Going into Shock–The Burning Tree and The Bus

Hey, remember how I faint like a girl when a piece of popcorn lands within five feet of me and I think it was close to hitting me and how I told you about it and you now equate me with an 18th century damsel who requires that squires lay down their cloaks so that I can cross mud without dirtying my feet? Let’s talk more about what a freak that makes me, shall we?
Yes. We shall.

So, two more shock stories and then we’re closed for the evening.

One: Once upon a time I was sitting in my in-law’s house when there was this weird noise. It sounded like a firework mixed with the hissing of a snake mixed with death. I immediately looked to the ceiling and froze, certain there was something wrong. My wife’s sister, Kaitlyn, who at that time was a teenager, came running downstairs yelling, “There’s a tree on fire outside!!” We’re not talking a small tree here. It was a Juniper that was as tall as the house (I learned later). She? Immediately went into action. I? Watched her in stunned silence. She ran outside, assessed the tree, and ran back inside to call 911. I sat there, petrified. She raced back outside, filled with adrenaline, and started to try to hose down the tree while she waited for the fire truck. I continued sitting, the thought “Must do something important now…” resting at the tip of my pre-frontal lobe. By the time the fire-truck came and Kaitlyn had Anna outside talking to the fireman, I had finally been able to take my first step of action. And when I assessed myself? I realized I had been frozen by fear while ascending the stairs probably to go hide under a bed.

Strangely, the fireman was less willing to give me a free stuffed animal than he was to Anna when I went outside to be amazed by the redness of the truck.  I tried hard to avoid the question “And you sir, what were you doing during this emergency?” because then I would have had to say, “Uh, I stared at the phone really hard for several minutes before somebody else picked it up and called 911.” And then the fireman wouldn’t have shown me how the lights of the truck work, because he would have known I am ridiculous.

Kaitlyn and Anna pose near the fire-truck. The Weed cowers inside the house, trembling.

Story #2–So this one time I was reading a book while traveling home on the bus from grad school. In this book, a person is walking on some ice, and then slips and falls back hitting his head hard on the ice. The book describes the injury incurred in great detail. I’m so riveted that I see it all with a pristine clarity. It talks about the man slipping and falling on ice, and then smacking his head hard, and then reaching back and feeling the wetness of his blo…(passes out).

(Comes to) Where am I? What was I talking about? (Reads the paragraph he just wrote)(passes out again)

Member this part? Where he thinks Boo’s getting killed in the garbage machine?
                                             This is my life.
Anyway, the real end of that story is that I came so close to passing out that I called Wife on the phone. I don’t really remember the conversation but it probably went something like this:

Me: Hey, babe, uh….

Wife: The Weed? Are you there?

Me: Yeah. I’m… I don’t feel good.

Wife: Are you sick?

Me: No, I’m gonna pass out.

Wife: What? Why? What happened?

Me: I was reading this book, and there was this part where… oh, I can’t talk about this. I’m gonna be sick.

Wife: Just put your head between your knees sweetheart. Do you have any food with you? Try and ingest some sugar sweetie. You’ll be safe. It was just a book.

Me: Okay, Mommy. I mean Wife.


On an entirely unrelated note, are you a little bit crazy? And do you write lots of words in books? Do you want to be a Writing Crusader? Then go here to sign up to be one at Rachael Harrie’s blog. You won’t regret it.


  1. Hilarious! Your wife sounds quite used to your shenanigans and a bit saintly;) Then I read some of your other posts and discovered you weren't talking about an isolated event. Love It! I joined the crusades this year as well, first timer alert. 😉 I look forward to reading more of your posts!

  2. @Wombat–Oh, I've definitely done that too, don't you worry.

    @Anonymous–It was indeed the Shack! Which I never finished.

    @YLIDHG–Yeah, that's a more apt comparison! Wish I'd thought of it.

    @Shelley–Aw thanks!

    @Chrissy–SO TRUE! (Gets up, walks outside, and slips on icy pavement as recompense.)

    @Nikki–I'm glad to know that I'm not the only dude out there that faints. Wait, is he otherwise masculine and awesome? Like me? Because then I feel good about it. 😉

    @Rach–Why thank you!

    @Amanda–Yeeeeah, there's kind of a lot of crazy up in this joint. Wife really is pretty much a saint. Except Holier. And less dead. Oh, wait, we're Mormon, so she is a Latter Day Saint. Actual sainthood achieved. Yes!

  3. Hilarious! I read number 2 out loud to my boyfriend. We both LOL'd. Soooo, I guess a career as an EMT is out of the question??

    As for #1, well, I cant help but read through the lens of a school psychologist. You might want to tag this post with ADHD too. Your executive functioning closes the shop when you go into fight or flight mode. Don't move to California. The earthquakes and you would be very incompatible.

  4. They are actually starting to realize that "fight or flight" mode actually includes a third variable – the "freeze". The same principal that makes deer freeze in headlights and possums play dead also can affect humans when they are faced with a threat – so you aren't alone, and it's probably a biological problem over a strictly psychological one (but that's your area of expertise, not mine)!

  5. I'm sure if your wife or child were in immediate danger, you'd act first and then pass out afterwards. Also, I'm laughing really hard at you passing out from a book. That's impressive.

  6. I could regale you with the story about how my ex got more attention for just about fainting dead away when my son was getting his peen whacked as a nod to Christianity's roots in Judaism but I think you might just…The WEED?…Are you there? *Where'd I put those smelling salts?

  7. @Sunny–You're a school psychologist? That's awesome. I was *this close* to doing school psychology. Also, you're totally right. Executive functioning? Not what will make my fortunes…

    @kangaroobee–aw, thank you much

    @spinning70–Really? I hadn't heard this and it actually does make me feel a little bit better about myself. Yeah, it totally is like deer in headlights. I suppose this trait will be useful if ever I am chased down by a Jurassic Park variety T-Rex.

    @Su–Um, uhhh, (hems, haws) there may or may not be evidence indicating that I still do this even when stuff happens to wife and/or child. *bows head in shame*

    @Jennifer–(comes to)(looks around in a daze) Whoa. Hokay. Note to self. No watching peen whacking (why does that sound so wrong?) if ever we have a dude.

  8. Probably best that you didn't finish the book as it has some disturbing things in it especially since you have little girls but in all reality it is probably one of my favorites and very comforting in a strange kinda way.

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