Crazy Crap You Remember At 3am…

The Gonzo Journals

January 30th, 2023

Well, after encountering Bill and Hillary Clinton on a hiking trail rope bridge and meeting up later for 80’s style mall Glamour Shots, I decided that Melatonin was NOT my friend. Nothing against Bill, but that feathered boa just wasn’t “him”.

Since this revelation, I’ve been lying awake some nights, staring at the ceiling, wondering how in the exact Hell I’ve made it this far in life. So many near death experiences whether it be drunk driving, hazardous weather road trips, or venomous snake encounters while rock climbing. The possibilities of death were numerous up to this point, and I’m lucky to be alive.

Then, last night, I recalled something I haven’t dwelled on in almost thirty years. Somehow, I feel like people need to hear it. It could save a life one day.

I remember way back in 1993, my girlfriend (eventually wife/ex-wife) and I were expecting our first child. The fates didn’t believe this was the proper time for either of us so the pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage. Although it was a sad day for all involved, last night’s thoughts didn’t dwell on the loss of my child. Instead, they resurrected a conversation I had with one of the other emergency room patrons.

The drive to the hospital was stormy and treacherous. Our local hospital in my hometown of Greenville, Texas – insert banjo sounds here – had a waiting list a mile long regardless of the nature of the emergency. We hopped in the car out of pure desperation and journeyed to another hospital closer to Dallas almost an hour away. The storm intensified.

To make a long story short, we lost the baby, and my girlfriend survived the ordeal. I believe this is nothing in comparison to the tragedy of a man who sat beside me in the ER. I can’t believe I’d forgotten about this until last night since it’s so unusual.

The gentleman, whose name I don’t recall, had just lost his wife in a freak accident. His son got into a fight at school that day and the principal called their home to inform the mother. Being 1993, the phone was a landline. Cell phones were far and few then, so the lady had no other choice. Somewhere, lightning from the storm struck the phone lines, traveled through the wires, and electrocuted the man’s wife. She died instantly.

I’d heard horror stories from my grandmother while growing up about turning off the television, staying off the phone, and not showering during thunderstorms, but I always took them with a grain of salt. Crazy old people and their wacky legends were fun at times, but I never would’ve guessed one of those ‘old wives’ tales’ to be spot on! I mean, she had me believing you’re supposed to cover a burn in butter to make it better. I was later instructed by my military first aid instructor that putting butter on a burn is one of the worst things you can possibly do! I don’t remember her talking to me much after I brought this to her attention. I think she held that grudge until the day she died unexpectedly.

Anyway, this stray thought came to me in the night, and I figured I’d better pass it on to anyone willing to read it. Most people don’t have landlines anymore unless it’s at their place of business, but how many hours per day do we spend at work? One third of a day? One half? That’s a lot of time exposed to land lines. If the lottery carried those kinds of odds, I’d play it.



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