For this edition of the Story Of The Week, I’ve decided to share 3 different short stories apposed to a single long one. These all involve times I’ve uttered the phrase “just about died” although that’s definitely an exaggeration each time. I’ll do these in chronological order starting with this one from about 2007…

Story 1: Ding Dong Death
Several years ago I went over to a friends house for his dad’s birthday party or something like that. His rich kid neighborhood backed up to this even richer kid neighborhood. Seriously, like NASCAR drivers Bobby Labonte and Brian Vickers lived in that neighborhood and Kyle Petty’s farm was like right next door to it…. Anyway we get this pretty big group of us, and cross through some backyards then split up into smaller groups to go to some ding dong ditch. Now, I’ve played a lot of ding dong ditch in my day and I’ve been pretty successful at it but I seem to end up going to houses where people take it way too serious. So we’re about 30 minutes into this and I ring this one.

Me and this kid take off running into the woods across the street. Dude comes out, sees nobody, walks back in then comes back out shining a flashlight towards the woods. Well, it’s pretty far so this jackoff stands like no chance of seeing us. He steps in again and steps back out. All of a sudden there’s a gun shot, then he walks back inside. Pretty sure he shot straight into the ground but really, what the heck dude? After that we decided as a group to just do one more, except I would have to do the Tommy Boy “BEES! KILLER BEES!” thing. Well, I take off running yelling “BEES! BEES!” and heading out of their grass, I take about a step and a half onto the wet concrete (it had rained earlier) and all of a sudden I just eat it. I jump up and keep running. We head back to my buddy’s house where I realize that my entire arm was covered in blood. I still have a scar on my elbow from that. Tell the chicks it happened leading a race (not really)

Story 2: Nearly Die And Laugh About It
Back in 2010, I made the trip to the John Penton GNCC with Rob Mitchell, Charkie Huegel and Dan Johnson. Now, all three of these gentlemen already know what story I’m about to share. Anyway, this was actually a couple of races before I started working with the series, so we didn’t leave until Saturday afternoon then got to Athens, Ohio late Saturday night. On Sunday morning we headed to the track. We stopped to get some gas, and I can’t exactly remember but I think Rob might have popped the hood on his truck or left the gas door open or something like that. Well, we get a few miles out of Athens and realize that we need to pull over (for whatever it was, either the hood or something, that’s not what this story is about). After turning in the little town of Chauncey, Rob pulls over to the side of this road that slopes slightly down hill. He jumps out of the truck to resolve the issue.

Now, when I say pulls over and jumps out, I mean, that’s exactly what happened, as in, he just got right out of it. For those who aren’t really following what I’m getting at, he didn’t put the parking brake down or anything. So what happens when you leave a vehicle in drive on a downward slope? Yeah, it keeps going. Charkie just reaches over and starts steering this driverless truck while Rob is running beside of it trying to jump back in. I’m in the backseat laughing my ass off because lets face it, how often do you see this happen? Anyway, Rob jumps back in, slams it into park, fixes the problem and we head on to the race.

Story 3: Nearly Die And Laugh About It Again
In October of 2011 I went up to Ohio with Rob Mitchell, Isiah Murph and Tate Miller for the Turkey Run at Crow Canyon MX (Yeah, another story involving me, Rob and Ohio) . It was a pretty awesome ride even with the rain. Everyone decided to bail early Sunday since it had rained more Saturday night.

On the way home we’re coming down I-77. We’re all cruising down the road texting, Tweeting, Facebooking, jamming out, talking, all that good stuff. Well I guess we somehow missed the notification that the road was about to drop down to 1-lane. We’re going a chill 70mph or so next to a tractor trailer when all of a sudden our lane starts to disappear. We’re like halfway into passing this tractor trailer when all of a sudden all these orange barrels and concrete barriers start to occupy our lane like, really fast. I mean, there was no easing that lane into the other, it was pretty immediate. So Rob is jamming on the brakes and we’re getting squeezed out on one side by concrete but we don’t have anywhere to go because there’s the back half of a semi on the other side. What is happening inside the truck while this is going on? All four of us are laughing our asses off. Seriously, there’s like death staring straight at us and all we can do is laugh. Okay, maybe that’s a little exaggerated but we were still cracking up as we finally tucked in behind the semi and kept going. Yes, that makes TWICE that Rob has nearly killed me in the state of Ohio. Be careful if you ever go to Ohio with Rob Mitchell.

In retrospect, it’s kind of like that scene from Planes, Trains And Automobiles where John Candy turns into the devil…

Moral of these stories: Is there one?