“Your reign on top was short, like leprechauns. As I crush so-called willies, thugs, and rapper-dons.”
Damn straight, Biggie.
Don’t get me wrong, those lyrics are a wee bit silly, but damn straight, Biggie.
That’s what I was listening to.
That’s what I was listening to the day I nearly died.
I’m not sure what that says about me. Probably nothing at all.
White dudes in their thirties who enjoy an occasional track from the late Mr. Smalls are the coolest white dudes of all, right?
In any case, it was a night like any other night. The sun had, long since, set and I was enjoying/hating every moment of my nightly jog/run. The rhymes of a rather plump African Ammerican rapper were pumping through my ears, tickling my brain with thier lispy lyrical goodness. My shins were hurting because my shins always hurt when I run/walk.
That’s what shitshins do.
That’s what shitshins do.
I was in pain, serious pain. My shins were throbbing like the babyhole of a cat in heat. They were hurting more then Will Smith’s ego after Wild Wild West. I needed to take a break. I also needed to catch my breath, but I’m going to blame that on my deficient shins rather than my piss-poor athleticism.
Less than five seconds after stopping, inhaling, and trying to ignore the sound of my lower legs cracking, something flew past me. It was huge. Three thousand pounds of steel and gas, and gears, and hoses, and rubber, and leather and whatever else is used to make a car leapt off of the road behind me and took to the air. It flipped onto the sidewalk, steel screaming, glass flying. It smashed through a tree and a row of bushes, spinning and tossing dirt in every direction. When it finally stopped, it was just ten feet away, headlights shattered, driver side collapsed, smoke seeping from underneath the twisted hood.
Holy shit. Shit.
I didn’t move, didn’t even blink.
Amazingly, I hadn’t crapped my pants.
Suddenly, I was moving forward. I didn’t particularly want to move forward, but that’s exactly what I was doing. I couldn’t tell if anyone was alive inside the flying deathtrap that nearly transformed me into a racing stripe on the underpants of a poorly wiped backside. I couldn’t image how anyone would be.
I was fully expecting to see something that resembled the crisper tray in Jeffery Dahmer’s refrigerator when I arrived at what was left of the passenger side door – a literal head of lettuce, pinky fingers instead of baby carrots, a scooped out skull being used as a guacamole serving dish.
It was going to be gross. I just knew it was going to be gross. It had to be gross.
Amazingly, the passenger side window was intact. At first glance, I didn’t see any severed limbs.
So that was a good thing.
While the door was a complete mess, the window seemed to be hanging in there. I leaned in close. I could vaguely make out the shadow of a person in the driver’s seat. It was moving. It was a woman. Her head seemed to be exactly where her head was supposed to be. Her arms looked attached, fingers still in place.
“Are you okay?”
She didn’t respond.
“Are you hurt?”
“Went from ten G’s for blow to thirty G’s a show, to orgies with hoes I never seen befo.”
Damn it, I still had my earbuds in. That would have been a really odd response from her.
I popped them out. “Can you move?”
“I’m okay. I don’t…I don’t know…”
She was shaken up. She was babbling, not making much sense. A light near the hood caught my eye, the warm glimmer of fire. Something was on fire under the car.
While I don’t know a hell of a lot about cars – nothing actually - I knew enough to realize that fire probably wasn’t supposed to be there. It probably wasn’t flaming like Bruce Vilanch at Harvey Fierstein’s sixty-thitd birthday bash when they drove it off the assembly line.
“You should probably get out, if you can.” I tried to open the passenger side door. Unfortunatley it looked like Rihanna’s face after a romantic afternoon with her man. It wouldn’t budge.
I had to do something.
The passenger side window was open just a smidge at the top. I wedged my fingers inside, held tight and pulled toward me. The glass shattered a hell of a lot easier than I thought it would.
Leaning into the window, I wrapped my arms around the girl, pulled her from the car, moved her away from the wreck and sat her down on a rock. By this time, a bunch of cars had stopped and a small crowd had gathered. There were police sirens in the distance, maybe a fire truck. Some guy hopped from his SUV, knelt beside the girl and started asking her questions. Other people were talking on their cell phones. A few were using those very same phones to snap candid shots of the flaming car. Shadowgirl was shaken. Her hair was a mess, eyes glassy. She also seemed a little drunk.
For the first time since her car nearly wiped me from existence, I realized that I had very nearly been wiped from existence. This broad’s car almost transformed me into a Tom Savini make-up effect. If my shitshins hadn’t been performing to their absolute shittiest ability, I’d have been a goner.
Nothing left but a mashed up smudge of powdered bones and half digested pizza.
It would have been all she wrote.
The fat lady would have sung and the fat man would have died of complications due to his early-onset diabetes.
Some poor bastard would have been scraping the mushed remains of my brain off the sidewalk and picking it out of the grass for days.
I didn’t want to be there, anymore.
I wanted to go home.
I returned the earbuds to my ears, tossed the hood over my head and took off like a goof ball. I think someone said something to me. I ignored them. A jog turned into a run rather quickly and a run became a full-on sprint shortly afterward. The flaming car, and the crowd of people, and the tipsy dope who nearly reduced me into me a barely-there memory in the minds of a few, disappeared into the night.
When I got home I headed straight to the bedroom. My wife was on the phone. I told her to get off.
“Face to face, out in the heat. Hangin’ tough, stayin’ hugry.”
And so what if I listen to Eye of the Tiger when I run?
When she didn’t get off the phone, I yelled at her. “Just get off the phone!”
I spent the next ten minutes telling her what happened while pacing back and forth, unable to believe it myself. She sat silently, twiddling her fingers, never blinking and barely breathing. When I was done, she said I was like a superhero, that I might have saved that girl’s life.
Yep, that’s me, Shitshins McGee, shattering windows and rescuing half-drunk morons from flaming cars.
She also mentioned that I probably should have stayed there to answer any questions the police might have.
That part wasn’t very superhero like.
In fact, running away like it was the end of a Benny Hill sketch was so un-superhero like that I probably shouldn’t have included it in this story.
That part doesn’t make me look too cool.
Oh well, why change things now?