I’m going to start this out by declaring that I am 100% heterosexual. I have absolutely nothing against anyone in the LGBT community, but it’s important for you to know that I’m happily straight and have been all my life before you read the rest of this story.
I attended my eighth Fan Expo convention this year, better known (to me, at least) as the Festival of Fear. The Fan Expo event has Anime, Gaming, Science Fiction, Comics and Horror, but the big attraction for me is the horror area, sponsored by Rue Morgue magazine and referred to by them as the Festival of Fear.
Anyway, on the first day, as I drove myself, the Boy and a friend of his into the convention, we were chatting about various different things automobile and driving related. The Boy is taking a bigger interest in all things driving as he’s eligible to start the process that gets him driving in about two weeks, when he turns sixteen.
So I’m pointing out various stupid things that drivers do that any good driver has to watch for, talked about different, scary situations I’d experienced as a driver.
Then I told them about a time when I was about 21, and it was me that was the stupid driver. Here’s the story.
I was out with a couple of friends–let’s call them Bob and Doug–and of course, I was the only one of the three of us that owned a car, so I was always the token driver. Fair enough, I accepted my lot in life.
Anyway, at the end of the evening (I’m guessing we went and saw a movie or a concert or something, I truly can’t remember), I made my way to Bob’s place to drop him off first. I pulled up on the road alongside his house, not bothering to enter the driveway. Why bother? It had to be at least two in the morning.
Bob got out of the backseat of my Volkswagen Rabbit (a vehicle I probably had more notable and story-worthy experiences in than any other car I’ve ever owned), walked around to the front of the car and, before I could say or do anything, dived on the hood of my car as though leaping from a stage to crowd-surf. Crazy bastard.
Of course, Doug and I laughed, but Bob wouldn’t get off. He just kept making stupid faces up against my front windshield. So, I put the car into gear and goosed it, just a bit. The effect was to push Bob further up the windshield. Then I hit the wipers. And the fluid.
Still, he refused to anything other than be a large grotesque unwanted hood ornament.
Doug, in his infinite wisdom, suggested I goose the gas a bit, then hit the brakes to try and slide him off. Me, in my infinite wisdom, decided that might just be a great idea.
So, I gave it just a bit of gas, went forward maybe three feet, then hit the brakes. Bob had a death grip on the doorpost and refused to budge, though the facial expressions were quite comical.
“Do it again,” Doug said.
I did it again, giving it a touch more gas and hitting the brake a touch more suddenly. Bob slid around the hood, almost came off, but saved himself and laughed at my pathetic attempt.
“Do it again,” Doug said, a maniacal glee coming into his voice, his horsey face split with a massive grin.
I hit the gas hard, watched Bob slid up the hood until his head was above the windshield. He could see right over the roof of the car. Then, after travelling maybe thirty or forty feet, I hit the brakes.
I hit them hard.
I’ll never forget Bob’s face as it slid down the entire length of my front windshield, the look of confusion mixed with abject horror. He flew off the front of the car, kind of landed on his feet briefly, then continued to fly backward onto his back, his head cracking off the pavement and the nylon jacket he wore providing a low-friction surface to allow him to slide a solid twenty feet in front of the car.
Doug and I sat staring at Bob’s prone body laying just within the reach of my headlights. Doug, not taking his eyes off Bob, said, “Dude, I think you killed him.”
Then, just as I said, “I think I did,” we saw one leg twitch. I thought it might be a death twitch, but Doug said, with obvious relief and a little humour at being stupid enough to be worried, “Nope! Look! He’s moving! He’s fine!”
We got out of the car and went over to Bob, who was trying to sit up, but mostly just groaning. When I stood over him and asked the incredibly stupid question, “Are you okay?” he just looked back at me in disdain.
“What the hell did you do that for?” he finally asked. I looked at Doug. He’d been the one to tell me to do it. Best to lay all the blame at his feet. So I did.
Long story short, Bob was fine. We got him to his front door and let him go to bed, hoping that he didn’t have a concussion and would, in fact, awaken the next morning. He did. I’m proud to say he’s still alive to this day.
That’s the story I was trying to tell my son and his friend. Instead, when I got to the part where I was driving the car forward, then braking to slide him off, the conversation went a little…awry. It went something like:
Me: “So, I couldn’t get him off the damn car. He wouldn’t move, so, I tried jerking him off…”
The Boy, staring at me in horror and shock: “What?”
Me, oblivious to what I just said: “I said I tried to jerk him off.”
This is when the penny dropped and I actually heard what I was saying. As the Boy began laughing, I tried to dig myself out of the hole.
Me: “No! No! I didn’t mean it like that! I was just trying to get him off!”
The Boy is now speechless, laughing his ass off. As is his friend.
I chose, rather wisely, to shut up at this point.
The lesson learned here? When you’ve already dug yourself a hole, stop digging!
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