Saturday, November 7, 2009

How I almost died when I was eight

Today I was trying to help Kira tighten her hockey equipment. I was having trouble and she looked at me in disgust and said, "Dad is so much stronger than you." Well, no shit. That's the understatement of the year. He is so strong that it is disturbing. It is way beyond something to brag about, it is just plain freaky.

I discovered the extent of his freakish strength shortly after we first got married when I bought him an antique outboard motor for Christmas. It took two men to heave it into my trunk and they talked about how it might be too heavy for the car and to make sure I didn't drive around with it for too long or I'd ruin my suspension. On Christmas Eve I told Mitch his present was in the trunk and he and his brother would have to get it out together. He saw it (loved it, btw, I'm an awesome wife) and immediately picked it up by himself and brought it into the house. He just picked it up like he was picking up something that wasn't hundreds of pounds. At that point I was a little uneasy, but nevertheless, impressed. The next day is when I got totally freaked out. He was in the garage and I came out to tell him something. I saw him at the top of a stepladder, holding the motor with one arm and attaching it to the rafter with the other. I actually got the heebie jeebies. For one thing, how was he holding that thing with one arm ON a ladder, and for another thing, WHY was he attaching it to the garage rafters?

The scene brought me back to when I was in third grade and I discovered how frighteningly strong a human can really be. We went to music class and sat in little desks and sang songs while the music teacher, Mrs. McDowell, had her back to us and played the piano. There was a kid named David who went to music with us. He was severely retarded but loved music and got so excited when the class started singing that he grabbed me by the neck and squeezed and shook me until my head was flopping all over the place. He didn't sing, he just yelled "DAVID! DAVID!" and strangled me. I tried to pry his fingers off, but I didn't have a chance. I'm surprised my neck didn't break.

Mrs. McDowell couldn't see what was happening because her back was to us, and she couldn't see anything out of her peripheral vision anyway because of her gigantic 1960s flip-do. (it was the 70s. the late 70s.)

This is what Mrs. McDowell wanted to look like. She didn't pull it off nearly this well.

As my vision was fading and I was about to lose consciousness, some kid in my class finally got Mrs. McDowell's attention and all she said was, "Oh no, David, don't do that." Then she started playing again and the whole thing started over. It was the longest half hour of my life. Traumatic.

So I grew to be afraid of the ridiculously strong. Then, inside of one year of being married, I discovered I had married one of those freakishly strong people.


  1. I remember David...he WAS crazy strong. And huge. Remember we'd get like 50 kids on the merry go round, and he'd push us round and round until the centrifugal force pulled us off.

    Mrs. McDowell's fiberglass, how did she do that??

  2. Oh Anne, I am laughing remembering the merry go round. "All the boys get off and push!" David really could get it going fast. I mostly avoided him after the strangling incident though so I didn't get to take part in the fun of being shot off the merry go round.

    I think Mrs. McDowell had her hair "done" once a week and then sprayed until it was hard.

  3. Dude, speaking of Mitch, I once saw him make a diamond with his bare hands, Superman-style, out of a big lump of coal.
    In truth, it was just one of his hands. With the other hand he was dead-lifting Mt. Rushmore.
    If Paul Bunyan and Babe were real, they would be afraid of Mitch!


I would love your comments.