The Surprise Factor


Wednesday November 20th, 2013 – St. Charles, IL

I heard one of the best radio broadcasts I’ve ever heard this afternoon as I turned on 540 ESPN in Milwaukee and heard Steve ‘The Homer’ True back on the air. I had wanted to give him a call for a week now, but I also wanted to let him have his privacy as he recovered from his car wreck.

Apparently it wasn’t as bad as originally thought, and that’s the best news I had heard in a long while. It’s not often a friend gets into a car accident so serious that it gets mentioned on the radio on a competing station. That’s what happened, as I’d heard it on the Milwaukee Bucks broadcast the day it happened. Ted Davis the voice of the Bucks is a class act and that was very courteous.

I’m sure we’ll hook up at some point in the near future, and the last thing I want to do is bother the guy when he’s back at work the first day. He was getting all kinds of calls from well wishers, so I just enjoyed his radio show as I usually do. He’s an outstanding broadcaster and always was.

Life is unbelievably delicate, and can be gone or drastically changed in just a few seconds. I’m sure Homer has replayed the point of impact scenario in his head over and over and realizes how frighteningly close he came to taking the terrestrial trip to the other side he wasn’t planning for.

The surprise factor in life is part of what makes it interesting, but also what scares the pants off of us knowing anything – and I do mean anything – could happen at any moment. A car accident is never something anyone plans for, but it changes one’s life forever. Homer knows it full well.

I’ve had a few near misses myself, car accidents and otherwise. My recent kidney stone torture was a prime example. I woke up out of a sound sleep to discover an excruciating pain in my side, so I got out of bed to crawl to the computer to see if I could at least know the cause of my death.

It felt like my innards were going to burst, and shrapnel from my entrails would be scattered all over the walls. I originally thought it might be appendicitis, and I’ve heard horror stories of some people dying if they didn’t get to the hospital in time. It turned out to be ‘only’ the kidney stone.

For something so laughingly tiny, it felt like a bowling ball trying to pass through my guts and I failed to find the funny while it was happening. It’s very funny now, but that’s in hindsight. I’m sure if it comes back I won’t have so much as a shadow of a smirk on my puss. And it just might.

As far as I know, I still haven’t passed it. The people I’ve talked to have told me so many tales that I have no idea what to believe. Some say it may have lodged somewhere and will pop out at random and torture me all over again. Others have said I may have passed it and not even known.

What’s important to me is that I’m not in pain anymore. Whatever happened to that little speck of matter that did so much damage is not my concern – at least for now. I’ve got other things that need attention, as does Homer. Car accidents and kidney stones are obstacles on the road of life.

It does make life interesting, if for no other reason that it adds gratitude to the mix. I’m have no doubt Homer is grateful not only to be alive, but back at work doing what he loves. I’m delighted to be back to making people laugh instead of wondering if I’d live another day. Life is in charge.

Life is full of surprises - expect the unexpected.

Life is full of surprises – expect the unexpected.

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