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Hard stop

Thursday, October 1, 2020

One chance...

I had a rather gripping dream last night that I thought I would recount, along with a personal real life anecdote. It's fading now and slightly fuzzy but it went something like this:

I am in tall brush, perched above a path on a high hill, when I spot the grizzly bear, that looks rather angry, heading straight up the mountain for me. Out of the corner of my eye, I notice a wild mustang also converging to the same point. If he does run right by me I have one chance of survival, if I can cleanly mount him and not lose my seat I might get away from the bear and live. I was engaged in wild calculation when the dream ended, can't tell you how things worked out.

But it did make me think of a real life corollary. It is the late 1970's and I am a project manager building a subdivision in Carlsbad, off of Tamarack. I have a construction trailer parked at the end of a street, with a steep canyon behind the trailer.

I am driving out of the street when I hear the phone ring in the trailer. There were no cell phones back then, remember, we actually used land lines, they were essential. I jumped out of the pickup to get the phone.

As I ran into the trailer to get the call, I noticed that I had failed to set the brake on my Mazda pickup truck, the bat out of hell fast one with the Wankel engine. Which was at that very moment slowly rolling its way towards the cliff. I was jogging next to it, keeping up with it, now even with the door. I just might have time to open the door and set the brake and stop it, but there was an equal chance that my time window was now so short that I would end up going over the cliff with it if I tried. Hmmm?

Discretion won over valor this time and I forlornly watched the yellow pickup with cab slowly go end over end and tumble down the steep grade. Very frustrating. Miraculously, I had a loader operator hook a chain on it and drag it back up out of the ravine. Even with the double flip in pike position, with the exception of a small dent or two in the cab it was no worse for wear. That was a great pickup truck.

Surely beats getting mauled by a grizzly bear.

1 comment:

JeffN said...

You've lived an interesting life, Robert. Great story.