A few weeks ago, I told you a story about my friend, Jeff Anderson, who fell out of the back of a watermelon truck. That happened almost fifty years ago, and we are still laughing about it. Unfortunately, some things never change! Oh, my gosh! Will I ever grow up?! As you read this Tip, you will understand that I am still struggling with the whole idea of growing up and becoming mature. Adulthood is one thing; maturity is quite another!
A while back I was in Wichita, Kansas speaking at a large function. The people who are part of this organization are some of the finest people I know! They are all positive, upbeat and enthusiastic. They love their families, their country, and their business. It was a wonderful time. That is, until the last event of the weekend.
I spoke once on Friday night and twice on Saturday and the sessions were well received. Then, on Sunday, we had a bonus time together with all of the leadership team within the organization. We went to a nearby lake and had a great afternoon. We went boating, had lots of good food to eat, and enjoyed more times of talking and teaching.
As the sun began to set, several of us played horseshoes. (I tried to remember the last time I had played horseshoes. It was probably forty to fifty years ago!) Then things must have been a little too tame for some of the guys because two of them decided that we should get in the back of a pick-up truck and go skunk hunting. It seems that the land has been overtaken by rodents: possums and skunks. So, to keep nature balanced, they decided we should go hunt some of them.
Now, you need to understand that I am not much of an outdoorsman. I do not like to hunt or fish. Those activities just do not appeal to me. They are way too slow for me. I like to go shopping! I suppose that is the influence of all the females who have been in my life: my mother, my wife, and my daughters. Even my dog is a female! And we all like to shop.
The ladies were all out on the lake in a pontoon boat so I reasoned to myself, “Well, what can this hurt? I will just go along for the ride with the guys. After all, when was the last time I went hunting with a bunch of millionaires in the back of a pick-up truck?!”
My friend Gary, the other speaker for the weekend, thought he was with a bunch of lunatics. Gary is from New York! Can you get the picture – a New Yorker with a bunch of cowboys from Kansas riding in the back of a pick-up truck shooting skunks?!?! This is the kind of stuff that is made for B-rated movies!
George (the leader of the group) and I were sitting on a large cooler in the back of the truck. We were only going about 5 miles per hour as we closed in on the dangerous prey and everything was fine. Every time we would see one of the varmints a shot would ring out. Sometimes they hit their target and other times the critter got away.
Suddenly, a big skunk ran out in front of us. Stan, who was driving the truck, got a little excited. He took off, which caused George and me and the cooler on which we were sitting to start sliding out of the back of the truck. Unfortunately, the tail gate of the truck was down so there was nothing to stop us from falling out of the truck onto the ground. The spot where George landed was covered with thousands of little sharp stickers. I fell backwards onto the cooler which had already hit the ground. The impact of landing on the hard cooler knocked the breath right out of me! I have not had a hit like that since I played college football! I tried to shake it all off and pretend everything was okay, but it hurt really, really bad – too much to laugh.
We took some time to remove some of the stickers from our flesh and then called it a night. I did not sleep much…I couldn’t breathe. I thought I was going to die! I thought I might be bleeding internally or have a punctured lung.
When I got home the next day, after a long, bumpy flight, my daughter insisted I go straight to the emergency care unit. They x-rayed me and sure enough, I had a fractured rib. The doctor told me that I was extremely fortunate because it could have been much worse and asked me how I had damaged it. When I told him I had fallen backwards out of the rear end of a pick-up truck while shooting skunks, he looked at me and said, “Now, how old are you?” Who would have ever thought that just a couple of weeks ago when I made fun of one of my friends for falling out of a truck almost fifty years ago, that a similar thing would soon happen to me! Wow! Some things just never change!
I guess the moral to this story is that you just need to leave skunks and possums alone and simply let them take over the land – because when you try to get them, in the end, they may wind up getting you. At least, that has been my personal experience!
Have a great week!
Tip: Don’t go skunk hunting and fall out of the back of a pick-up truck!
God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm