Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Drop, Stop, and Roll

I was in elementary school during part of the cold war. Because of the ever increasing tension at the time we had a lot of drills. One was the drill for air raid sirens. When the sirens went off we were to put away our papers, pencils, and books and take cover underneath our desk. While I practiced this religiously, looking back on it, I seriously doubt if that desk would have offered much protection against a bomb. I also question why we had to put everything away. The other drill I remember is, ‘stop, drop, and roll’. If you ever found yourself on fire you were to stop running, drop to the floor, and roll to extinguish the fire.

The stop, drop, and roll drill can be used in other circumstances as well. By changing the order of the steps I truly believe what I learned so many years ago, saved me from serious harm. It was about this time last year when I was thrown from a moving vehicle at a high rate of speed.

It was a leisurely, joyous trip, Char and I went out to Illinois to celebrate three birthdays. The trip out there went well as did the birthday celebrations.

But things quickly changed when we got to Hazy Hills golf course. Desiree and Char were in one golf cart, Nathan and I in another. Now let me say I do not blame Nathan, nor do I think it was his fault, but the way he drives a golf cart does leave a little to be desired. He starts fast, he stops fast and its pedal to the medal in between. The first few holes went well but then I sliced my ball to the right. Nathan’s went straight down the fairway. Not only did I slice it but I also lost sight of it, most likely while beating the ground repeatedly with the golf club. Nathan and I got back in the cart and went to look for my golf ball. Nathan was driving and I was scanning the course with the hopes of finding that little white ball. A group of trees was ahead of us and I fully expected Nathan to take the obvious route to the right. So, I leaned to the right and got ready for the turn. That’s when Nathan said, “There it is.” He then made a fast and abrupt turn to the left. That turn, as simple as it sounds, helped me to create the drop, stop, and roll theory.

DROP: When Nathan made that abrupt turn to the left, I flew out of the golf cart and dropped to the ground. I was leaning to the right, he was turning to the left, and the law of gravity took over.

STOP: Nathan slammed on the brakes and gave out a loud yell, “DAD !!”

ROLL: By the time Nathan stopped and let out that yell I was already rolling. After about twenty yards I came to a full and complete stop. I sat up, put my glasses back on and while wiping grass clippings off my face noticed Char and Desiree. They too were rolling. Only they were rolling with laughter. They didn’t see me get thrown from the golf cart but they heard Nathan yell and turned in time to watch me roll through the grass. It took two more holes to settle them down.

They can laugh all they want. But, I believe what I learned in elementary school saved me from serious harm.


Blogger Live Well, Laugh Often and Love Much said...

Let me start off by saying that I thank GOD each day for Nathan. He DOES NOT drive his day to day vehicle this way. He starts slow, he stops slowly and the pedal NEVER hits the medal in between. It drives me NUTS!

Now let’s talk about this post you did a great job capturing all the critical points that day. This was one of the best days in my life, as far as laughter is concerned. When you see I guy your age roll across the green the way you did and not once did it cross my mind “Hmm I wonder if he is OK?” ... there is something to be said about that ! I really think that I lost 10 pound that day just from laughing so dam hard!

Fabulous post!

11:08 AM  
Blogger possum said...

Good thing you had so much practice learning to roll! Who would have guessed it was a skill you might someday need, right?
When I first took riding lessons (of the horse, not golf cart) variety, we spent the first week practicing learning to fall and roll. I thought it was the dumbest thing ever - but boy, did it ever come in handy. More than once I rode a particular horse whose favorite thing was to run up to the jump, jam on his brakes, and look over the logs to see how well you (the rider) landed on the other side. The lessons saved a lot of broken bones. I bet I could even survive riding with Nathan!

1:53 PM  
Blogger Peruby said...

This was too funny! Where is the video camera when you need one? Did Andretti slow down after that?

2:03 AM  
Blogger Granny Annie said...

Now I am afraid of becoming confused with rules and fear I might roll before I drop or stop??

Lucky you once more:)

7:18 AM  
Blogger Janell said...

Good word picture, Ralph! I can see you dropping, rolling and stopping - and when I'm done giggling I'll ask you if you were okay...

3:39 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Desiree didn't actually laugh did she?

9:41 PM  
Blogger Granny Annie said...

I've already commented here but I had to come back to invite Char to read my blog post today. I'm sure she will laugh:) I'm heading over to Cliff's to invite Marilyn too.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Mountain Mama said...

Hee-hee-hee! I tried not to laugh, really I did, but I had this vision....
Seriously I am glad you weren't hurt.
I remember the air raid drills too. In our school we filed to the basement, got on our knees and stuck our head where the wall meets the floor, then covered the back of our head with our hands. It must have looked rather funny to the teachers with all those hiney's in the air!
The awful thing was we were never told if it was a drill or the real thing. No wonder so many of us grew up with nervous disorders!

6:32 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Wow Ralph! That must have been scary. Of course it all happened so fast I don't see how you can remember all that!
You are a youngster in my calendar. I have never participated in one of those drills. They were after my time.

9:24 PM  
Blogger LZ Blogger said...

Ralph ~ Funny story.. well... unless you happen to be the one cleaning the grass off of your glasses! Glad you and Char had a nice trip to Illinois. ~ jb///

6:25 AM  
Blogger Aravis said...

The hazards of golf. Who knew it was so dangerous?

6:08 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

In order of reading.. I loved the left handed joke, I tend to agree that the (tidy) desk probably wouldn't have been a great help in protecting you from a bomb, and finally who would have thought that fire drill would spring to mind when you were in mid-air???
My body shape these days would make it faster to lay down and roll rather than try to run, but its so undignified!!!!

7:56 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I bet you watch the way you lean from now on when you are riding with Nathan!!! What a funny story!

I really can't imagine Desiree actually laughing!!! LOL

5:34 PM  
Blogger nora said...

Another laugh-out-louder (I refuse to LOL)! I'm looking at my messy desk and deciding that the threat of an air raid might be the only thing that would get me to clean it!

3:29 PM  

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