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Your best 'deer in the headlights' moment

 
pioneer
Posts: 230
Location: NW Arkansas
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So, I'm about sixteen one summer. The annual July 4th celebration and rodeo is in full swing. It's after dark and a bunch of us boys were neck deep in a fierce bottle rocket fight next to the arena.
It was every man for himself style warfare and there was 12 or 14 combatants. If you've ever been on a bottle rocket fight you know you get powder burned more often than you actually hit an opponent, but it's good, clean fun, right?
My buddy Melvin launched a rocket that had a delayed fuse. He threw it, it landed on the ground and then took off. Its trajectory was towards the rodeo arena.
Mr. and Mrs. Schmidt was watching the rodeo in the stands adjacent to our battle ground. She had one of those big beehive hairdos. That thing stood a foot above her head and was held in place by hairspray...very flammable hair spray.
That rocket hit her in the back of the head just as it detonated, setting her hair on fire. She spun around and started yelling at us boys not realizing her hair was burning.
Her husband saw the fire, stood up and, with his ball cap, started beating her hairdo to put out the flames. She still didn't know she was on fire and started fighting back.
That's as much as I saw. They were too busy to see who was throwing fireworks so I ran like hell to the nearest crowd and blended.
Ahh, the good old days!
 
pollinator
Posts: 251
Location: Middle Georgia, Zone 8B
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BAHAHAHAHA!!! You should have warned us coffee drinkers...I almost spewed a mouthful onto my computer screen!

Two short episodes that come to my mind:

1. Our family shot off firecrackers last 4th of July. We badly aimed one of the bottle rockets, and it flew across the street and blew up under our neighbor's car. They rushed outside like Armageddon landed on their front porch! Thankfully, the other neighbor was also outside shooting off fireworks. No damage done to the car, and to this day no one has ratted us out.

2. We used to live in an area where burning your fall leaves was the preferred method of disposal. One afternoon, Hubbie and my dad decided to use gasoline to accelerate a massive pile of leaves. An explosion in the back yard...leaves flying upwards of 20 feet, then raining back down like confetti. Hubbie and Daddy with saucer-eyed faces of fear meeting my mom's and my angry looks.


 
pollinator
Posts: 2975
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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Probably when was trying to get an old oil drum ready to make into a biochar burner. It had some paint on it, so I threw it on top of a bonfire to burn it clean. It also had some greasy residue inside. I wasn't thinking straight - explosions in containers are not good. A few minutes later the stuff inside boiled, the fumes came out of the end cap and ignited with an earth shattering boom, and teh whole thing fired 20ft sideways like a rocket with flames jetting out of the bung hole.

At some point, about 60 seconds before this happened, a little voice of self preservations reminded me that boiling hydrocarbons in an oil drum might not be the best idea, so I had retreated behind a tree. I was stood there, peeking round the side of it, just waiting for a boom that might or might not happen.

I got back to the house a bit later and my wife said "did you hear that explosion, sounded really loud!". From 200m away. Indoors. With music playing in the house. I told her I didn't hear a thing, obviously.
 
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I know darn well I've had my fair share of those type of moments but for now only one comes to mind.

It was during the time I was trying to master the art of riding my unicycle. Probably don't need to say more, but I'm gonna. Ps: we lived in town and the neighbors closely kept tabs on my progress, so whatever happened was pretty much "public"...

So, I took off on the well-beaten sidewalk "path", determined to conquer that one wheeled beast, and, suddenly, both feet came off the pedals at the same time. There is no way to "coast" on a unicycle. At this point in time, I had become a passenger. I balanced as best I could, and hung onto the seat, jaws clenched and waiting for the outcome.

I ended up veering off into the grass, wiping out, landing on top of the wheel, with the axle up my a....well, you get the picture...

Edit to add: I eventually did master the unicycle and actually rode it in parades, with the spokes decorated and me wearing the sparkly blue outfit my mother made for me.

One more: Grandpa always had a huge cache of "black cats" and bottle rockets. Not only did he let us do whatever we wanted, he participated lol! He and Grandma lived in a really nice subdivision with big fancy houses. A girl in their neighborhood and I used to hang out at my grandparents' house and one of the things we did was experiment with the fireworks. There wasn't a lot of light out there after dark, so it was easy to conceal yourself.

On this particular evening, "Jenna" and I were together and were watching the neighbors across the road who were standing around a car and saying goodbye to their guests. I have no idea what possessed us in that moment, and don't recall by now which of us actually "pulled the trigger", but a lit bottle rocket landed on top of that car, sending people scattering and diving for safety. I didn't dare to breathe until I heard peals of wild laughter from those people...and, believe me, neither of us moved for awhile, concealed in the darkness and almost peeing with uncontrollable laughter. Nobody was hurt. The car wasn't damaged. Our parents were never told. Grandpa laughed his butt off.

Ahhh, childhood...
 
pollinator
Posts: 2609
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
424
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I'm a great swimmer. There my hubs and I are in Hawaii snorkeling and looking at fish. Unbeknownst to us we were getting quite far out. Suddenly my husband pops out of the water and screams "SWIM FOR SHORE". I had NO IDEA what was going on and my body just shut down. I could barely swim. Here I thought a shark was coming to eat me and I was completely shut down.

Turns out we'd swum into some man of war. So it was important we flee but man, I still think about how I froze.
 
Michael Dotson
pioneer
Posts: 230
Location: NW Arkansas
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elle sagenev wrote:"SWIM FOR SHORE"


My ship had pulled into St Michaels, VI, for a port visit.We heard there was a nude beach so here we went. The beach was disappointing. We thought we were gonna see a lot of beautiful naked bodies. We were severely disappointed, but decided to jump in the water anyway.
I'm in about 30 feet of water snorkeling along when I spy this eel like fish looking up at me from the bottom. It was about 15 feet long with a huge mouthful of sharp teeth. It was undulating along the bottom like a snake. I didn't have anything to fight it off with if it decided to take a bite outa my big ass. For several minutes we just looked at each other before it decided to move on. I was very pleased it did, too. I got out and went back to the ship and actually have not been back in saltwater since. Those teeth made a believer outa me!
 
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