I have been accused, from time to time, of being a wild and crazy guy, if I may borrow a phrase from the classic Steve Martin Saturday Night Live skits of a bygone day. At least I was in my younger days. I have done some pretty stupid things on a dare. I would tell you about a few of them, except my children read this column from time to time and I’m not sure how long the statute of limitations is on some of the stuff I did, particularly while I was a college student at UGA.
I don't want (UGA Police chief) Jimmy Williamson knocking on my door in the middle of the night to settle old scores. What's that old adage? Let sleeping dogs lie?
But on the wildest, craziest, most carefree night of my life, I have never been crazy enough to get myself in the situation an old boy out it Vallejo, Calif., did last week. This guy bet his buddies a hundred bucks that he could fit inside a baby swing in Blue Rock Springs Park.
How does something like that come up? Does someone just look at the swing and at their friend's carcass and say, "Nobody could ever get their rear end into that small, tiny swing?"
That would be like saying, "Nobody could ever get that Coke machine in the back of a Volkswagen" or "Nobody could ride a motorcycle up one side of the Georgia Coliseum and down the other!" I'm not saying I have any knowledge of anyone ever doing such things. I'm not saying I don't, though.
But we were talking about last week in California. None of the reports I read about the incident indicated whether alcohol was involved, but I'd say it was a safe bet that it was. This guy was nothing if he wasn't determined. He meant to win his buddies' bucks, understand. He went to the store and got some liquid laundry detergent. He used this as a lubricant. He wanted to get real slippery, so he could get into -- and presumably out of, said swing.
Next he took off his pants -- come to think of it, I'm just about certain that alcohol had to be involved -- and sure enough -- he got himself all the way into the little baby swing. I'm sure this fellow had studied the laws of physics at some point in his educational career. He was probably aware of natural laws like, what goes up must come down and an object in motion tends to stay in motion. He probably extrapolated those laws to include what goes into a swing must come out of a swing.
Only he doesn't. Or, at least in his case, it didn't. He got in, but he couldn't get himself out. He was stuck like the proverbial bug in a rug -- or like a big man in a baby swing.
Now when I read about this stunt I tried and tried to imagine a scenario in which, at some point in my life, I could have wound up like this guy. Honesty compels me to admit that there was a day -- a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away -- when I might have been coerced into attempting such a stunt. Like I said, I have done a lot of strange things on a dare. But I could not imagine, under any circumstances, a situation in which my friends would have left me in the lurch like this guys' friends left him.
That's right. Once he got stuck in the swing, his so-called friends split and left him there -- in the park, in the dark -- all night long. I guess they thought it was funny at the time. But think about the poor guy. He was there for nine hours -- without his pants -- stuck in a swing. Can you imagine what must have gone through his head during that time? I bet he plotted all sorts of revenge on the guys who left him there.
The next morning, at dawn's early light, I suppose, a park maintenance man came around and found our guy squalling like one of the babies that are supposed to fit in the swing. The park custodian summoned the police, who were unable to extricate him. They in turn called the local fire department and they saved the day, by cutting the chains away from the swing. His ordeal wasn't over, though. He had to be taken to a local hospital where the swing was cut away from his backside with a cast cutter.
You can't make this stuff up, y'all.
At least he'll have a good story to tell people -- once he gets over the embarrassment. I just hope he got his hundred dollars in advance, because with friends like his, he doesn't need any enemies.
Darrell Huckaby is a local educator and author. Email him at email@example.com. For past columns, visit www.rockdalecitizen.com or www.newtoncitizen.com.