Believe it or not

Believe it or not was Originally Posted on June 9, 2005 by

Believe it or not…

I used to have a Post Office box when I lived in a suburb of Washington DC. I drove my car there to mail a package, pulled into a spot in front of the building amd went inside. As many of us stood in line. there was a loud “THUMP” outside. Obviously someone had hit a car in the lot. I didn’t think anything else about it until a minute later someone walked in and said, “You will NOT believe it! A DOG just drove a truck into a car!”

It was one of those statements, which was so silly you didn’t believe it. Still, there was that thump… Then the guy said, “Who owns a blue Camaro…” My heart sank. I was about to find out what was going on. As I went outside I saw that a truck had crashed into my car door. The truck owner explained that he was having battery problems and could not turn off the truck for fear it would not restart. He had left the engine running and the manual (in the column) stick shift in park. He had also left his dog in the truck. It appears that his dog jumped into the drivers seat and his paw hit the shifter and pulled it into gear, thus causing the truck to move forward.

I did NOT report this to my insurance company. I just don’t think they would believe it. I CAN tell you that every time I went back into the post office, the counter people would laugh…

Believe it or not…

Many years before the dog learned to drive, my parents had sent me to private school, many states away from where we lived. As was the custom, I would sometimes call home to see how my parents were and to ask for the delivery of a few dollars.

So this one time I called and I get the dreaded message “I’m sorry, the number you have dialed, has been changed to an UNLISTED NUMBER”! I tried again and got the same message. I called the Operator and asked her to call the number, what was up? She reported that indeed, the number was now unlisted. I told her that I was their son, away at school and would she put me through. The answer was “NO”! She would not call and tell them to call me. When I asked to speak to the Operator in my Parents town, the local Operator said I needed to wait while she determined the charges… err CHARGES? To talk to the phone company?

I finally had the Operator place a call, Person to Person for my Mom and the call was placed to my Grandmothers House. Naturally my Grandmother said that my Mom was not there, but I asked the Operator to ask if my Grandmother knew where she might be reached. I finally got the number! WHEW!

Believe it or not…

I am NOT a guy who fights; in fact, it could be said that I avoid that type of conflict. So, years after the telephone incident I was home from school. A neighborhood bully came by the house with his “posse”, (errrr friends) to beat my… well, to prove to me who was the big guy in the neighborhood. I though this “calling someone out to fight” thing only happened on TV shows. So anyway, things escalated and I finally had to fight or be labeled a coward. Although I was willing to be labeled a coward, I finally relented. This guy was picking a fight, yet kept telling me to hit him. His friends kept egging him on but still he did not want to take the first swing. I was absolutely scared and figured that this guy who obviously had many muscles and much weight on me would pummel me. I could have been called a weakling :-) I told him that if he wanted to be the “King of the Neighborhood” that was OK with me, since I was never there. THAT seemed to only make him madder…

So anyway, finally he pushed me down on the ground and started coming towards me. Well I seem to have automatically reacted with a move taught to me at school which involved me placing one foot between his, turning my foot sideways and placing my other foot on his leg and pushing. This causes him to fall on his back. As he fell, it appears I jumped up and pinned him on the ground, all the while his friends were saying this was a lucky move on my part. The fight progressed for a few brief minutes and I was able to push him down on the ground again. As his friends started home, I helped him up. He looked at me for a minute and I said, “I’m sorry, I really didn’t want to fight. I got lucky. Tell people you beat the heck out of me. I won’t deny it…

Believe it or not…

That event reminds me of one last story. I was standing with a friend in a line at Dave and Busters, an entertainment place outside Atlanta a few years ago. It was a really crowded and we were to play pool. All of a sudden a guy comes running down the hallway and headed towards the exit. A loud voice called out “STOP THAT GUY”! I saw which way the guy was running and he obviously was not familiar with this lobby as the direction he was going was a dead end. He would have to make a right turn then a left out the door near me. In the split second while he neared the door, I jumped over the rope and headed out the door just a couple of steps behind him. As he ran towards the back of the parking lot I was close on his heels. As the voice had called out, I was in the process of string to stop him. As the thoughts went through my head I began to think, what had he done? Had he robbed the place? Did he have a gun? Why was I doing this? Was I crazy? At that moment, he turned around and faced me. OH NO! As I ground to a halt and tried to think what to do, a security guard passed me and grabbed the guy. It turns out that he had started a fight, but the story he told made no sense to us. As the guard took him back towards the building, I followed and soon was back in line waiting on a pool table.

My friend looked at me like I was crazy. Perhaps I was. To this day I am still amazed that in a split second I forgot all about my safety and myself and ran to do something like this.

After this event I think I finally answered the nagging question that had followed me all my life. After seeing news items about people jumping on a race track to rescue someone, after seeing people run to an accident scene to helps someone before a car bursts into flames, after all the wondering what “I” would do in a situation like that, I think I finally had a answer. I would probably risk my own safety for someone else.

So as I sat there smugly thinking I was cool, the other thought came into my head. That thought still hounds me. The fact that the rest of you should take from this last story is this:

There is a very fine line between being a hero and being a fool!

Imagine how foolish I would have felt if that guy had turned around, and killed me with a sot in the head. Then, WHO would be the fool?

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