On Saturday, October 15, 2016, just as my wife and I stepped into our garage we lost our electricity. We were not surprised, as we stood in the dark because there had been ample notice that the tail end of Hurricane Matthew was likely to generate serious high winds in our area.
We were in route to my wife’s 50th Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) class reunion. Through a chain of fascinating events, which is a story I could tell another time, I was asked to present 20 minutes of stand-up comedy for the PLU function. What makes this even more amazing is the fact that I am a University of Puget Sound (UPS) graduate. Hmmm. A UPS graduate infiltrating a PLU class reunion. It shows how desperate PLU was for some comedy.
By the time we broke out of our garage and drove three doors down the block, we discovered the cause of our power outage. The wind had snapped the top 25 feet out of my neighbor’s beautiful old pine tree. The pointed top fell on the roadway like a arrow crashing to earth taking a power line with it. The tree top was so large it blocked our entire roadway.
Here is the interesting part when it comes to lucky-living. Had we left the house 1 minute and 47 seconds earlier, the tree top would have crashed through the top of our car spearing the two of us like a shish kabob. Not only would our house lights have been knocked out, we would have gone lights out ourselves.
Had we been 1 minute and 47 seconds earlier, there would have been two Lakewood storm deaths and no stand-up comedy. Lucky in life, we beat the Grim Reaper once again.
After having first studied the mortality table in 1962, life and death are two topics or phenomenon that have always fascinated me. The Grim Reaper has paid me many a visit down through the years, but I have always been lucky enough to out run him.
Of course, life is more interesting to me than death, but one day, death will come. When death crosses my threshold, I will negotiate with the Grim Reaper to see if I can publish one last article in The Suburban Times so I can tell you what death is like. Think of it as a posthumous or should I say post-humorous article. Look for the title Westside Story – Goodbye Earthlings.
I am heading out to my car, again. Death may come in the next 1 minute 47 seconds. Who knows? We all know our birthdate, but none of us know our death date. If death wins, it has been nice knowing all of you.
Mary Hammond says
Joe, you have a great sense of timing, but your story ends too soon. I’m envisioning the treetop and power lines across your road. You’re too smart to have messed with them. Did you get a helicopter to rescue you and Kjeri, delivering you to PLU in time to make a grand entrance?
P.S. Glad you made it! What were the two of you doing during that last minute and 47 seconds? Was Kjeri double-checking the contents of her purse, or debating which coat to wear? If she held you up, then you can thank her, as well as your lucky stars!
Shirlee Dashow says
The Great Escape!
David Wilson says
Here you go again talking about the RIP.
Joseph Boyle says
After reading your comment, I just could not remember including anything about the RIP (Rental Inspection Program). So I reread my column and after not finding one single reference to the RIP, I thought, “Hun?”
Then it hit me. RIP (Rest In Peace). That is some first rate cutting edge comedy. Thanks for the laugh.