Thursday, October 30, 2008

Faces of (near)Death

Check out this guy. Thinks he can grab all teh interwebz traffics in one foul swoop. Well, I'm not standing for it, or sliding off of a roof crying for it, either. I hereby declare the first "Theme Week". Since we seemed to have grown a small semblance of a blogging family, I feel that maybe once in a great while we can have themed blogging, or perhaps contests? I see this pop up most commonly with webcomics, seen here. But I have a dream that it could work with us too. (You know who you are.)

So to begin, Death Week. (Or Halloween week, if you must) Or close calls, or even eye witness accounts, and if all that fails on you, maybe something you read in a newspaper once.

My tale of woe begins with a cold Wisconsin winter. I apologize to this being a lunch time repeat (we should publish those minutes). The snow froze the great lake of Winnebago. As any good natured Wisconsinite would do, my dad took his truck out onto the newly frozen water and put a home-made Shanty out on a rectangular hole he cut. And, of course, he brought his two young lads out with him. (5 and 10 I want to say) I'll humor you with some details, although I know you've all experienced this first hand. Your dad goes into the shanty, and looks down the hole. Sometimes there is a radio on, but you are not to talk, or move around. You sit. But outside the shanty, woah boy! Let me tell you... The skys the limit. If you were lucky the family dog was out and you could throw a tennis ball for miles (ok, 15 yards feels like miles as a chap) on that ice and watch the dog lose his footing cartoon style until finally getting going and chasing it down, only to realize he had too much momentum and no way to stop. It never got old. But if it did, maybe you wanted to do some sliding yourself? Er, I digress.

I was in the shanty once trying to get "dad points" and Jay was outside playing with this plastic jurassic park dinosaur. My previous examples were on days where no snow was on the lake. Very fun. Days where it snowed (90% of the time) you had to think of non-sliding games to play. Except the one my brother just presented. He comes into the shanty. Knock first, you don't want to blind your dad's newly adjusted cave-dweller vision while he's stabbing some Prehistoric Fish. (seriously they live longer then we do... unless they meet my dad)

So Jay comes in and tells me he has a game for me. What game could this 5 year old possibly have for me? I go out and accept the challenge. He tells me to find the dinosaur. I look around, snow. Snow banks, hills, lines, tracks, footprints, you name it. I enjoy the idea for as long as a young child can, digging, searching, sifting. Finally I tell him he wins, I give up, where is it. And he laughs in victory. Then begins digging. And next he's playing the same game I just did. Not too fun anymore. And guess what, it was our favorite toy. We spent the rest of the day to no avail. Apparently our dad didn't have any luck either because the next day we move shanty locations and we don't even get another chance to search again.

Or do we? The season is ending and we are about to pull our shanty up and go home, no sturgeon this year. The wind has been blowing hard the past few days, the moisture level is up and snow is non-existant, you can see ice for as far as the eye can see, that is if it wasn't for that meddling fog. My dad tells us he can bring us back to the old spot to find the dinosaur. Realize this is before GPS devices. He has some internal GPS that can bring him to the exact location of a 3ft by 5ft hole, now actually frozen, within 137,708 acres of lake. Oh yeah, I see it dad, that clear sheet of ice looks more rippled then that one... right. So, with the fog and all (you can't see coastline) we make it to the old spot. Low and behold a lone Stegosaurus, braving the wind. Quite the sight to see at that age. We grab the escape artist and jump back in the truck to head home.

Well, that internal GPS device I mentioned, it has only failed a couple times to my knowledge. Without a shoreline, and no paths in the snow that trucks follow off the lake, my dad led us astray. We thought everything was A-ok until a sound erupted like thunder crashing down on us. We jerked forward tight against our seatbelts and could only see ice approaching the windshield. As I looked down at the floorboards I see water, freezing cold water, was creeping up through the engine into the cab. I remember the feeling of claustrophobia as the water rose towards my dangling feet. One of the most frightening experiences of my life. What would we do? Is this how it would end?

To find out, tune in tomorrow. Same bat time, same bat channel.


Gregor said...


I love the fact that you telling the story at lunch sounds exactly the same as reading it.

MrB said...

what the fuck. you can't have a cliffhanger in a blog!

Finally when i was getting into it you cut me off! fuck that maang.

and fuck you too gregor, i don't have the privilege to eat lunch with you guys so let the man speak.

Ric said...

It's like a movie. I want to hear MORE.