This memory was dislodged from my subconcious upon reading Golem
's excellent wu in I got hit by the pizza man.
Back in High School, along with seemingly half of the database's users, I was not looked upon too favorably by my fellow HS students. I had a large pool of friends, so I was hardly lonely, but we mostly kept to ourselves and so many a rumor was started about us. About myself in particular, one of my favorites was that I had cast a spell on one of the football team members, and caused his leg to break. I have no idea how this was started, or why. It came to me through someone I hardly even knew, so I imagine it was actually going around. That's what you get for going to a Catholic High School.
In any case, the title of this node has to do with the events of an otherwise ordinary day at said High School.
It was lunch time, and I was out on the concrete patio just outside the commons. It was adjacent to the parking lot of the school, and stood atop a fairly steep incline, at the bottom of which was the football field. At the "back" of the football field was a small fenced in area for storage. I mention the topography of my school as it will come up in a moment.
So I'm standing on the concrete patio, talking with a friend of mine, procrastinating from heading off to class for a few more minutes. All of a sudden, we hear yelling. Now, this is a high school campus. Yelling is part of the package. Initially we ignore it. Then it comes again, only more coherently "Help!". Being the good recovering catholics we were (sigh), we hurried over to the parking lot, from whence the call was coming. As we walk in that direction, a truck drives off the parking lot, and down onto the hill, where it stops. We look into the parking lot, and see a large old woman lying on the ground.
"Help me, you fools!" she screams. (I kid you not. I would have laughed, had I not been there.)
We hurry over, and she quickly explains that she got out of her truck while it was still running, and evidently, still in gear. It backed over her feet, and now she is in a great deal of pain. I instruct my friend to go to the office for help, to call the cops, whatever, and then ask the large woman if there is anything I can do for her. Yes, she says, there is. Her purse is in her truck, could I please get it for her. Being an amiable, though stupid young man, I do so.
I run down the side of the hill to where the truck is idling. To this day I have no idea why the truck stopped on the side of the incline. It was in neutral, and by all rights should not have stopped where it did. When I got to the truck, I saw that the driver's door was open, and the engine was still running. I looked inside, and immediately spotted the woman's purse. I reached inside, grabbed it, and began to pull it out. Unfortunately, the purse became stuck on the gear shift, and before I realized what was happening, the truck shifted out of neutral. This caused the vehicle to stall out, killing the engine as I lifted the purse from the truck. With the engine no longer running, the truck then continued its descent down the hill.......right into the aforementioned fenced in storage area. It hit one of the fence supports dead on, and flattened it admirably.
I turn to head back up the hill, and hear clapping. I look up, and spot more than half the lunchroom hanging out the windows of the commons. They must have seen the whole thing. So, caring not one iota what people think, I sketch a short bow, and head up the hill to the old woman. By this point the cops have responded (It's Madison, WI....cops have good reaction times.), and are taking statements. I hand the old lady her bag and tell the cops what I know. I then head to class, almost half an hour late. Best excuse I ever had.
Later that day, I heard another great rumor about me. Evidently, the events that transpired outside the commons windows were completely misconstrued. In the heads of the students of Edgewood....to *this day*.....I was not trying to help the old woman, but instead had tossed her out of the truck and run her over. This attempted carjacking evidently was not satisfactory for me, so instead of taking the vehicle I simply let it roll down the hill and stole the old lady's purse.
I'll never forget the great look on my mom's face that evening as she picked me up from school after rehearsal for the musical production the school was putting on. "Michael, your brother told me that he heard this crazy rumor today in school....."
She was understandably confused, as I burst out laughing and did not stop for several minutes.