A little newspaper article I read recently reminded me of a really, really dumb thing I did in college.
The Year–I can’t remember, sometime in the early 1990s
The Place–University of Maine, Orono
The Season–January, deep winter
The Time–Late evening, maybe even early morning
The Weather–F#*&^ing cold and it had been snowing (shocking, I know)
The Sobriety–Non-existent, for all involved
The Event–Bumper Skiing. Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like.
It was after Christmas break and the second semester at my college wouldn’t be starting for another week. A friend of mine, who was attending the University of Maine at Orono, had already gone back to school and invited me up for the weekend, so up I went.
Let’s see…winter in Maine + middle of nowhere + college kids (18-19 years of age) + access to copious amounts of alcohol + newly fallen snow + friend’s older model car = Bumper Skiing.
Yes, this is a stupid and dangerous as it sounds. Someone drives a car around on the new snow while you hang onto the bumper and try to stay up as you are pulled along. If the driver turns suddenly (you know, to make it MORE challenging), you simply let go and gracefully, elegantly rest yourself into one of the many surrounding snowbanks–so our drunk brains told us. (Some of you many already know this from experience, but snowbanks aren’t always fluffy-white havens of softness. One time I slowly pulled into a friend’s driveway, made narrow by snow banks, and thought “Surely my car can just eek by. Any contact my car makes will just push that portion of the snow bank out of the way.” The snow bank had its way with the panel over my passenger-side rear wheel well. It didn’t even buy it dinner or kiss it goodnight, just left is scarred and broken.)
Even in our drunken state we realized that Bumper Skiing may not be the safest of ventures. So we decided to stick to the many campus parking lots and roads, “just to be safe.” With the young adult’s sense of invulnerability, fortified with beer, and buoyed by our decision to stay on campus for safety’s sake, off we went.
This is just stupid behavior, even by a drunk person’s standards. In addition to getting a face full of carbon monoxide, you’re being pulled around by an object that is at least 10 times larger than you. Then there are the other objects that are also 10 times larger than you, also being driven around, not participating in this, the sport of drunkards. So, so many different ways to get maimed in one act. Awesome.
We were young, drunk and stupid. We got lucky. Really, really, lucky. No one was hurt. No one was close to hurt. The worst thing that happened were the hangovers we each suffered the next day. This is just one of the many things that I occasionally reflect upon and shudder–I have done so many stupid things as a teen/young adult that could have easily ended my life. I think it is at 22 or 23 that you realize that there is a whole lot of stuff out there that can KILL YOU. The older you get the more you become aware of the myriad ways to hurt yourself and/or die. You curtail your behavior accordingly, at least I have.
Although people always grow older, they don’t always become wiser when it comes to safety…
Santa Clarita man dies after skateboarding accident
A 35-year-old man injured in a skateboarding accident in Santa Clarita has died, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Tuesday.
Edward Culhane was “hot-boarding” when he fell late Saturday afternoon, Lt. Tom Bryski said. The stunt, in which a skateboarder holds onto a moving vehicle, is considered highly dangerous.
The incident occurred on Cedarfalls Drive about 5 p.m., Bryski said. Culhane, who suffered serious head injuries, was taken to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital.
The driver of the vehicle, Ryan Howell, 33, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, Bryski said.
A 35-year-old and a 33-year-old were involved. Grown ups. Honest-to-God, had-been-through-puberty-at-least-15-years-ago adults. I feel for the family of the man who lost his life but WTF?? The article noted that the 33-year-old driver was hauled in “on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.” Really? You THINK?
What would get someone that age to do something this stupid? What would get two someones to agree to do this?
1. Sociologists and psychologists believe that when someone is put in prison, s/he is frozen at that age developmentally until that person is released from the pokey. Perhaps these buddies were incarcerated at the ages of 18 and 20 and only just got out. They decided to celebrate with beer and/or drugs and a little “hot-boarding!” And why not?
2. Popular newspapers and magazines keep writing that 40 is the new 30, 30 is the new 20, etc. Maybe these gentlemen were just trying to keep up with the delayed aging, delayed sense of personal responsibility trend the media keeps hyping (The liberal/mainstream media is even more dangerous than originally thought!! Influencing more young, virile, white males of this country to buckle under the pressure of the feminazi/leftist/illegal immigrant agenda to destroy this fine nation one white male at a time. Where was Fox News to break this story?!)
3. Some people are just stupid; some are more stupid–some less stupid. Sometimes being stupid can kill you.
It took two people to get this horrible decision on the road, as it were. Two people with the combined age of 68 years. You would hope that ONE of them would have thought twice about this. Maybe one or both did hesitate, then thought they’d stick to the streets near their homes “just to be safe.”