A Damn Near Thing…

I almost killed him. It was a matter of inches.

Righteous indignation, relief, surprise, and maybe just a taste of fear are still throbbing through my system.

Not fun…that.

I was working on the wife’s car today. It’s six years old already. Sheesh. Where does the time go? Seems like just yesterday I was gasping in horror at the sticker price. Anyway, simple stuff on the surface…a tail-light was out, the headlights needed adjusted, time to replace the battery. Standard fluids/filters. Should be no big deal.

Of course, the cars these days. Gotta tear the trunk apart and get out tools just to get to the tail-lights. Then ya gotta go buy a “special” bulb as the one that has been used in every single dual-filiment tail-light for the last 60 years has been replaced with a “new” one. Gad. Ah well. Needed to buy an air filter too.

So, running to the autoparts store…idling up the alley in “Big Iron”… the 450 horsepower, 4×4 Dodge truck.

Out of one of the hilly driveways shoots a neighborhood boy on his bicycle. Maybe 7 or 8 years old. Hey, helmet and elbow pads! Cool! Safe, right? Heh…no, plastic and fiberglass won’t help a bit when you get parked on by an 8000 pound truck.

He hadn’t looked…didn’t slow down…and would have been dead if I hadn’t already been covering the brakes. I’m guessing my front passanger-side wheel would have run right over his torso.

SCHREECH! I stopped. Good thing I keep the brakes in top condition…anything less than maximum performance and it would not have been enough.

I missed him. Barely. Skin of teeth. Small numbers of millimeters. Faced with the grill of my truck he couldn’t turn into the alley so he crashed into the fence across the alley. Heh…hate to laugh…but maybe that’ll help make a lesson stick.

“Mom” rushed out…saw the entire thing. I imagine she sprouted about 10 gray hairs right then and there. She was scolding him…apologized to me…and dragged the kid and his bike off to a fate I can guess at. Earned a few of those myself…back in the day.

She and I know just how close it was. Hopefully he does too…but he’s at the age where mortality simply isn’t a question.

It was all but death…right there in the alley.

I’ve driven a multitude of vehicles millions of miles. I’ve seen a lot, massive experience…good driver yada yada…

More than half a million miles on motorcycles, and all the incidents and close calls that entails have taught me to take this stuff as it comes.

We missed. Incident over. That’s what mattered.

Non-plussed, it was off to the autoparts store.

Yeah. Non-plussed. Heh…I had to get the clerk to find the light bulb I needed…my hands were shaking so bad I couldn’t read the numbers on the old one.

Non-plussed. That’s me!

Y’all be safe…and hug ’em if you’ve got ’em…or maybe beat their little asses…whichever is most appropriate at the moment.

Daniel Meyer

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