Thursday, March 10, 2011

How I Almost Got Shot

My friends and I drove out to the Spot. You all remember the Spot from this post. We always seemed to be heading out there when the sun was about to set. We weren't camping, just looking to be away from the city for a bit and hike around. We made the long drive and found that our little escape had been discovered, a mess of people camped out on our bit of paradise drinking, laughing, throwing beer bottles out into the desert, and all around annoying us.

Nothing we could do about it though, so we drove back a couple miles to a scenic overlook of a ravine. We got out and my friend, Andy, took advantage of the light we had. He pulled out his pistol and started shooting stuff. He had just gotten his concealed gun permit and enjoyed the novelty of being able to carry the thing around with him all the time. Any excuse to actually use it was even better.

Andy had some new, low caliber bullets he tested out. They made almost no noise, sounding more like a firecracker that failed to fully go off. Tiny pops. He shot a couple things, a knot in a post, a rock in the distance. Fun and all, but we came to hike and sit out under the stars to complain about girls. That is how we spent a lot of our time...stars and complaining about girls. It made us feel better. It was the glue that held our friendships together. We kept dating real winners so plenty to talk about.

So, we wandered up the trail while Andy stayed behind playing with his new toys. Don't worry, Andy is a smart guy. He wasn't shooting in our direction as we climbed up the hill. He is all about safety...unless there is a cockroach on the ceiling, but that is another story.

I am know for scaring people. I enjoy it. There is something to making someone squeal in terror that makes me intensely happy. Call me sick, twisted, disturbed, or what have you, I don't care. I will keep loving it and keep doing it forever.

My friends have come to expect it. It gets harder and harder to do now. I have to think of new hiding places and crazier sounds to make. They know that if they haven't seen me in a couple minutes to be on the ready. They keep tabs on me while camping. It really is annoying how distrustful they are.

This moment gave me a perfect opportunity. A couple friends wandered up the hill. They knew Andy stayed behind. Andy would not suspect me. Problem...he carried his gun on him at all times.

I decided to go for it anyway. The sun set as we walked up the trail. I let my friends get further in front of me while I curled up next to a bush.

I am very good at hiding. I grew up playing capture the flag at night. I know how to make myself look like just another rock or bush in the moonlight.

The trick is to curl up in a ball and lay perfectly still. Tuck all your exposed skin close to your body and avoid looking toward the person you are hiding from. Eyes are easier to spot in the darkness and people tend to sense when they are being watched. Control your breathing and listen to the footsteps. Think "I am a rock" over and over again.

I could hear my friends on the trail ahead of me. They climbed higher and then sat on a rock to wait for Andy and I. I could hear them joking. "Where's Charlie? Hiding again. Well, you won't scare us!" They tossed pebbles out into the night to keep me away. To their credit, some skittered past me or bumped into my shoes, but I wasn't after them. They were safe...for now.

Andy continued up the trail, unaware of the ambush. He could hear our other friends laughing and throwing pebbles, but could not make out the words. I kept forcing myself to be a rock.

I waited, breathed, and listened to his footfalls. "Closer...come closer. I am a rock. Ignore me." I needed him closer than I would normally wait. He had a gun at his waist. I knew he wouldn't just randomly fire into the night with his friends out there, but if something attacked him (like me) he wouldn't hold back. I needed him close enough to scare him and stop him from shooting me.

"I am a rock. You will see nothing. Come closer. Closer my prey."

And closer he came.

I waited until he was maybe a foot and a half away before I rolled out of my tucked position and jumped at him.

Something else you should know about me, I do not say "BOO!" That is for amateurs. In order to truly scare someone you have to push yourself to the point where you almost scare yourself. I make screeching dinosaur noises and I run at people hunched over and off balance like a hungry velociraptor. I have made someone (you know who you are) scream and run around her car terrified in the broad daylight when she knew what was coming. I want you to imagine velociraptor sounds coming toward you out of the desert night. How would you react?

Andy reached for his gun.

I kept going, screeching at my loudest. I knew he needed time to get the gun out, cock it, and aim...time he didn't have. I had been patient, smart, there was no escape.

I did bear hug him as soon as I could, pinning his arms to his side even as he tugged on the holster. I'm crazy, not stupid.

 You should have seen his terror filled wide eyes as they focused on me and filled with clarity, understanding, and bewilderment. So funny.

My friends came back down the trail laughing as they listened to us.

"I could have shot you!"

"No. I waited too long for you to be able to."

"You're crazy!"

"Um...yes. You should have seen your face though."

"Anyone else would have just said BOO like a normal human being and been safe, but you come out of the bushes sounding like some rabid wild animal! Seriously, I could have shot you!"

"Nope. I'm too fast and sneaky. Bullets can't find me. It did help that the bullets you are using are barely above bb's."

"Yeah...still! I could have shot you!"

"Worth it."

I have been punched by Adam, smacked by Nate, kicked in the face by Chad, screamed at by my wife, and nearly shot by Andy. Every scare is priceless and worth the risk...I may be an addict.


Emily White said...

You are a crazy one. Ahahahaha!

Brent Wescott said...

Do you think you could find yourself an elven cloak that could hide under, a la Frodo and Sam? That would keep you safe from gun wielding maniacs that you yourself goad into shooting at you.

Candice said...


My sister ACCIDENTALLY startled me when we were both coming in opposite directions around the same corner. I screamed and slapped her arm so hard she had a welt there for several days.

I HATE being scared. Hate. It.

That being said, this was a very funny story. I have to give you kudos for a job well done. So I'll just say...Well Done. :)

Mark said...

You have no idea.... Case in point where I work once a week we mail out a bunch of yummy cookies. The place we buy them from always sends some extra so I bring a bunch to Charlie at his (used to be) work.

Just last week I drove up and sent him a text letting him know the cookies where her. In the corner of my eye i noticed a flicker in my rear view mirror and thought "Its him being sneaky again" but then thought " No .... its his work he will not make me scream like a little girl at his work" and proceded to get out of my car .... to him jumping out from behind it at me.

If you are anywhere he is at you are not safe. If you are anywhere where he MIGHT be you are not safe. He deserves to get shoot....somewhere nonleathel.

Apoliticism said...

This is why I won't let Pam get bullets for our gun, I don't want to get shot.

I'd heard this story before from Adam, but it was awesome to read it. Maybe when they make Jurassic Park CCCCXXXXXXXXVVVVVVVVIIIIIII you can do the velociraptor sounds effects? Oooh, a new job selling your soul!!

Chanel said...

It's a good thing that 1) I don't live in Utah 2) I don't know you outside of the interwebz and 3) I have this information.

I am high strung and prone to screaming when startled. When I was sixteen I had a cardboard cutout of Legolas from LOTR and I shrieked every time I went into my bedroom because he scared me. I might have a heart attack if you ever tried to scare me.

That's just mean...and kind of sadistic. What if someone clubs you with a baseball bat? Will THAT be worth it?

Alex's outlook said...

I believe that it is from you scaring me that I am so paranoid at work, constantly looking over my shoulder and jumping even if nothing happens...I hope you're happy Charles

Michael Offutt said...

You are part ninja I think. I've heard that in some clans, ninja use martial arts modeled after velociraptor strikes and employ the usage of terrifying shrieks to freeze the blood of their enemies. Ninja are also immune to bullets as they can catch them with their hands or deflect them from the air with their swords.

Charlie Pulsipher said...

Emily- Yes...yes I am.

Brent- No elven cloak needed. I am beyond needing their parlor tricks like Gandolf...with less grey hair.

Candice- Most people secretly enjoy being scared. That is why there are scary stories, movies, and haunted houses. I am just providing the world with the service they so desire. I do tend to be nicer to those who really don't like to be scared...but only slightly.

Mark- You love it. Free cardio without all the effort. It must be good for you. I'll have to share some more scaring Markie stories soon.

Jared- Smart. I would love to do some sound effects for movies. I think it would be fun to be able to turn to the person next to me and say "You hear that totally inhuman sound that you just heard that made you jump...that was me." And then I would grin at them and give them a tiny sample of the sound again. Good times that would be.

Chanel- Read the comment to Candice and my brother. It is good for you and I provide a much needed service free of cost. It depends on how much they screamed before they reached for the bat...

Alex- I am very happy. It will keep you on your toes and safe. Have fun at work. Someone will have to take my place scaring you.

Michael- I would so love to train with those ninjas. I use my wonder woman bracelets to deflect bullets as I have not learned to catch them yet.

Mark said...

"I am beyond needing their parlor tricks like Gandolf...with less grey hair."

Slightly less

Kristi said...

Oh Chuck, you are too funny. I enjoy your life stories!

Chanel said...

If you scared the crap out of me and I died of a heart attack but managed to get a good swing in with a bat before I fell into unconsciousness, would it be worth it?

For the sake of your argument, say I gave a really good, loud scream before having my heart attack.

thesycamore said...

I will never forget that feeling.
I was terrified, embarrassed (for me and YOU) bewildered all at the same time.
Getting behind the car was my safest option...just in case you decided to take it a step further and bite me or something!

Charlie Pulsipher said...

Mark- Nice... :P

Kristi- Thanks. I try.

Chanel- I would not be happy if someone died. I really do think a little scare now and again is good for your heart.

Holly- Embarrassed? That is plain weird. No need to be embarrassed for either one of us. My raptor is awesomesaucetastic!

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