The Cast: Erich (destroyer of glass window panes), My dad (cool as a cucumber), Myself (desperate to not be skewered).
Once in a while, you do things that you don’t even realize how bad they might end up until it’s too late. But then, it’s too late. And, it’s already done. It’s these kinds of sobering thoughts that rush to the forefront of your mind when you’re surrounded by sharp, pointy bits of glass and any move you make means that those sharp, pointy bits of glass will stab deep into your soft flesh. Ooohhh… this is gonna’ hurt…
So, Erich and I would wrestle and battle to train ourselves for… Wait, let me give a little background first.
Jerry Seinfeld has a bit where he talks about how, for boys, Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, are choices. They are career choices. These are people we can grow up to be. Some of us believed that more than others. Some grow up to be police officers or firefighters. And still, yet, there are those of us that grow up to be Batman or Superman* or the Green Lantern (see I’m Batman). More to the point, this is the mentality that myself and a few friends developed and fostered until it became the real reason most of these stories exist. Because we were Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. No! But we were teenage superheroes. Almost. Thus the title, Almost Heroes.
Erich started this particular tale with the comment he made on my last post and so I thought I would just begin telling the tales of us misguided teenage superheroes. I had planned on doing it anyway, but Erich’s comment just sped up the time table a little.
So, Erich and I would wrestle and battle to train ourselves for whatever criminal scum we might encounter in our quiet little farming community. You have to keep your senses sharp and be prepared for anything. We already knew he was stronger than I was, that was fine. What I lacked in strength I more than made up for with obnoxious tenacity. In just about any given circumstance I would not give in, it can be very frustrating to an opponent.
Anyway, there was one summer day when the two of us were just goofing off on the front porch of my house. It wasn’t very large and I don’t recall exactly how it all started but it didn’t take long before I had moved around behind Erich and wrapped my arms around him, to keep him from attacking me. It was working quite well. That is until…
You see Erich didn’t like to lose either. So he had planned on sort-of hitting me against the wall and breaking free. So he sort-of bent forward, thinking that might get me off him, and it didn’t. So he had no choice, he had to throw me off of him. No choice really. So, Erich—already leaning forward, in one motion, stood up and lifted his arms outward, with the intent of slamming me against the wall. This would have worked had he been lined up with the wall. Instead, he was lined up with the front door of my house. This screen door consisted of three panels. The top panel had a glass pane. The bottom panel was a metal kickplate. The middle panel did have a glass pane in it—and at one point a mesh screen—but now it had broken glass and me trying desperately not to have any pain of my own.
Once in a while, you do things that you don’t even realize how bad they might end up until it’s too late. But then, it’s too late. And, it’s already done. It’s these kinds of sobering thoughts that rush to the forefront of your mind when you’re surrounded by sharp, pointy bits of glass and any move you make means that those sharp, pointy bits of glass will stab deep into your soft flesh. Ooohhh… this is gonna’ hurt… That was my first thought, quickly followed by I am in sooo much trouble…
We both froze as the glass tinkled to the ground and down my shirt. I was holding onto Erich as best I could—it had become a choke hold because I was holding him and accidentally choking him—and I could feel the pointed ends of glass shards warning me not to move. “Don’t move,” I told Erich.
“I won’t,” came the reply.
“What do we do?”
“Whatever it is we gotta do it fast, you’re choking me. Can you stand up?”
“I have glass stabbing me everywhere. Everywhere! If I move I’m gonna get another opening in my butt. I don’t need another opening there!” My body had been thrown into such a position within the doorframe that my feet were too high to touch the ground.
“I’m going to pass out,” Erich warned me.
“I have an idea. Hold on.”
“No, you hold on.”
“Dude, if I laugh and fall…”
My house was made from hand-carved stone and so it had small ledges and uneven surfaces. I moved my feet into position, like a rock climber would, and found one handhold followed by another. “Alright, you can move now.” As Erich carefully stepped away and turned around he found me doing a pretty good Spider-Man impression on my front wall.
“Now what? Now what?!? Get over here and help me out of this door! I’m starting to slide and the glass is stabbing me places I don’t want it to.”
Stretching out his arms and placing them under my armpits, Erich made a ‘lift’ that I could put my weight on so I could ease out of the door turned deathtrap. That’s when my dad came upon the scene.
As Erich and I stood there analyzing the situation, my father opened the door and looked at us. We then all looked down at the broken glass all over the porch. Then we looked back up at each other. My dad, “What happened?”
“It was an accident.”
“Are you alright?”
“You better get this cleaned up before your mom gets home.”
“Alright then. You sure you’re both alright?”
“Yeah, dad. Thanks.” He wasn’t mad. He was just concerned. It was one of the coolest parenting moments I have ever witnessed. He then closed the door and let us take care of the mess. Which we did and nothing more was ever said about it.
There were no major bits of glass found in me—anywhere—thank goodness. However, during the next two weeks, the fine, hair-like slivers of glass in the back of my neck acted like sensors and made a horrible tingling sensation every time I showered and the warm water hit them. It was like they all had come in direct contact with a nerve or something. I was so grateful when they all finally worked their way out.
Erich did feel bad about the missing glass pane and tried to find ways to replace it. His first thought was to take the one off his back door, who would notice? His mother! Almost immediately. Erich was grounded for a week. So we ‘found’ another one to replace his missing pane. Ungrounded! Oh-yeah! Heroes 1, would-be door deathtraps 0.
*I met Superman once. We had both arrived in Colorado for some training. A really nice guy. And, no, not the comic book character or some guy dressed up like Superman, or an actor that played Superman in a movie. The real Superman. Nice guy that Kent.