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  1. #1
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    Default Stupid thing we survived doing

    I'd like to keep this one light.

    Anyone willing to tell the story of the stupidest thing you ever did as a child that could have/should have gotten you or someone else hurt, killed (maybe by your parents if they had known), or in jail? Did you do it by yourself or was it a group stupid moment?

    I have to sort through mine before deciding which one to "fess up to.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom Walker View Post
    I'd like to keep this one light.

    Anyone willing to tell the story of the stupidest thing you ever did as a child that could have/should have gotten you or someone else hurt, killed (maybe by your parents if they had known), or in jail? Did you do it by yourself or was it a group stupid moment?

    I have to sort through mine before deciding which one to "fess up to.
    1981-1989!

    Eric Van De Ven Magnum Inspections Inc. (772) 214-9929
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    I still get paid to be suspicious when I got nothing to be suspicious about!

  3. #3
    Brian E Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    As kids we would have BB gun wars and shoot each other. The only so called protection was we wore winter coats. We were such red neck kids we also use to go to the farmers field and shoot his cows both the bulls and cows. We one time we crawled up close to a bull and shot him with a BB in the b_lls. It pissed him off so much he charged us and we ran so fast to the fence we dropped the gun and had to wait till the next day to get it back. We still laugh at this almost 30 years after every time we see each other.
    Top these stupid kid antics.


  4. #4
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    Well...

    (One of them) Was when I was 9 years old and living in Grand Prairie, Tx. It was close to the 4th of July and my running buddy (Larry Daniel) and I had our usual stash of Black-Cat firecrackers.

    This was a time when a loaf of bread cost 15 cents, a gallon of gas was 11.9cents/ gallon and you could buy hamburgers at the local grease pit for 6-for/dollar. So... having scroungded a whole bunch of pop bottles to sell at 3cents each, having mowed lawns for a week and a half (one dollar and a half, for the front and back yards for some of these folks that hadn't mowed in a month--- but that's another story). Larry and I were able to accumulate a nice little stash of fireworks unbenownst to our parential units (back in the day, anyone could buy fireworks almost anywhere in town).

    Well, this day started out as any other day would. Larry would call me or I would call him and we would roam the neighborhood together, either looking for something to do, a baseball game to start or join, or just hang out together and talk about girls. We met down at the corner, about half way between our homes (6 blocks apart) and decided to walk down to the corner grocery store ("Gil's" I believe it was), where we were a fixture to the owner/ clerk (Gil). We probably were in there 5-6 times a day, if for nothing else, to buy a 1 cent piece of bubble gum or just to get out of the heat and talk to the older people when they came in-- Gil didn't mind (or just didn't show it).

    We were just about 1-1/2 blocks from the store when Larry pulled out a firecracker and lit it and threw it close to my feet (while I wasn't looking) and laughed his ass-off-- BOOM!! That sucker went off and scared the unsuspecting crap out me. Well, IT WAS ON!!

    While we weren't exactly packing 'heat' in those days, we were never unarmed. Fireworks, specifically 'Blackcats' were plentiful and always in-hand or in pocket. Since we were only able to cob a few matches at-a-time, that was our only limitation as to how many we could afford to expend/carry at-a-time. After twisting several together, I lit the 3 (twisted) fuses and returned fire.... well, no big deal cause Larry was absolutely expecting a return on his instigation. This foolerly went on for a couple of minutes and we quickly got bored with trying to blow the other's ear off.

    Soon, we began to look for ant-hills and any type of can(s) to lauch up in the air...or something of the like (The trip to the store was now secondary). Well, in the middle of the street, we noticed a man-hole cover where we could better use our resources to hear a loud and thunderous echo'ing effect by lighting our firecrackers and dropping down the man-hole cover key-way--- that'd be cool, right?? We thought so.

    As you can imagine 43-44 years ago, there wasn't the amount of traffic as there is today... no where near. We had not seen but one car pass un along the route that we always take to the store. So there was nothing to tell us to be reeeaaaaal careful.

    O.K.-- Larry is now out of matches, so the burden is on me to come through with the most awesome echo'ing sound of the morning (can's blowing up, horney-toads with popped bellies were'nt enough). So... I'm set to lite this sucker and drop it down the key way one inserts to pull the cover up. Now, one more thing... this was not one of those plain-jane man-hole covers you see on top of the curb--- NOPE! This was one of the tripple thickness type that sits in the middle of the road that has to handle the weight of cement trucks and the like. Because of the size and thickness of the cover, we were thinking that the sound might be a tad muffled and actually not very loud.

    I light that sucker, drop in in the keyway... then back-up about 4-6 ft to gaulk at my splendor and bask in my new found sound-maker. Gosh, was I wrong! Me only being about 4-6 feet back, I suddenly become deafened with what sounded like an artillery shell going off next to me with a flame-like geyser shoting straight-up in front of me!! The heat singed my t-shirt, the power of the blast sent the tripple thick man-hole cover as high as any tree in the neighborhood!! When the man-hole cover hits the asphault, it leaves a 6" inch deep gouge.

    In an instant, I turn around and all I can see is the bottom's of Larry's shoes-- it knocked him on his arse. About this time, I glance over and now notice there is a car coming down the street. Well, the monster sized man-hole cover has embeded itself into the black-top street and there was absolutely no way we were gong to be able to pick it up.

    I did wave the car to the other side of the road so the driver would not drive into the now open hole created by a couple of dolts. We both ran like hell to the store and told the store owner what had happened. He gave us a good smile and evil smerk and said... Yep, that would explain a few things.

    Gil: "That would explain why some of the cereal just jumped off the back shelf and why the gas company called earlier and told us they would have to shut off our gas utility because they had to repair a leak!!"

    Larry and I looked at each other, and noticed that the other had turned white as a sheet.

    After that day, I never carried firecrackers in my pocket anymore.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    Like Rich, I was also a pyromaniac growing up. When one of our friends told us about how one could make a pipe bomb using match tips, we ventured into a whole new world of delinquency. I graduated to buying blackpowder from the Army/Navy store, model rocket fuse from a hobby shop, and galvanized pipe sections with threaded ends for screw on caps. Nothing was safe - buckets, mailboxes, anything we could slip one of those into. We once rendered a talking Coke machine inoperable with one.

    Sometimes when I got bored, I would just light up the gunpowder by pouring it into a dixie cup, stuffing a tissue partially into it, light the end of the tissue, and let it burn down to ignite the power. POOOOOFFF!!!! It was like a huge flash bomb with no explosion since the container was wide open. Well one time, as soon as I lit the tissue, the sparks fell right down into the gunpowder filled dixie cup with me hovering a few feet above the cup. At the time, I wore glasses and lucky for me because they probably saved my eyes. The flash burned my hair, covered my glasses and face with smoke soot, and lit my sweatpants on fire in the groin region. My brothers quickly alerted me my glowing groin predicament and I stripped my pants off. However, the exposed skin on the underside of my right forearm took the brunt of the fireball and was burned pretty badly. The skin turned bright red and I laid in bed in agony that night keeping a ziploc bag filled with cool water on top of it to stem the searing pain. I couldn't tell my parents and I never went to a doctor for it either. Over the next week, the skin on that arm would just peel off in chunks whenever I brushed up against something in the supermarket where I worked. It was summer and I had to wear long sleeves to spare everybody the sight of my lepresy-like condition.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    Just about any of my various pyrotechnic endeavors would qualify...perhaps the one involving 5 lbs of carbide, a 55gal cardboard drum, and a sewer-lid...or one of the home-made recoilless rifles...?

    ----------

    Was out to dinner a few years back with a three other coupes - all "professionals", CPA,s lawyers - the kinda' guys who never grow up - and they were talking about *potato guns* whey were building for some sort of contest. Someone asked me if I was interested, and I said no, "But.. if I was going to build one I'd start with some sort of discarding sabot in a stepped charge barrel, something pretty long, maybe 30-35/1 ...are you allowed to jacket the potato...

    When they realized I was serious, for some reason they appeared to find this disturbing...


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    When I was about 16 I cooked smoke bombs in our kitchen. Very simple process of cooking sugar and saltpeter (50/50 mix) until it melts and turns a tan color. Trick is that when it turns brown it will catch on fire. It burns a flame a few inches high but produces a massive amount of white smoke. Oh, and it takes about 15 seconds to go from tan to brown!

    Yep, I smoked up our entire home just about caught the kitchen on fire! Needless to say the words, of wait until your father gets home still ring in my mind.

    I also built linear amplifiers for CB radios. I had one that would put out 1500 watts. That one had a minor problem, it would dim the lights in our house and I could broadcast over everyone's TV set if they were within 1000 feet of our home. I only used it a few times. I found that the 300 watt size would work just fine, considering that the legal output was only 3 watts!! From time to time I would see a black van with all types of antennas driving around the area. I wonder who or what they were looking for?

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    Michael, three potato guns in my family. I have one, my brother has one and still has mine, and he made one for our nephew. It's made entirely of PVC pipe. Hairspray for propellant. You can crank some of those suckers out to about 200 yards.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    Seeing about 300 plus acres on fire still haunts me to this day.

    Thought we could just build a little fire to be able to save our matches that Fourth of July weekend.

    The grass was so green about a month latter though when it started coming back.

    I could fill up Brians bandwith with stories.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    It's comforting to know that all guys are knuckleheads.

    My brother was 15 and I was 13 when he had to have surgery to fuse his shoulder. He was a polio victim and the difference in sizes of his arms was beginning to curve his spine. They rebalanced and aligned him to stop the curvature. He was in a half body cast for about a year. It went from his neck to his waist and one arm was splinted from his waist, sticking out perpendicularly from his body and bent at the elbow,

    Several months into it, his best friend, my best friend, and I decided he needed to get out and have some fun. So when my parents took my three little sisters to go see my grandmother, we took Jim tobogganing. We planned it out perfectly. John and Bob would be in the front, then Jim, then me. He would have two bodies in front to protect him. If it looked bad, I was to fall backward and take him harmlessly with me. We hadn't calculated how QUICKLY things can go bad. We hit the only tree in a fifty yard radius. The cast broke. The splint broke. We spent the rest of the day trying to fix it so nobody would know. Didn't work.

    It was one of the only times I remember my father almost speechless. He would just look at me and shake his head. When he was finally able to speak (after the emergency room visit) it was to tell me that I was no more stupid than my brother, but that since Jim was in no condition to take his licking, I would take it for both of us. Until the day he died, every once in a while he would just look at me and shake his head.

    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    Thom, that is a laugh-out-loud story. Great stuff.

    I often say to my wife that as our son gets older, he's going to do some dumb things. He's going to know what he does is wrong before, during, and after the fact but he's going to do it anyway and he'll be able to offer no explanation for his actions. Just part of being a boy.

    My parents' house is on a hill. At night, we would take empty 2 liter soda bottles, fill them up with water, and roll them down the hill so they would go out onto a major road that has a lot of traffic. Somehow, we never caused an accident but I'm sure we gave a few drivers heart attacks when they hit those water filled bottles.


  12. #12
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    Nick,

    That reminds me of another stupid one...

    Back in 1966, a couple of friends (crazy bass-turds) and I used to play Billy Bad-ass with our BB guns (I know... I know... we all did).

    Anyway, think back to the old movies with German Pill-boxes with machine-guns completely enclosed (sides, top and bottom). This is how we used to use the storm drains. We would open the man-hole covers, crawl down there and have our guns at the ready for an unsuspecting passer by and shoot their hub caps. Boy, those suckers would really sing when hit too.

    Well, one time, Bobby Sikes shot at a hub cap and hit the tire right when the car was in-front of him. The BB riccochet'd off the rubber tire and embedded into his forehead!! ! That S.O.B yelled and screamed for 15 minutes-- FUNNY AS HELL!!

    We Laughed at him til our sides hurt-- too much to laugh anymore...

    Good times.

    Rich

    Last edited by Richard Rushing; 06-16-2007 at 12:31 PM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    The stupidest thing that I've done was 5 years ago. I payed $ 289.00 to become a "certified" inspector,
    I really believed I knew as much as the vetern inspectors, and honestly felt that was a good way to get their customers .
    I did see my error after a few months, and changed my ways..
    Hope you all will forgive me.

    Last edited by Dan Harris; 06-16-2007 at 01:10 PM.

  14. #14
    Charles Sessums's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    Back in the day when liter coke's came to the south we'd tie an empty to a couple of bricks. Add a bit of dry ice and and water then chunk tha sucker into a pool. Leaks away!


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    When I was twelve, me and a couple of buddies jumped on a slow moving train in Mesquite, TX. and actually got off of it in Shreveport, Louisiana after a State Trooper saw us all hanging on when it crossed a major intersection.

    That was not a fun ride back home with the parents.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    Let's see ...

    There was the time when my younger brother, myself, and about four or five friends blocked off US 1 going into Ft. Pierce just before the bridge, routed the traffic into an endless-no-way-out-circle.

    Kept US 1 shut down until the next day when DOT could come out and inspect the bridge to make sure it was not unsafe. Just to see how well it worked out, we had to take the traffic circle too (except we knew a way to get out of that endless-no-way-out-circle that we could take of the after a couple of times around it with every one else).

    That was the result of about 2-3 months planning, what with scavenging those traffic kerosene pots (this was during the phase-in of the barricades with blinking lights), a few barricades with blinking lights, a few dozen traffic cones, etc.

    Then there was the time (multiple times) we held gun fights outside the city jail at night with starter pistols, leaving 'dead bodies' behind ... only to have another car come screeching up, a couple of guys jump out and throw the dead body into their trunk, then peel off in a cloud of burned rubber. Would do the same thing at 'Lover's Lane' (except leave the body), then watch the cop cars to come out searching for the body (who crawled off after all the cars in Lover's Lane quickly started up and left). We could always count on at least one of those surprised couples to stop by a pay phone and call the cops.

    And ...

    ... Never mind.

    Too many stupid things done for the same reason people climb Mt. Everest - "because it's there".

    Like I've said many times, I've taken the Darwin Award test many times, and flunked ... so I'm still here.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    Anyone ever wet down a hill in your subdivision during a winter snow storm (and nightly) so that the snow plows could not get in and you did not have to go to school for about a week?

    Anyone ever thread a needle and thread through an egg and then tie it to a larger string and toss the string over an overhead line in the middle of a street?

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    Scott,

    We never the egg thing, we used a take a buddy shoes and tie the laces together and throw them over the lines. We always did that on the last day of school.

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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    Wearing blazing red Izod shirts my cousin and I decided to throw ice cubes out the 10th floor window of our parents hotel room in downtown Dallas.

    Ice is cool how about the 8 oz. mini bar coke bottles? STUPID

    We never hit anything but the pavement.

    That justifies everything, right?

    Police doing a room to room found us and I can still "FEEL THE BURN"


    Babysitting the neighbor kids. The deal was they and my parents having a night on the town, kids in bed before I start work. Well being 12-13 I was bored to tears about 2 seconds after the adults left.

    I decided that the dried floral center piece, the size of a big Mexican sombrero on the formal dining room table that the lady of the house had made while going to high dollar arrangement classes, needed trimming by matches. STUPID

    VAROOM-WHOOSH just like flash paper the whole thing flared up to the ceiling encompassing the chandelier. Needless to say no tip was included except for the boot tips up my rear across the yard from their house to ours.

    I don't ever recall my parents associating with them after that.


    Then there's my California 3rd cousin by marriage that is a year older than me.
    Back in the day, since she was 12, has been a dead ringer for a Raquel Welsh look-alike and build.
    She came back to visit when she was 15.
    Parents said take Pam out and show her around. So we stole the neighbor's horses rode 'em hard put 'em up wet fed them pails of dried oats watered them well (STUPID) and snagged a watermelon out of the their patch.

    She showed me how impressed she was with a "real" Texan down at the skinny dippin' hole.

    NOT SO STUPID AFTER ALL! But look at who was leading the decision making process, it wasn't me. I was just along for the ride, of my life.

    This was and still is one of my fondest childhood memories.

    badair http://www.adairinspection.com Garland, TX 75042 TREC # 4563
    Commercial-Residential-Construction-EIFS-Infrared Thermography
    life is the random lottery of events followed by numerous narrow escapes

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    Good story Barry. Tell us more about the 3rd. cousin.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Good story Barry. Tell us more about the 3rd. cousin.
    Rick,
    Just think back to being 14 and having RW come on to you.

    badair http://www.adairinspection.com Garland, TX 75042 TREC # 4563
    Commercial-Residential-Construction-EIFS-Infrared Thermography
    life is the random lottery of events followed by numerous narrow escapes

  22. #22
    Jack Ahern's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    As kids, we used to pelt passing Transit Buses with snow balls from a near by hill. Special consideration (applause) if you could get it into the open windows.

    Same hill. Rolling carved out pumkins into traffic. Stupid! ----Honed our timing ability and escape mechanisms.

    Collecting all--YES all the Real Estate signs in town and displaying them somewhere inappropriate.

    Those were the days..........


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    1. Going up with my friend (new pilot) and dropping 5lb sacks of flour onto our college late at night.
    2. Taking my kart out for a tune up ride (usually just around the corner) but took a longer route and ended up getting chased by a cop. IN a town of 15,000 where just about everyone knew my parents and grandparents, and they already knew who had the scarry fast kart. 250cc - 6 speed - nitro methane/menthanol - 270 pounds with me in it and fuel.
    3. Taking a 68 big block vette out when it wasn't quit finished. 454 - 4 speed- only headers, and for a throttle control?? A rope thrown over the windshield.

    Didn't do anything stupid PYRO wise, or with guns. Just one thing after another with fast cars and karts.


  24. #24
    Kevin VanderWarf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    My cousin who was a good bit older than me, thought it would be funny to see a 12 gauge knock me on my arse. I was not old enough to know anything other than cap guns.
    He told me it wasn't loaded and to just pull the trigger.
    Well, I thought, in my cowboy and indians/ cops and robbers state of youth, I really needed to aim at someone. Well, he went round and round, back and forth as a stared down the barrel at him.
    I could barely hold the thing up.
    He finally tells me to aim at a piece of old roofing tin.
    When I got up, I noticed the huge hole in the tin. Coulda killed him.


    Me and a younger cousin were plundering through and old tool or tackle box (i cant remember) we couldn't have been more than 5 or 6. We found some 22 shells and banged them all with a hammer.
    I can't really remember what happened.

    That same cousin and I decided we needed to see just what was rolling around inside a spray paint can. A vise, a hammer and a flat head screw driver; I still have the chipped tooth, but the scar from the hole in my lip is gone.

    Oh we used to do the hop the train thing to, till one day it got a little too fast and we had to ride to the next town.

    We used to throw rocks at that train when we weren't hoppin it. We used to love the sound of a granite rock hitting an empty car. Well, one day a large rock had just left my hand when the caboose went by, it was a shorter train than usual. I dont know if I cracked it but I hit a window. About a week later two guys in suits from the F.B.I. came walking up. We were actually in our usual throwing spot. We told them that we had seen a couple of boys that lived down the tracks throwing rocks here about a week ago. I wonder to this day if they actually bought that story.

    Did you know that a baby alligator can't resist a fishing bobber with a hook on the end, did you also know that when reel in a baby gator and he starts making a low pitch grunting sound that he's calling his mother. I didn't know that at the time. Did you know that contrary to what most people say, an 11 year old kid can out run a 12' gator.

    Last edited by Kevin VanderWarf; 06-19-2007 at 07:26 PM.

  25. #25
    Bob Murphy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    .22 and .38 shells in the campfire, model rocket engines too.
    Just remembered the shavings of magnesium carbide, that'll make your fire nice and bright!
    These days we stick to the popcorn!


  26. #26
    Joe Tribuzio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    I think i blocked out the worst stuff...Or did a concussion do that?

    But as a teen i used to take kerosene and mix it with gasoline and then a few of us would go off and pour it into a sewer and drop a match in.

    THE RESULT WAS ALWAYS AMAZING. There would be a low rumble and whoomp! -ignition then a huge burst of flame would shoot up..we called it HELLFIRE .....
    once.. a kid named Christian (seriously) didn't back up quick enough and got his eyebrows, and some hair singed off.

    I used to make " swords" when i was 13 . I'd start with a flat piece of steel and try to use my dads tools in the most incorrect ways to shape it. I needed to make the sword handle out of a section of a branch - I wanted a cut down the middle so I took a circular saw upside down in my lap, pulled back the safety guard and ' tried' to guide the piece of wood through there, imagining it would work like a table saw. Immediately after pulling the start trigger i ran my thumb into the saw blade , completely macerating all the meat and nerve nearly missing bone. I shrieked, jammed the bloody thing in my mouth- walked in the house trying to look calm, went up to mom and said: hey mom.. don't freak out but,....


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    When I was around 10, me and a few friends got up early one morning and headed off an day trip.

    Seems we had heard this kid had been killed somewhere off a railroad track but had not been found. We were going to find him or else.

    We walked down this track for hours doing mischief and just having fun.

    Wait a minute...

    I'm sorry, but that was a movie I saw.

    Getting old is a terrible thing.


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    In the days before lawsuits were SOP and before it was mandatory for every living human to get a car at 16, my best friend and I would occassionally borrow a car and joy ride. Usually, we'd take it back to somewhere near where the person lived, so they wouldn't have to walk too far. After a while, we got tired of doing it under cover of darkness and began taking them from work places.

    One of those afternoons we spottd a 63 TBird with the keys on the front seat. Too much to resist. About a couple of miles down the road, some woman crossed the center line and hit us head on. John was knocked out, as were both women in the other car. I had a broken nose and some loose teeth, but was awake. Having no moral character at all, I assessed the situation and ran like hell. As i stood in the woods watching the cops and EMTs (or what ever they were called in '66) I saw them handcuff John and put him in the back seat. The women were up and walking around.

    The guilt was too much. I walked up and knocked on the cruiser window and fessed up. John was a Senior. He got the choice of jail or the Army upon graduation. I was a junior. I got pbj and community service. It wasn't until much later that we learned the women were also guests of the County for a while because both were in the bag. I guess that's why our parents were never sued.

    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
    - Paul Fix

  29. #29
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    Holy Cow batman!! That's messed up... getting head-on'd while enjoying a cruise. Yikes!

    BTW-- what does, "It wasn't until much later that we learned the women were also guests of the County for a while because both were in the bag"
    MEAN?

    RICHARD
    (started driving at 14 on my own and have been every since-- drove myself to drivers-ed everyday)


  30. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Posts
    613

    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    Drunk as skunks. I think it comes from those folks that buy singles and wrap them in a bag to drink in public.

    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
    - Paul Fix

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    1,217

    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    I grew up on a large dairy in Georgia. Every now and then one of our old milk bottles will show up on eBay. (Breedlove's Dairy, Monroe, GA)

    There are countless things on a farm that can hurt or kill a kid. Tractors, machinery, rotating equipment (PTO - power takeoff - driven equipment, e.g., mowers, manure spreaders, silage choppers, post hole diggers, post drivers, hay bailers, etc.), belt-driven machinery (belts & pulleys are great places to lose fingers), electricity, gasoline and diesel fuel, power tools, chemicals, poisons, guns, heights (barn lofts and 60' silos), barbed wire, electric fences, etc., etc., etc. It's a wonder I never lost an eye or a finger (although I do carry numerous scars and my hearing is not so good at the high end thanks to many hours driving tractors).

    I used to love to explore the woods around the farm. If I found an old, dead tree I would get a kick out of pushing it over (if its roots were sufficiently rotted) and watching it crash to the ground. The bigger the better.

    I learned to drive at an early age (12). One day when I was old enough to know better (probably 14 or 15) I was on a small tractor (John Deere 1020) in a pasture where there was a large dead pine tree at the edge of the woods. The tree had been dead as far back as I could remember. It was probably 40' - 45' tall and 18" or more in diameter at chest height. Most of the bark had fallen off. Many of the dead limbs had broken off. It looked to me like it was ready to be pushed over and I had just the thing to push it over with!

    The tractor I was on had a wide front end; in other words the front wheels were set far apart rather than close together. I forget how many gears the tractor had but the transmission had two gear selectors. Kind of like on a 10-speed bicycle you had a wide range of gears from Low-Low to High-High.

    I carefully drove the tractor up to the pine tree with the front end of the tractor to the left of the tree and the right-front wheel to the right of the tree until the axle was snug against the tree. I pulled the throttle all the way open, put the transmission in Low-Low and slowly released the clutch. The rear tires dug into the soil and the tractor choked down. Obviously this tree wasn't gonna go over easily.

    I cranked the tractor up, backed up a foot or so, opened the throttle wide open, put the transmission in Low-Low and hit the tree. The tractor again choked down. As I was cranking the tractor up and getting it into reverse so I could make another run at the tree something came rushing down past my head (I swear it touched my ear!) and hit the rear axle just to my right.

    The top 10' or so of the tree had broken off and fallen straight down. It came within inches of crushing me.

    When I realized what had just happened and how close I had come to dying I sat there for a few minutes thinking about "what if". The thought entered my mind that everyone would be trying to figure out how such an accident could happen.

    I slowly backed the tractor away from the tree and drove back up to the barn. I don't think I ever told my father what I had done. I'm sure the tree eventually fell on its own but I never tried to assist it again.

    Edit: Added a pic of a JD 1020 I found on the Internet. We had the rear wheels set further apart than the one in the pic.

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    Last edited by Bruce Breedlove; 06-21-2007 at 01:48 PM.
    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Posts
    613

    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    The really great thing about these stories is that I know,sure as Santa has a beard, that none of us let these bone head things stand in the way of doing something else stupid, later in life.

    Keep 'em coming. I know there are more knuckleheads than have responded so far. You silent guys aren't fooling anybody. The statute of limitations is up and your mom can't do anything to you.

    Bruce, how did you hide the scars on the tractor? Or did your Dad just ignore them? I know that once I was a Dad, there were times I knew something was up, but decided I just didn't need to know.

    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
    - Paul Fix

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    1,217

    Default Re: Stupid thing we survived doing

    Thom,

    The tree fell on the axle, not on the fender. It didn't hurt the tractor at all. It was rotten so it broke when it hit. I guess if you looked really, really close you could have found some slight damage but I'm sure it blended in with all the other scrapes, scratches and dings it had gotten over the years. What little evidence that was there was quickly covered by grease, dirt and cow manure. That's the nature of farm equipment.

    There were plenty of other times that there was just no amount of dirt or manure that could hide damage I had done to a piece of equipment. Like the time I backed a pickup into a power pole at 20+ mph. Or the burned out clutches and broken axles. The broken windshield (I was throwing rocks). The overturned truck. Ahh, this really brings back the memories.

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

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