July 4th, 2007

hiking - standing tall

AMAQ: (Talkin' bout) Death on the Fourth of July*

Here in America, today was Independence Day. Tonight's the night with the boom and the flash and the smoke and the wtf music. I went to an early July 4 party over the weekend at childe_dirk's, and I got my US RDA of fireworks then; as such, I'm skipping tonight's festivities in favor of getting home from work and resting.

But while I'm at it, I can offer some reading material for those who (like me) aren't doing anything special for the night -- a long overdue story! That's right -- the average reader might think that I forgot about my aging meme in which I promised to write things based on reader input, but I'm finally getting off my butt and doing something about it!

... "Yay!" I hear you shout. "Ambitious Cat stories!" And, indeed, there is shiny new TTU content so close as to be almost tasteable! But at this point, careful readers of my journal might now be remembering my previous head fake, and wondering whether all this lead-in has a similar intent.

Dammit, careful readers! You are too clever for me. But if you'll stop gloating for a few seconds, I'll give you the never before revealed story of last summer's Dramatic Brush With Death --

-- No, this doesn't count. I merely promised to tell the story. That's not at all the same thing as revealing it. Would you shut up for a moment, clever readers? Because here we go ... with

Ask Me A Question: The Late But Epic Edition!

> "Have you ever felt the terror of death grip you?"

Contrary to popular belief, staring your imminent death in the face is a very grounding experience.

The popular notion of "your life flashing before your eyes"? Total bunk. I'll grant its utility as a literary device, sure -- but outside of the world of fiction, nobody's brain uses impending doom as an excuse for autobiography. The brain's response to imminent danger is to actually try to solve the problem. As unromantic as it is, people's real final thoughts are things like "I'll be safe from that bear up this tree." Or "I hope pulling back on this stick works like it does in the movies." Or "Where's the air? Which direction do I swim to reach the surface?"

In my case, it was "If I find a way to brace myself properly, I might not get thrown out until the truck crashes." Leaving safety behind

Then a jolt, a shudder, an uproar of dust as the passenger-side wheels drifted off the road. And a mental footnote: "I'm glad I've been taking pictures; it might help the investigators figure out who the guy in the back was."

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* Post title: literary reference.