I was instantly filled with loathing and dread.
Loathing for my own inability to imagine outcomes and dread because I now had a fair idea of those potential outcomes, none of which looked any good at all.
At age nineteen I was waay past old enough to know better which only served to make the anguished hollering echoing from the coulee below us all the more terrifying.
Worse yet, the outraged person making all the racket by cursing and cussing at the top of his lungs was well known to every one of his now totally mesmerized audience members including me.
In what was to be a harbinger for the rest of my life, I instinctively crouched down in the wild prairie field to gather my panicked thoughts and rapidly encouraged my cohorts to do the same. Out of sight, out of mind was my thinking right then and at this very moment we were immersed in circumstances which definitely fit the “out of mind” part.
Our horror show started innocently enough just a few life changing minutes beforehand when I expectantly hid a cinder-block in a Co-op grocery store paper bag and placed it in the middle of a seldom used road a mile north of our farm.
My intent was to break the monotony of a hot summer day for myself and three younger brothers by playing a hard bag prank on someone and the act’s necessity was further spurred by the weight of our bait which had gotten pretty dang heavy by the time we carted it to our nefarious destination.
Strategically placing it mid-road about a hundred yards from the entrance to a narrow wood bridge spanning a small creek, I made certain the upright bag fully concealed the brick. With the hilarious horseplay initiated, I excitedly ushered my brood into some tall grass on a knoll overlooking our kill zone and we all hunkered down to wait for prey.
It didn’t take long…
Within a few minutes the monotonous Manitoba morning yawned awake with the sound of a vehicle roaring helplessly toward our clever trap and as it crested the hill and took direct aim for our bad bag gag, I realized to my horror that the primary target belonged to my brother-in-law and the crazy man was bearing down on our ambush location at top speed.
The impact of his newly rebuilt and much loved car against the cinder brick was thunderous and his velocity catapulted car and driver from the gravel road into the little creek with a tremendous amount of clanging, banging and a hellova cloud of dust.
Sickened and shocked doesn’t begin to describe how I was feeling as I watched my young brother-in-law climb out the driver’s window of his now steaming, smouldering stack of scrap metal.
The madness I heard in dude’s voice before long broke my spell and prompted me into action as I anxiously herded my charges in a frenzied fashion back toward the same familiar farm I knew our victim would be making a bee line to for help.
How could I not have predicted the calamity I would cause? WTF was I thinking?!
These and scads of additional worries began to swamp my mind as we ran like the wind back home. Along the retreat I swore each kid to secrecy and for twenty years my (now ex) brother-in-law had no idea that I was the mental giant behind this calamity.
When he did eventually find out about my dastardly deed two decades later, he was still surprisingly upset and I heard through the grapevine that I should be on full alert if I happened to motor anywhere near his locale.
Thinking back upon this thirty-five year old event still causes me to involuntarily grunt at how handicapped I was at predicting the effects of my actions. I truly had no idea about repercussions or how my thinking (or lack of it) could affect people.
And today that’s ALL I contemplate…
To offset my no mindedness.
Thank you, friend.
I wonder how silly the Japanese gov’t will feel down the road?