About two weeks ago, I went for a run. The route was familiar. I walked down the steps of 649 Bingham, turned left, passed the Beatty’s house and the Cymbalist’s house, and turned left at the corner. I ran down Hursley, turned right onto Johnston, turned left down the alley that’s parallel to Seymour… well, the route continues. I ran for about forty minutes and listened to some lady on my iPod talk about writing a break up song. The run and the radio got me jonesin’ to start writing again. I wasn’t jonesin’ bad enough, though.
When I got back from the run, I stretched, took a shower, ate some ice cream, and read a book, and fell asleep. I’ve done little else but a combination of those things since returning from my bike trip. The trip ended four weeks ago. I’d probably still be indulging in my ice cream-word-sleep stupor had I not been encouraged by my dad and a friend to tell a few more stories on the blog.
Here’s one that I would say involves myself nearing mortal peril, but I don’t know how good the odds for mortal peril have to be in order for one to be in mortal peril:
Pheasant hunting season in South Dakota opens in the middle of October and closes at the end of December. The area around Winner, South Dakota is famous for pheasant hunting. I know that because I investigated every town that I biked through on Wikipedia. Whenever I had a chance to boot up Stuie’s tiny ass computer, I checked the weather, checked the map, and investigated the towns.
At the beginning of June or whenever I went through South Dakota (seems like years ago), I opened the computer to learn that pheasant hunting is good in Winner and that a man from Winner won the 88.4 million dollars in the lottery in 2009. All in all, chances of thunderstorm were high, chances of being shot at by pheasant hunters were low, and chances of winning the lottery were about the same.
Coincidentally, I vaguely remember hearing the Winner lottery news on Rock 101 FM as I sliced meat in the morning at Penny’s Kitchen. Radio stations like to report soft news stories like that: Winner produces a winner.
I could be imagining myself hearing that on the news. That was a long time ago. Details like that are easy to imagine. That’s why I should record the rest of the trip while it’s fresh in my mind. Who knows all the stuff I’m liable to make up about it as time passes?
I worked at Penny’s Kitchen for four years. I would have heard about the Winner in winner the last summer that I worked there. The first summer that I worked there, I was particularly sore. That was the summer that I began running cross country. I’ve felt a similar soreness this summer. Biking across the country has given me a strange type of fitness which isn’t conducive to running. I have skinny legs. They’re like turkey legs.
I work at Karl’s Cuisine, now. I started their about two weeks ago. Karl’s Cuisine is pretty fancy. We have cloth napkins. From what I can tell, we don’t serve pheasant, but we do serve turkey. Penny’s Kitchen was the same way, but without the cloth napkins. Perhaps, pheasants are so popular because places like Penny’s Kitchen and Karl’s Cuisine don’t serve them.
In Hunter’s Safety in eighth grade, that was eight years ago, (I worked at Abner’s Restaurant, and they didn’t have pheasant either) I learned that turkey hunting is the most dangerous variety of hunting. When turkey hunters hunt, they sit in the woods and make turkey noises in hopes of attracting turkeys. They wear camouflage, and they don’t wear blaze orange because turkey’s have very good eye sight. Turkey hunters don’t want to be seen. Well sometimes, turkey hunters attract other turkey hunters with their turkey noises. One turkey hunter mistakes another turkey hunter for a turkey which is difficult to see because it is camouflaged, too, and a turkey hunter gets shot.
Pheasant hunters are required to wear blaze orange. It is safer than turkey hunting.
When I left Winner, I wasn’t wearing blaze orange, and my legs resembled those of a turkey.
Turkey season in South Dakota is in the spring and fall. I left Winner in the summer.
I audibly swore twice the day I left Winner. I can’t remember if I started in Winner that day or just passed through, but the first time I swore was when I started biking. I was biking into the wind. Biking into the wind is strains the senses. It slows you down. It dries out your eyes. And it makes it hard to hear and decipher sounds. That’s why, about halfway through my bicycling for the day, I heard three whistles before I swore and dove into the ditch.
A few moments before the whistles, I had never been shot at. So I didn’t know what a bullet whistling through the air sounded like. But after I heard that third whistle, I looked around to see three guys and a truck about 300 yards away in a field. Each man was holding what looked like a gun. I saw them, then said, “Shit,” then dove into the ditch on the other side of the road.
This story is hard to believe, I admit. That’s probably why I haven’t told anyone about it. That and I’ve been trying to think of a good way to frame it. That and I was worried about how people would react to my being shot at. That and I’ve been busy eating ice cream. I’m safe at home, and, now, we’re out of ice cream.
This could have easily ended with my getting back on my bike a few minutes after the ditch dive and bicycling away from the mysterious danger, the questionably mortal peril. But that was just the hook for the readers; a story isn’t a story without dialogue, the meat of the story. That was a pun. The dialogue is to follow.
About twenty minutes after my departure from the three dudes and the truck, they returned. They drove up next to me, honked smiled and waved, then drove in front of me and parked off the side of the road. They hopped out of the car.
That’s all I feel like typing tonight.