face,
the hill evens out so that to an 18 year old it would seem "kind of spooky."
The cliff, um... I mean hill, then bottoms out into a large field.
The hill was covered in sage brush, large prickly bushes, and only about 15 trees.
Perfect in the "not too many obstructions" category.
Besides, with about two feet of snow blanketing the hill,
most of the brush and bushes were completely hidden.
The trees looked skinny because they had no leaves.
Well, there was the evergreen, but there was no way we were going to hit that.
Ok, so there where a few cows wandering around but cows hate tubes
and would surely LEAP out of the way if we came near them.
The small man made lake that was built to water the cows was of no concern at all.
Drew, Bill, and Ted climbed onto the tube. It was my job to give us a push that would launch us down the hill.
Filled with excitement they waited as I heaved once and jumped on the "back."
The instant we started down the hill all four of us wanted off.
We wanted to be back home, right now.
We wanted our mommies serving us hot cocoa as we played a nice safe game of Risk.
I think what really freaked us out was speed. When I was a kid we had stupid names for things.
Terms that made no sense to grown-ups and therefore made perfect sense to us.
One of these terms was "a Wally." A Wally was a unit of speed that meant "way too fast."
It came from a story told about a kid named Wally (hey what do you know) that rode his bike down a really steep hill.
Wally went so fast that his brand new Huffy BMX exploded into a billion parts and Wally was never seen again.
Our tube was going about Wally 17.
The tube spun in a slow circle so that each of us could take a turn at looking out our doom as we hurtled down the hill.
I couldn't hear the other guys screaming for their mommies, hot cocoa, or for the dice tray so they could roll their turn.
All I could hear was wind rushing around my head.
We quickly cleared the cliff face and we found ourselves speeding right for the evergreen tree.
As loud as I could I yelled "LEAN!"
Not that this did any good.
I'm sure that they couldn't hear me, and leaning doesn't do anything to steer a tube.
We hit a small bump which translated into about 4 feet of air for the tube and 10 feet of air for the occupants.
4 kids went up. 3 kids came down.
Bill experienced what it was like to be a plink-O chip
as he bounced down the tree limbs until finally stopping near the bottom,
hanging by his Spiderman under-roo's.
He still holds the world record for the worst wedggie ever.
The next section of hill contained a great deal of sage brush.
With snow on top, the ride was equivalent to ridding on a wash board.
The vibrating tube shook Ted right off. He landed in a nice thick pricker bush that was concealed in the snow.
For the rest of his life Ted had nightmares that would cause him to wake up
in the middle of the night screaming "KEEP THAT BUSH AWAY FROM ME!"
Once we reached the field, my brother and I thought we may be home free.
We had slowed to a meager Wally 3 and the cow standing in our path was about to leap out of the way.
Surely, at any moment, that cow was going to leap.
Did I mention that it was not until I was 13 years old that I learned that cows have no relation
to kangaroos and have about the same leaping ability as Stephen Hawking?
The cow did try to get out of the way but I still collided with it's head which cleaned me right off the tube.
A collision with a cow at Wally 3 is the same as hitting a brick wall at 50mph except there is less mooing and a great deal less cow snot.
At least the cow snot was warm.
My brother coasted right into the man made "lake."
He didn't know he was on 3 feet of water.
All he knew was that the tube had stopped and it was time to get off.
He jumped off with a SPLASH and, sort of like poor Wally, became a new measurement for cold.
After a quick 4 hour visit to the emergency room for puncture wounds, abrasions,
bruised testicles, bruised ribs, hypothermia, shock,
and two nose bleeds we were back home playing Risk with hot cocoa and marshmallows.
Flight of The Wookie
Christmas 1989. [insert flashback music here]
I had been asking my folks for a "Black Gold BMX" forever.
On this Christmas morning they delivered. I don't know how
many of you experienced the 80's but back then BMX was king.
The Black Gold BMX was built by some no name company that I can't remember.
What I do remember is that the bike was mostly black.
Where it wasn't black it had polished steel that was tinted gold.
The Giant MAG wheels were also gold in color.
It was the first bike I ever owned that had hand breaks.
Everyone had the old foot break.
Remember those? Just pedal backwards and the wheel locks up.
You could stop on a dime... if the dime was twenty feet in diameter.
Not this baby.
Golden hand brakes with jet black cables that looped all around
the handlebars and down to actual break pads.
My cool factor had just gone up by seventeen points.
Despite the fact that it was twelve degrees out side
with a three day old blanket of frozen snow
I had to go outside and try out my new bike.
Right next to my house was an unfinished road.
It was a street that abruptly ended in a long dirt trail that lead down to
a BMX wonderland where a kid on a bike could sustain any injury known to medical science.
To discourage kids from riding their bikes down there,
the town dumped a large mound of dirt at the opening of the trail.
I guess they figured that if there was a large dirt hill we wouldn't be able to get over it.
Anyway across from this dirt mound was a steep hill.
SO, if you hop on your bike and ride up the hill about two blocks,
you can build up a ton of speed, fly across the small intersection that lead to no where,
hit the dirt mound that was now packed into a perfect jump,
and that would launch you for some wicked air.
Filled with excitement I pedaled my way up the hill, turned around and let gravity do the rest.
In about 3 seconds I was doing close to Wally13.
This bike broke the laws of thermodynamics in that it seemed to gain energy by spending it.
I'd been down this hill before many times but my old bike never COASTED this fast.
As I reached the bottom of the hill I realized that if I hit the jump at this speed I wouldn't land in the same state I launched from.
It was time to use the breaks.
I was in sort of a crouch standing on the pedals. I shifted my weight and stomped on the right pedal hard and in reverse.
Oh yeah, did I mention that I had hand breaks? I did? Yeah... I had hand breaks.
Big shinny gold ones... with black cables... that... I... forgot about... sorta...
(it hurts to think about this as I type the story)
When I put my weight on that pedal, I was in free fall. Luckily I broke my fall on the seat with my... er... man region.
Before I could shed my first tear of agony I hit that dirt jump and got so high in the air I could see Mexico.
I was so up there in the wild blue yonder that a small oxygen mask popped out of the cross bar.
I got more air than Alan Shepard did on his first space flight.
I had jumped over the zarking moon.
I once read a quote that said something like "Flying is the second greatest thrill known to man. Landing is the first."
My landing was anything but thrilling.
I had cleared the dirt trail and was descending on a large patch of weeds covered in frozen snow. When the bike hit it sunk into the ground like a lawn dart.
Being the good little boy that I am I obeyed Newton's laws of physics and kept my self in motion.
I motioned myself for a good 30 yards over snow, ice, gravel, weeds, and other things that don't rhyme with "soft"
until some of Newton's other laws of physics slowed me down.
For the remainder of my life when ever I got a new bike
I would ride it, SLOWLY, at my garage door.
I would do this until I could stop the bike BEFORE I hit the door.
The Treadmill From Hell
I used to work out at a gym on a regular basis. Three times a week I would lift weights. Twice a week I would run on the treadmill. Part of what makes the gym worth it are all the um... let us say attractive women that stay in shape by going to the gym.
On one of my treadmill days one of the hottest redheads I have ever seen got on the treadmill right next to me. I couldn't help but look her way and when I did she gave me a big smile.
I was excited to say the least. I had just barley started running so I would have plenty of time to think of how I was going to get her phone number. She started her treadmill as well and we were off and running so to speak.
3 miles later...
This girl is running like she's training for a marathon. (in fact I found out later that this is exactly what she was doing) I usually run a mile and a half. But when I got to my stopping point I noticed (because I'd been checking her out for the last mile and a half) that she was still going strong and was showing no signs of stopping.
I... um... well let's say that I didn't want to show her that I had NO stamina. So I added another 2 miles to my treadmill and kept running.
The problem is that I'm working on three miles. This was crazy. I was in shape but I never planned on running three miles unless I was being chased by something REALLY nasty.
So I figure that if I adjust my speed down a little bit maybe I can fake another mile at a slower pace.
Problem is that if you run several miles and you are not used to it you get a little shaky. I didn't hit the button I was aiming for and my treadmill speeds up.
Staying calm I reach out and tap the buttons again.
My treadmill goes faster.
Now I'm in a pickle. If I grab the handle bar SHE will know that I can't take it anymore and I need off. IF I don't grab the handle bar I'm going to fall of the damn treadmill.
One more time I slap at the buttons.
My treadmill is now on 12.5 miles an hour.
I KNOW I hit the right button. This treadmill has been possessed by an evil spirit and has it out for me. I was afraid that if I hit the emergency stop it would eject me into the ceiling.
While I'm sprinting to stay alive and still look manly, the redhead has glanced over my way. I had inadvertently gotten her attention by flailing at the controls.
Now it's do or die. Either I bail out and accept defeat, or I slow this damned thing down. One last time I reach for the buttons.
However I have been sprinting too fast for two long. My left foot catches on the tread and I trip.
Launched into the air I make a desperate grab for the handle bar and miss by miles. I flopped right on to my chest (and expelled ALL the air in my lungs) and for a moment I grabbed a hold at the base of the support bar that holds the controls.
With a loud almost "sucking" noise the tread takes my shorts right off me. There I am hanging on for dear life wearing only a T-shirt and a jock strap.
It's time to let go.
I do so and I'm launched like an F-14 of the deck of an aircraft carrier.
As I sail off the treadmill my T-shirt snags and is ripped off my body. It is sucked up to my wrists, and because it was twisting in the tread it wraps around my wrists and neatly hog ties me to the end of the machine.
So there I lay, more or less naked before God and country, with my T-shirt wrapped around my wrists, my shorts tangled around my ankles, and since a jock strap doesn't cover much, my white ass is shown for all to see.
At this moment I hear a thud and a WHOOSH.
The Redhead was laughing so hard that she tripped and was flung off her treadmill as well.
The best part is she got MY number and called me a week later.
Why? Because she noticed that I had a cute ass...
I Once Stepped on Something Fuzzy
Camping is a hobby of mine. I love to get out in the woods, away from man made things like parking meters and jackhammers.
A few years back I was camping with my dad. I decided to go out on a hike while dad stayed at camp with the dog.
About a mile away from our little campsite I happened across one of the more common animals in the Rocky Mountains.
A badger is the size of a small dog with really short legs. They are the grumpiest animals God put on the earth. They very aggressive and will attack anything within sight, smell, hearing, etc. FIRICE is a good word for them. Mean, mean, mean. We are talking MR T. only small furry and with no gold.
When I say that I 'happened' across a badger what I mean is that I was walking along and stepped on something soft. This soft object started growling and hissing. Furthermore the soft thing bit deeply into the heel of my hiking boot and didn't let go.
His bite did not get to my skin but his teeth were so deep into the rubbery sole of my boot that you could not see his teeth. Once he had bit me he didn't let go. He didn't shake or struggle. He just went limp and kept a hold of my boot. I have no idea why he did this or why I surprised him enough to step on him. It's not like I was sneaking around. He should have known I was coming and run away or attacked me in another manner.
This happened in a matter of seconds so I didn't really have time to react. I looked down and there was a badger stuck to my boot. I had no clue what to do about it. I checked over the Badger carefully as he sat there with his teeth locked onto my boot. He didn't have a load of foam running out of his mouth so he wasn't rabid. He seemed in good health, just REALLY pissed at my boot.
I kicked my leg.
I poked him with a stick.
All he did was growl and remain attached to my boot.
It kind of reminded me of a really bad date I had once.
I started hiking back toward my camp. I'd take a step, then I'd drag my foot with its 20 pounds of weight. Take a step. Drag my foot. All the while I kept a watchful eye on Mr. Badger to make sure that he didn't let go and start biting more soft parts of me.
After 100 yards I was brave enough to reach down with my hand and try to PRY is mouth off me. He just hissed more and didn't let go. I pinched his nose. I poked him all over his little furry body.
Now I could have used the knife I carry to stab him but I really didn't want to hurt the badger and more likely I would get a nasty bite and the process. He had as much right to be there as I did. He was just upset because I'd stomped on him. What can I do?
So I kept dragging my foot until I got all the way back to camp.
As I got close to camp I noticed that the dog was tied up and asleep. My dad was fussing with the camp fire when he looked up and noticed me for the first time. He saw that I was limping and ran over to me because he thought I was injured.
When he saw the badger he stopped cold.
We stood a few feet apart. He stared at the badger and I stared at my dad.
He said, "where did you get that?"
I replied, "The badger store. He was on sale."
My dad then tried poking him with a stick and then his boot but nothing worked. So my dad popped into the small RV Trailer we had and came back out with some of my mothers hair spray
Spritz Spritz, Right on Mr. Badgers face.
Yeah, that worked. Only now we had pissed off a small, furry, MR T. (with no gold) so much that he flipped out and did a very good Tazmainian Devil impersonation.
Mr. Badger was so mad that he let go of my boot and tried to bite both of us at the same time. This caused him to spin in circles and nip and bite at both of us at about 200 RPM.
My father and I (being the brave woodsmen that we are) RAN AROUND SCREAMING LIKE LITTLE GIRLS TRYING TO GET AWAY.
We ran into each other. We ran into trees. I ran THROUGH the fire.
All the time MR. Badger was darting between us trying to decide who to bite the most.
My Dad stepped on the dog and Chewie woke up with a yelp. Seeing the Mad Badger spinning around Chewie stepped in and barked at it.
In two seconds Chewie was trying to CLIMB the tree he was chained to so he could get away from the badger.
After a few moments of panic and spinning fur my dad had climbed a tree, I was on top of the truck trying to put out my pant leg that was on fire, and Chewie had managed to hop on top of his dog pen where the badger couldn't go.
Mr. Badger then would go to the truck and growl and paw at me. Then he would go to the tree my dad was in and growl and paw. Then he would go to the dog cage and growl and paw.
Three hours later Mr. Badger finally got bored and wandered off into the woods.
Stumpy the Mouse
WARNING: If you are reading this at work stop now. Wait until the cost is clear.
Long ago before I was married I lived in an apartment with 3 other guys. John, Bob, and Ted. (the names have been changed to protect the stupid) College students where we. Between the four of us we shared two bathrooms, one kitchen, a living room, three closets, and one parking space.
At the time I drove the Millenium GMC. This was a very large truck. It didn't even fit in the parking space so I had to park across the street. But I digress?
The "Pad" as it was called was great. We had every game console available and we all had decent computers. Every Saturday was a Starcraft lan party. The only problem with The Pad was that we had a mouse.
We had just one.
However he was a pain in the neck. He couldn't be caught. It was as if Al Capone and Houdini had come back as THIS mouse. We would lay out traps. The next morning the cheese was gone and the trap was sprung, but no mouse was in the trap.
One day the mouse got careless. We awoke and found that the trap had caught his arm. But that was all that was in the trap; just his arm. The little bastard had chewed his own arm off at the elbow to get away.
From that day forward we called him Stumpy.
Stumpy continued to be a pest for several months. He ate our cereal. He ate our sugar. He ate our PlayStation cords.
One day one of my roommates came home with a new kind of mouse trap.
A sticky trap is about 2.5 inches by 4 inches. It's nothing more than a strip of card stock with the most, gooey, sticky, glue-like substance in the universe on one side.
No really. This stuff was so sticky that NASA uses it to keep the international space station together. The police could stick your fingers to it and you would be as good as hand cuffed. If you applied this substance to the lips of any politician he would actually keep his mouth shut.
We placed the sticky trap under the stove in the kitchen and promptly forgot about it for two weeks.
One Saturday we were getting ready for a lan party. It was taking quite a while to set up. (anyone who has ever tried to network on win98 knows what I'm talking about) From the kitchen we heard a strange noise.
It was a mouse.
It was squeaking wildly.
It was Stumpy.
I looked under the stove and there was a mouse stuck to the sticky trap. It looked as if he was running past and as he skimmed over the trap it caught his foot and tripped him up. He had tumbled forward and was now stuck to the trap with all three legs and one stump sticking up.
"WE GOT STUMPY!" I yelled and tried to reach for the trap. My three roommates came running into the kitchen crowding over me to get a look. I couldn't reach the trap and we couldn't move the stove. It was bolted to the floor. (yeah, we hadn't thought trap placement through very well)
Grabbing a fly swatter I tried to scoop up Stumpy and slide him out. Instead I managed to flip him over on to his feet.
Stumpy darted off at mach 2. Because the trap was still stuck to his back he couldn't fit into his mouse hole. He ran everywhere as we chased him around the apartment. All four of us grabbed items to smash Stumpy with.
I dumped my fly swatter and grabbed a near by tennis racket. John grabbed his golf putter that he toyed with constantly. Bob, a WAR at heart, grabbed an iron pot. Ted, who is the biggest wuss I've ever met, grabbed my fly swatter.
The Strangest game of hockey had begun.
Stumpy darted from room to room with such speed that keeping up with him was impossible. With out the large piece of card stock stuck to his back we wouldn't have been able to follow him.
Stumpy ran by John who had stationed him self by the TV. John swung away and hit everything in the area BUT Stumpy. The TV and the PlayStation were later repaired. The VCR was a complete loss. John received a nice scar on his shin.
Stumpy darted past Bob. Bob enthusiastically raised his iron pot. So enthusiastically that the ceiling fan was knocked off it's bearings. The dent in the floor was soon named "Spot where Stumpy WAS."
Stumpy ran by Ted
Well, if you can imagine Richard Simmons screaming and smacking a moving piece of paper then you know what Ted did.
Finally, Stumpy ran by me.
I did what probably looked like the most retarded sturmwind you have ever seen in your life. With one lucky swat I smacked that mouse across the room. Stumpy sailed gracefully and landed right on top of Ted's chest.
Have you seen the 5th element? Remember Chris Tucker and his ability to scream? Chris would be second fiddle to Ted.
With stumpy clinging to his chest Ted ran like Zsa Zsa Gabor with her hair on fire, flailing arms, and screaming like only Chris Tucker could dream of.
During his fit Ted had smacked Stumpy and in doing so had sealed stumpy to his shirt forever.
The three of us chased Ted around the apartment trying to get him to stop screaming so we could get the mouse off his chest. His panic attack only got worse when Stumpy started to bite him. Bob even tried to hit Ted with the Iron Pot. He missed and put a nice hole in the wall. We stuck a dart board there to cover it up.
Finally Ted ran out side. On his way out he tripped over the door frame and landed flat on his chest. The Reign of Stumpy was over. But Ted in his panic got up and tore Stumpy's mangled body off his shirt, ripping a mouse sized hole, and threw it across the street.
Stumpy stuck to the bumper of the Millenium GMC. He stayed there for quite a while.
Aside from playing video games until my thumbs bleed I do like a lot of out door sports. Fishing is one of these. (I think Fishing is a sport, it's on ESPN right?)
A few summers ago I was fishing in central Utah. I was trying my luck in a little stream that weaved its way in and around a small valley. I had with me my Trusty Dog: Chewbacca. (what else?)
Chewie is a 5-year-old German Shepard. His job while I fish is to sniff every thing that God put on the earth. This takes him quite a while.
After I've spent most of the morning catching nothing I decide to hike over to a better spot. Do I know it's a better spot? No. But it COULD be right? (every fisherman does this)
Crossing the valley floor I come to a very large, very sturdy, LOG fence. Not a wooden fence. This thing is made of two big ass logs that are spaced about a foot and a half apart. I think I could drive my truck into this fence and I would need a new truck. It's about 5 feet tall too. This uber fence was obviously built to keep something from getting out.
Unfortunately I had left my grasp of the obvious in the truck.
I merrily hop over the fence and Chewie squeezes under. I am now in what is a large pasture. Cow pies are everywhere. Chewie jets off to sniff them all. I plod my way across the pasture.
Ignorance is bliss I tell you.
Suddenly, I see Chewie running at me. Not the sort of run a dog does when he's just loping around. Nor is the kind of run a dog does when he runs after a stick.
Chewie is running as if his life depends on his ability to break the sound barrier. This is a "Holy sh*t Batman!" run. His ears are tucked against his head and his tail is also hidden.
Chewie passes me. Does he say hi? No. Does he give me a Good old Rin Tin Tin "Come quick Timmy fell in the well!" bark? No. He jets past me at Doggy Mach 3.
Have you ever heard a dog sigh? That sigh of "oh good, it will kill him and give me time to escape."
That is the exact sigh I heard my "Trusty Dog" make as he burned past me.
I watch my cowardly dog run exceedingly fast away from me and LEAP over the fence. That little sh*t cleared the fence easy. The really unnerving part is after he cleared the fence he stopped, WALKED back to the edge of the fence and stared at me.
Ya know in the movies when the hero suddenly realizes something and the camera zooms into his face while the background zooms far away?
I'm here to tell you that it feels very weird.
At that moment the ground starts to shake. My entire field of vision is vibrating so bad that it?s hard to see. My teeth are rattling. My dog crosses himself.
I turn around to see the largest BULL ever to walk the face of the earth. He is moving at a speed that makes the feat my dog just pulled look like a snail crawling in molasses. One of his horns would be enough to tear a VW Bug in half. It is also at this time that I realize that I am wearing a bright RED shirt.
Have you seen a Jesus Lizard? Did you know they run so fast they can actually run across water?
I made that Jesus Lizard look slow.
Dropping my fishing tackle and, leaving a cow pie of my own, I tear the earth as I run for the fence. Imagine Carol Lewis, only white and faster. I jumped that fence like it was nothing.
And it?s a damn good thing too because that bull hit the fence in way that told me had the bull hit my truck, I was going to need a new insurance company.
Chewie was demoted to ?Somewhat Trusty Dog? on the spot.
I have another story about myself, Chewie, and a very large unfriendly animal? but I?ll save it for later.
I Hate Stairs
SO last night I am playing FFXI with my RL friend. We do this quite often and we use a VOIP to talk to each other real time. (I hate typing) We are working on our subjobs so I'm playing my MNK. During a lull in battle I rush out of my office, down the stairs to throw a pizza in the oven. Cook time on a pizza is about 20 minutes. Running back up the stairs I get back in time to pull the next mob and start punching away.
Time passes... about 40 minutes of it.
My wife comes in and says to me "Honey..."
"NOT NOW!" The words are out of my mouth instantly. The battle is not going well. Our Glorious PAL (who was no doubt a buttersheep in a previous life) has pulled something that is way to mean for us to handle. I was the puller but he felt he would take it upon himself to do my job. The moment my wife walked in the room I had turned on hundred fists, and the Pal had just bought the farm. I have 47hp left and it's going fast.
My wife says "um, did you forget your pizza?"
Time Freezes. All sound has stopped. Somewhere in the distance, a dog barks.
Do I leave the game in this critical moment to keep my house from burning down? After I think about this for a nanosecond I leap to my feet and bolt for the stairs. From the office to the stairs I must navigate a small hallway and few obstructions.
Wookies are not graceful. They are large, hairy, lumbering Oafs. Put a tutu on a wookie and you'll get a large, hairy, lumbering oaf wearing a tutu. So needless to say I missed the first step...
Have you ever seen an otter on TV? You know, those silly furry things that slide belly first down a hill? Well imagine a really big silly furry thing sliding belly first down 21 steps that empty out on to hardwood flooring and then ends shortly into a metal door.
My wife, and love of my life, is standing at the top of the stairs laughing her ass off.
The large bump I have on my head today is rather amusing in hindsight.
Stunned, and missing my shorts, (the friction of the stairs took them right off me) I make my way to the stove. Pulling out my black pizza and turning off the smoke detector I hear a chilling sound.
My friend's voice coming from my speakers up stairs. "WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU? HELP! HELP!"
I bolt for the stairs again hoping to make it in time. Now I have to make a 180-degree turn to go up the stairs. To help me with this turn I grab the knob at the top of the banister and use it to fling me around and up.
Only the Knob breaks off in my hand and I smack into the door again. (That?s where the funny bump comes from.)
At this point my wife is running to the bathroom. To get me a first aid kit? NO! She?s laughing so hard now that she has to pee.
Stumbling my way up the stairs I sit at my chair to find everyone in the party dead. Thankfully, they all blamed the PAL.
The Need for Bacon and Eggs
My wife has no perspective when it comes to the needs of the party and the needs of people in the real world.
Or maybe that's me.
Yesterday I was playing with my real life friend and best buddy. We do this 90% of the time while playing. We Farm together and it makes it go a lot faster. His RDM keeps my WAR alive and with a little bit of Black Magic things die quickly.
Suddenly SHE WHO MUST BE OBEYED steps into the office. [Insert Imperial March here]
"We need some groceries so that I can make dinner." You can almost hear the mechanical breathing. My throat tightens a bit.
"Sweetness, I'm playing with-" My sentence is cut off as she begins choking me from across the room.
"You can spare a few minutes to go to the store right?"
"ACK!" I tried to say yes. All that came out was ack. It's really annoying when that happens.
I tell my friend that I have to go but I'll be back shortly. He is also married, and all he says is: "Good luck."
I calmly walk to the stairs, avoiding my own personal otter impersonation, and then bolt to the trusty GMC Envoy parked in the garage. The local supermarket is only a few blocks away and I think I burned a gallon of gas getting there. A petal to the floor is a poor way to achieve excellent gas mileage.
From the parking lot I select a basket that has one incredibly squeaky wheel and wants to go left. I blow past to old women who are trying to get me to sign some petition. These seemingly innocent women will be my downfall.
Once inside I begin my shopping spree. As quickly as I can push the basket with out actually running, I nab the various items on the list Darth Wife gave me. In less than 10 minutes I have everything and breeze through the checkout. I'm rather proud of my self because I'm sure I just broke last month's record.
Home free and just minutes from gaming I start building speed so that the moment I hit the sidewalk I can run to my car. Going back out the way I came in, one of the elderly ladies LEAPS in front of my cart. Her arms are spread out and she yells: "STOP!"
Was this woman a hippy when she was younger and is reliving some anti-war protest? Is she so irked that I ignored her on my way in, that she must thrust her old bloated body in my path? AM I A FRIGGEN TANK IN RED SQUARE!
Brief Physics lesson: A body in motion tends to stay in motion. Since it would take an equal amount of force to bring my full shopping cart to a halt, I have two options. Run the old bag down, or veer left.
I was really tempted to see how far she would bounce but, "Local Mad Man Plows Elderly Woman" was NOT a headline I wanted to see.
Veering left I miss her by less than the flabby fat hanging from her arms. My cart is now pointed directly at one of those concrete pillars that only GOD knows why they are in parking lots. I wasn't quite running yet, but I was up to a quick trot. Needless to say the collision was rather abrupt and painful.
The cart stopped dead. Eggs in the top of the cart leaped out and performed their own kind of modern art on the BMW parked in the handy-caped space. The bar of the cart slammed directly into my stomach. I have abs of steel; however on top of those abs is a layer of fat. This fat causes issues with my tummy. Its ability to take things that are slammed into it is one of them.
Knocked on my ass and with the wind also knocked out of my lungs the old woman leans over me and says, "You shouldn't run young man, someone will get hurt."
I tried to say that had she not jumped in front of me nobody would have gotten hurt but all that came out was: "ACK"
"Now that I have your attention will you sign this petition that will blah blah blah?."
Funny how no sounds just like yes when all you can say is, "ACK"
Camping in Utah
Ask and ye shall receive. Knock and it shall be opened unto you.
If you ever need a good story all you need to do is go camping.
While on vacation a few years back I was in the mountains of Utah, as I usually am, camping with my dog. I had decided to take an early morning hike so that I could reach a point on the mountain to watch the sun rise.
My Somewhat Trusty Dog Chewbacca was running around in the tall grass among the aspen trees smelling and peeing on anything of interest. The shrubs and grass that we hiked through came up to about my chest.
I could barely see Chewie as he plowed through the brush too and fro "marking" his territory. Not only that but it was still pretty dark. Just that dimness there is right before the sun peeks above the horizon.
As we got further up the hill and farther away from any trail the trees got thicker and the grass got deeper.
Suddenly out of the corner of my right eye I saw something large start to rise ABOVE the grass.
At the same instant something on my left started to rise above the grass.
Something number one was an antler.
So was something number two.
Both of them belonged to the same moose that was now standing right in front of me. His giant nose rested on top of my head and he took a large whiff of my hair to see what the hell I was and why the hell I had walked into his bed at 5:20 in the morning.
For a moment everything stopped. I held perfectly still staring at the moose. The moose looked at me. Chewie looked at the moose. I "marked" my underpants.
At this time Chewie felt that he needed to do something. The last time we ran into a large animal he ran off leaving me to die. Since Chewie and I had a "discussion" about this involving a rolled up newspaper he decided that he would BITE the moose.
Now if you are out in town and you are with a friend, and that friend does something incredibly stupid, you have the option of pretending that you don't know that friend. You can act like you've never seen him before and slip out before anyone associates him with you.
Not possible out in the woods.
I didn't even wait to see if the moose killed my dog, I just turned and RAN down the hill.
FELL would be a better word. I tripped on my third step. I didn't want to stop so I just kept on rolling and bouncing down the hill.
I bounced off trees, rolled, leapt to my feet for a few steps, fell again, slid, you name it. I did it down that hill.
When I got to the bottom of the hill I tried to run on the flat mostly open ground. However I was so dizzy from flipping and flopping down the hill that I couldn?t run straight. After I wiped out the third time I looked to see if there was still a moose behind me.
Chewie was. He was trotting behind me as if nothing had happened. I looked everywhere for the Moose. I finally spied him clear up on top of the mountain just walking along as if nothing happened.
I have no clue what transpired between Chewie and that moose. Maybe Chewie paid him off and staged the whole thing so that I would bump him back up to ?Trusty Dog? status.
All I know is that I pissed my paints and fell down a mountain for more or less no reason.
Indiana Wookie and the Hose of Doom
In the spring of 1998 I was working for a concrete firm. The company had been commissioned by Yellowstone national park to "Fix" a bridge that another company had build a year before. The cold winter had cracked the bridge in several places and the company I worked for was brought in to resurface and reinforce the existing bridge.
Resurfacing involved drilling several hundred holes, one foot deep and one inch in diameter. Once the holes were drilled we placed steel tubes in them and screwed large "anchors" into the tubes. The anchors where nothing more than large bolts. These bolts rose about six inches off of the surface of the bridge.
This small bridge about 150 feet long and more or less only two lanes was covered by these anchors spaced out every square foot. Not the best surface to run on. ESPECIALLY not a good place to trip.
While drilling the holes I had already been chased off the edge and into the water by a Bison, swooped at by a rabid bat, and run over by a 90-year-old man and is wife from Kansas. Needless to say I was happy that we where almost done. Before we laid rebar across the whole thing and poured the concrete we needed to wash off the surface.
To do this we had a 3 inch pump that was placed next to the river. This was attached to a (yup you guessed it) a 3 inch hose (not 3 inches long? think diameter? yeah? big hose) and attached to that hose was: ME.
Well I was the only member of the crew who was large enough to handle the hose and nimble enough not to trip over the anchors as I handled the hose. At six foot two inches and two hundred and five pounds there was only one guy smaller than I was. Renny. Soaking wet Renny weighed just over a buck fifty.
Every other member of the crew didn't weigh UNDER two fifty and none of them were taller than five eight. yeah. WAY too many Twinkies. They could weigh the hose down but nimble is not a word used to describe these hippos.
So it's my job to hose down the bridge.
It's Renny's job to work the pump.
And it's the job of every other fat bastard to stand around watching and stuff more twinkies into their mouths.
I mentioned that Renny was in charge of the pump? Yeah. Renny would need instructions on how to use a light switch.
Once we all got into place the Forman yelled down the hill to Renny, who was a safe forty yards away, and I quote "Turn her on to one quarter full power!"
All Renny heard was "FULL POWER!"
I am not Bob Vila. Hell I'm not Tim Allen. I don't know how many gallons a minute a 3 inch pump can spew at full power. I do know that it's way too fucking much.
Renny pulled the starter on the pump, it fired up and he threw the power bar with enthusiasm. I saw the Water surge up the hill and before I could do anything that might be sensible, such as run away, the water hit the spew end.
The water was coming out with enough force to lift me so that my feet could not touch the ground. I was straddling the hose and that was a really bad idea in hind sight. The hose lifted up and shook side to side like a giant anaconda that had just been branded with a hot iron.
Keep in mind that I am completely in the air. As the hose would swoop to the right I would barely be able to touch the deck with my right foot. As soon as did that the hose would shift and I would swoop left. So I was more or less doing a two lane tippy toe that was bound to end with a trashed tushy.
The foreman is yelling at Renny to turn the hose off. God forbid he run down the hill and turn it off him self. Foremen just yell. They never work.
Renny does his impersonation of Don Knotts and jumps around the pump wildly and yells that he doesn't know how to turn it off.
That big red button on top that says emergency stop? yeah... way to go Renny.
Meanwhile the three fat bastards that are not running up to help me or running down to help Renny are laughing their fat bloated asses off.
I do not want to fall on the deck of the bridge. Those anchors are going to mash ribs, elbows and other bits of me that I do not want mashed.
I do not want to be flung off the edge of the bridge either. I?m not quite over the water and the landing would be, as they say in Russia, SputKER-POWnik
My only hope is to aim for the hill side that is about five yards behind me. Left or right I don't care; actually I want the left side... There are fat ass holes on the right and I don't want to land on them. They haven't had a bath since Nixon was in office.
Hoping for a whip like effect I point the tip of the hose as far to the right as I can get it. The laws of Newton take effect and I get rocketed WAY to the left right about where I want to bail off. Once I bail off the hose swings REALLY far back to the right.
Three fat men stop laughing.
The hose sweeps across and takes them all off of there feet and topples them down the hill. I wish I could have seen them. The visual of those men rolling down the hill would have been priceless.
Once I was on the ground Renny suddenly remembered that he could, in fact, read and hit the big red button that said "emergency stop."
Way to go Renny.