We've all done them... at least I have. Those stupid things that you thought were REALLY good ideas at the time. Sometimes we did them because we were young at the time, other times it was just because we were stupid; sometimes we were just overly optimistic about the outcome of a not-so-great plan.
So, go ahead.... what dumb things have you done that you will own up to?
I'll start... and I will put this in the "We were young at the time" category.
...and yes, some of you may already know this story.
Picture it.... college years... in the middle of a party in the basement of one of the public buildings where the lounge was. We ran out of alcohol. For SOME unknown reason, in our semi inebriated state, someone (no not me, .... at least I don't THINK it was me...) decided that if we smash up the Nacho Doritos and roll them in paper to smoke, that the herbs and spices will give us a buzz.
We took the bag.... mashed it to pieces and then went about finding paper... Hey it was college there HAD to be paper somewhere. Someone found the "Daily Bulletin" posted on the bulletin board.... regular typing paper, photocopied with the campus events of the day. SURE! That will work! we dumped in the "herbs and spices" (and corn meal) and rolled it up. I think we even scotch taped the seam.... who knows. And then tried smoking it.
The GOOD news is that we didn't set the building on fire. it kind of flamed up... all of the Doritos fell out and the room smelled like burnt paper and burned corn chips for awhile. The ink on the paper was most likely carcinogenic... but I don't think anyone really ever inhaled Not with the open flames that were shooting out of it, anyway.
So, as Jack O'Neill would say... BAD PLAN.
DEFINITELY a "don't try this at home" moment
Yep, I would definitely call that a bad plan.
Just how semi-inebriated were you anyway?
Don't worry; I will not leave you hanging in here alone. I will add some of my hair brained adventure stories in here eventually.
This scene actually happened to me in a bar I one worked in. The poor guy I was drinking with (even drunker than I) seriously burned his upper and lower lips, lost his goatee, singed his eye brows, burned his hand he used to try to put the fire out, etc. After-wards (a couple of weeks later) he came back, and for at least a year after, he never paid for his drinks (myself and the other bouncer that was working that night paid for those out of guilt. Even though we were off duty at that time, we DID talk him into doing this drink!
BTW, NEVER do drink 'tricks' suggested by ANY bar employee of the bar you are drinking at! Trust me, you WON'T succeed.
Also, I MIGHT tell you the actual way to do this drink successfully (I have done it, once and vowed to NEVER try it again!
I never even knew that there were "tricks." I thought the only trick was to get the liquid into your mouth and swallow without spilling it.
I even have trouble with THAT trick every so often.... and I'm talking about coffee
LOL, generally, true, however, with a DRINKING (alcohol) game, the rules change in VERY DANGEROUS WAYS!
But, you are correct, the goal is to drink the shot whilst it is on FIRE, without burning yourself. The theory is there would not be enough oxygen to keep the fire burning in your mouth! What my 'friend' and the guy pictured did was to THROW the shot into the mouth, thereby FLOODING the BURNING alcohol with oxygen! As we all know, oxygen allows fires to burn hotter and longer!
The true trick is to blow the fire out BEFORE trying to swallow it, tricking others that you succeeded in drinking fire!
Bike with no brakes
During the summer of 1972, when I was 10 years old, I was visiting my grandparent for a few weeks. Back in those days there were usually a lot of us kids around but this time my siblings were at home and my uncles, nearest my age, were busy with friends and left me alone with the grandparents. This was fine with me, but I was getting a bit bored. I asked Grandma if I could go to the lake and she said I could. Sometimes, as a kid, I just liked to get out on my own and my family usually let me have the freedom to do things like that. I often found it nice to get away from everyone and think my own thoughts.
Usually, in situations like this, I would just go on long walks but this time there was an old bicycle no one was using, although for a good reason, it didn’t have working brakes. Well, I had been able to get around the property fairly well even though the bike was a bit tricky to stop with, so I decided to ride it down to Silver Lake. The lake wasn’t all that far, only about two miles from my grandparent’s place. I figured I could handle it.
The trip down to Silver Lake was fairly interesting but not too bad. My grandparent’s place was at a higher elevation than the lake but the hill levels out at the bottom so I was able to coast to a stop not too far past the Silver Lake Road, which was the road I wanted to take. From the main road I was on, I could have continued riding all the way to the north end of the lake to take the other end of the Silver Lake Road, which would have been easier because it was a more or less a level trip, but that would have add a lot more time and distance to my travel plans. From where I was at, taking the south end of the road was the fastest way to get to the northwest side of the lake, which is where I wanted to go. The only problem was that there are more hills to ride up on this end of the Silver Lake Road.
After working my way up the hills to the northwest side of the lake I arrived at the entrance to City Beach, a popular public swimming area which had been my destination. I thought about what it would be like to ride down the hill to the lake itself. From the entrance, the hill down to the lake is rather steep for a bike with no brakes. I would probably end up in the lake if I tried it. This should have brought something else to mind but it didn’t. If I had the money I could walk the bike down but where is the fun in that. Back in those days City Beach was still a pay to enter park and I didn’t have the dime to pay. Anyway, I did not stay long; it was mostly getting there that had been fun, I didn’t feel a need to stick around. I prefer less crowded swimming places anyway.
Turning the bike around, I decided to go back to my grandparent’s house the same way I had came, which if I had stopped to think things through, I would not have done. I should have just road the entire loop around the lake, but I didn’t think about that at the time.
Heading north from the City Beach area of the lake there is one good sized dip and then it is mostly uphill. Riding down that first hill to pick up speed to help get up the next hill was fun. At the south curve of the Sliver Lake Road, just as it starts going east, the last hill has a deceptively shallow slope. The deception is that it is a long hill and you keep gaining momentum as you go down. It was only as I was gaining more and more speed on the way down that I realized I had a serious problem. The hill does level out near the last stretch to the stop sign, but I was going so fast I didn’t think I would was going to slow down enough to be able to stop at the stop sign at the end of the road. I was going way faster than I had figured or planned for. Worse, as I neared the intersection to a much busier road, way too fast, I noticed that the traffic had become even heavier than it had been earlier when I came up from this way. I was not seeing any long pauses between cars and not many short pauses either!
As I feared, after reaching the bottom of the hill and getting closer and closer to the stop sign, I was still going way too fast. Thinking over my options, I realized that I could not use my feet against the tires as an emergency brake as I could at lower speeds. At this higher speed, I felt to even attempt that would have been disastrous. I needed to focus on keeping my balance and keep my attention on what was ahead of me. Ahead of me, I could see cars speeding by, both to the left and to the right. The more I studied the situation the more the hair on the back of my neck stood up. There was no way I was going to be able to stop the bike in time. There was no way to make a sharp turn around the corner to avoid the traffic, even to attempt to would have caused a wipe out and have me slide right into the traffic anyway. Riding into a ditch might have proven fatal too, it seemed an even higher probability of death to me. I could only see one option and it scared the hell out of me, I had to go straight through the traffic and hope not to be hit by, or to hit, a car.
Screeching tires and blaring horns went off all around me. My heart in my throat, my focus straight ahead, I made it to the other side of the road and spun into a right turn onto the shoulder of the other side. Gravel sprayed as the bike’s back tire gouged out an arc in the road’s shoulder. I would like to say I didn’t lose control but that would be a lie. I almost held it but near the end of the arc both the bike and I went for a tumble as we slid to a stop. Still, to my utter amazement, I had made it across the road with nothing more than a few small scratches and gravel punctures. In haste, I picked myself and the bike up off the gravel as I heard angry comments from one, or more, of the drivers who had just barely missed me. There were some comments, something about crazy, stupid kid or thing like that, and who knows what all else, but I was just too numb, and thankful at still being alive, to really hear them. I never said a word; there was no way to refute their comments so I didn’t even try. Embarrassed to no end, I just wanted to get out of there so I got back on the bike and started peddling back up the hill to grandma’s place as fast as I could.
I never did tell anyone about this until now.
Michael A. Crane, Jr.
January 25, 2006
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