Thanks to all who have plunked down the shekels for the book
A double thanks to those who have reviewed it on Good Reads
The brief descriptions below are true…
Recovering Idiot excerpts and briefs:
…one cold winter night when I stuck my tongue on the business end of a frozen hammer. The folks got a little concerned when they saw their two-year-old walking around with a claw hammer hanging out of his mouth. Actually, they were frantic!
There was no electricity or heat within ten miles. Extracting the hammer without taking my tongue with it would require a miracle. Like many other times, Mom worked a miracle which makes me a little queasy even today…
60 years ago, I ended up in the bottom of an irrigation pond, being missed by no one.
Five years old, I was toast. No idea how to swim, dog paddle or get my head above water. My lungs were bursting. I was ready to pass out and start breathing water.
My first near-death episode. I am totally convinced prayer and divine intervention saved my bacon that day. There is no other explanation. Why my folks weren’t attending my funeral a few days later is beyond me.
“The man in the middle of the pic is Max, my bus driver from K-12. I loved him.
My guess is our teachers at school were jealous of Max. He had all the fun!
Those of us who lived south of Basin City spent around 5,400 hours on Max’s bus from kindergarten to the time we strolled down the aisle with the senior class singing Pomp and Circumstance.
A couple of bus experiences:
We invented an ingenious method (found on page 61) of smuggling live ammunition on to the bus. Max would frisk every trouble-maker climbing through the door up front past his seat. And yet, he didn’t get much. And another yet, when needed, we had all the ammo we wanted.
And so in the late spring/early summer days on the afternoon bus ride home from school, hundreds of water balloons would fly through the air. They exploded every few seconds on kid’s heads and even once in a while on Max’s head. He didn’t enjoy it near as much as we did.
Water sloshed on the floor from side to side and front to back, throughout the bus. Going around corners and curves in the road was the best! We reasoned this was absolutely needed because we didn’t have air conditioning on the bus back in the 60’s and 70’s.
An hour and a half-long 100-degree summer afternoon bus ride home from school in a hot tin can was pretty much unbearable. However, the massive infusion of H2O inside the bus transformed it from Unbearable to Funbearable.
Speaking of live ammunition…
One evening while the high school kids were getting on in the front of the bus, some monkey business took place in the back seat of the bus and a major explosion occurred. I’m not kidding, flames filled the air! The rear of the bus was filled with flames and kids. A stampede ensued. The experience was never to be forgotten by those who survived the explosion.
Actually, everyone survived.
That is, until the school’s paddle came out the next morning attached to the principal’s hand.
Corporeal punishment was always in abundant supply back then. One of our friends who was on a completely different bus in a completely different part of the county got punished just because…just because…just because… well, read the book. In spite of the stinging backsides, the rest of us thought it was top ten funny.
When I pass on from this school to the next, the first guy I’m going to look for is Max. I owe him a big apology.
I don’t think he’ll be hard to find. Surely there are yellow school buses in heaven. There better be because I still have a lot to learn.
(Actual picture of Clearwater Ave, Ben and Kent)
…As we cruised down Clearwater Ave at 45 mph, I said to Kent, “Let’s go back for lunch.”
Kent instantly jerked the Bronco steering wheel to make a right turn back to an eatery. He must have been hungry!
The only problem was we were in the left lane.
I looked out my window and yelled “No, Kent! No!”
A little Geo was in the right lane, invisible to Kent and directly underneath my elbow hanging out the window.
Kent jerked the wheel back which made things worse. The left front bumper of the Geo rode up the big right front tire of the Bronco. It flipped over on it’s top and slid down the street.
This was the first time I’d ever seen a human head, without a hair out of place, skimming along next to the asphalt going 45 mph on a busy thoroughfare. In an upside down car.
I hope I never see it again.
If you look closely at our faces, you can see that neither one of us was very happy.
And at that point, I pretty much freaked out…
(Actual picture of a Mooney, trees and cows)
…I pulled back on the Mooney’s stick and got no response, thanks to the 50 mile an hour tailwind.
I wanted to stop this daytime nightmare, but it was much too late. I had no time or distance to stop.
If I tried to abort the takeoff, I would hit the fence at the end of the runway at 120 mph. Clipping a couple of cows would likely slow me down to 80, then the trees would take me from 80 to 0 in less time than you can say splat.
Unfortunately, there was no stopping this runaway plane. The point of turning back was now about a half mile behind me.
I had about three seconds left before the end of the runway arrived. For two of those seconds I wished I could turn the clock back five minutes and take off from the correct downwind end of the runway.
Just before the third second ticked by, I reached the conclusion that ex-pilot Claude was back at the airport parking lot in his Bronco screaming and cussing at my stupidity. I had also pretty much accepted that fact that the idiot in the cockpit had taken it just a little too far this time around.
I knew there were at least a couple hundred soon-to-be propeller-manufactured hamburger patties from the beef cows munching on pasture grass dead ahead. In a second or two they were going to be meeting up with a screaming 130 mph land-locked airplane.
I had no choice but to proceed…