Sunday, July 14, 2019

Country tragedies

So last night a kid -- well, he was 21 years old -- was riding his dirt bike on the state road at about 8:30 in the evening. State road just means a 2 lane road that's maintained by the state and is a thoroughfare. A guy in a pickup truck didn't see him -- the bike didn't have a headlight -- and pulled out from as stop sign. The kid hit the side of the truck, went over the roof, and died. I wouldn't want to be the pickup driver.

The kid who lives next door to me is about the same age and actually knew the dead guy. My neighbor also used to ride his dirt bike on the public roads. One time a cop spotted him and started chasing him, so Jason (not his real name) tried to get away by cutting through the woods. The cop tracked him down at home, cuffed him in front of his parents, gave him a free ride to a night in jail, and threw the book at him for several hundred dollars worth of fines that he took a few months to work off.

At least he didn't die, but a couple of years later he got drunk, took his truck to the park to do doughnuts, and flipped it onto the roof. On my way home from work that night I saw this truck upside down in the park and of course I said WTF, then I found out it was Jason's. He wasn't badly hurt but next time he might not be so lucky.

A somewhat more constructive method of winning a Darwin award is to fell a tree onto your head, which happened to a guy down the road from me last year. I met another guy who got knocked unconscious and fractured his skull, but fortunately his wife came looking for him before he expired.

I don't know if it's more or less dangerous, on the whole, to live in the city. We don't have much crime out here but a while back a guy killed his girlfriend and drove all the way to Warwick, Rhode Island with her head in the car. (Really.) This was also the stomping grounds of the notorious serial killer Michael Ross, but that's pretty much a random misfortune  as far as I know. Anyway whatever you legitimately ought to be afraid of, keeping a gun in the house is not going to protect you from it. The most common way country folks win Darwin awards is of course by playing with guns. But nobody will listen to me about that.

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