Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Stuntman Training #3 - Creative Uses for Living Room Furniture

I mentioned briefly in previous posts that I used to work with a Halloween Haunted Hayride. So many great (or terrible, depends on how you look at it) things happened during these hayrides that I will never run out of posts to write concerning them. Before I tell this story, let me explain how this hayride works.

Let me 'splain.
No, there is too much.
Let me sum up.
Every year, the local Jaycees host a Haunted Hayride for the public. It is a huge money maker for the yearly Jaycees budget. They pull hay wagons through the woods and actors are set up in various scenes throughout the trail to scare the people who paid money to have their dates jump into their arms or see their children cry. It is great fun. However, the real fun was had by the volunteer actors out in the woods.

The Jaycees organize this event by getting local farmers to provide and drive tractors with wagons to pull people. They man a concession stand and sell tickets. They have guys working security to make sure no one wanders into the woods during this time and they have people monitoring the crowd. These tasks use up all of their manpower, so the scary scenes in the woods are provided by locals who volunteer to participate. About 150 people are in the various scenes scattered throughout the trail.

The locals volunteering to build and maintain a scene are not caring benefactors wanting to give back to the community. They are almost always local 15 to 25 year olds who see this as an opportunity to hang out in the woods dressed in crazy costumes, drink insane amounts of alcohol and act like idiots.

The volunteers are assigned their area and given access to it a week before the hayride. That time is used to build their scene, dig fire pits or do whatever needs to be done to have it completed before the following weekend. I have had a scene with my brothers or friends four different years. It was during one of these weekends that I wrote about setting my brother on fire for the amazement of the customers. However, this story does not involve me.

This was just too much fun.
My youngest brother, Trevor, had a scene with his friends on this particular year. After a weekend of debauchery, extreme drunkenness, running naked through the woods and hitting on girls in neighboring scenes, it was now Sunday and time to clean up their area.

After filling in their fire pit, collecting all the empty beer cans and loading everything into their vehicles, they were left with the old couch they had dragged out there. It had worked great for their scene, but no one wanted it now. It was old and moldy, but they couldn't leave it there. However, the vehicles were full, there was no place to put it and no one wanted to come back once they left.

Pay attention, kids!
Still being legally inebriated after the weekend events, they hatched a plan. They strapped a chain around the ends of the couch and decided to drag it out.

Illinois state law prohibits open alcohol containers inside a moving vehicle, so my brother and his friend Chet decided to ride on the couch, which would allow them to continue to drink. We will overlook the fact that they were all underage and the legality of dragging a couch down the road behind a truck. Give them a break, they had been drinking for three whole days.

Maneuvering out of the wooded area proved to be a challenge, but they eventually reached the road. Once on the road, the coach moved rather smoothly. Since the couch was positioned backwards, Trevor and Chet enjoyed the looks they were getting from passing motorists as they continued down the road unaware that the driver was experimenting with how fast the couch could go before there would be a problem.

Trevor first became aware of their high rate of speed when one of the legs came loose as the truck approached 30 mph. Once the leg came off, sparks started flying from the corner. Trevor and Chet turned around to yell to the driver to slow down. He was either unable to hear them or refused to respond, but he continued to accelerate.  They began to yell louder when they saw the railroad tracks quickly approaching.

Most couches are not equipped
with seat belts
Seconds after the truck passed over the tracks, the back of the couch caught the first track. The road had been smooth up to this point, but this small gap caused the couch to flip.

Trevor and Chet were launched into the air as the tumbling couch came apart beneath them. The fold-out bed inside was exposed and Trevor landed on the springs with a shower of sparks. Chet landed on the road and skidded off into a ditch.

Trevor, knowing that he was moving too fast to escape without injury held on to the quickly disintegrating bed frame while blinded by the sparks flying everywhere. This wild ride continued until the drunken driver attempted a sharp curve causing the coach to swing wide, hit the ditch and break loose from the chain. The final resting place was a mess of wires, springs and shredded upholstery with Trevor entangled in it all.

Once the dust cleared and Trevor was removed from the mess, it was discovered that he only had minor scrapes and bruises, but he was pretty shaken up. Once they found Chet, they drank a beer to celebrate what had just been survived.



For other failed stuntman stories, check out the following links:
Don't Try This at Home
This Is Why My Body Is Falling Apart Today
Stuntman Training #1
Stuntman Training #2 - Playing with Fire

61 comments:

  1. Oh gosh. I'm pretty sure you've been told this before, but you and your brothers are crazy. Hilarious and crazy. But it makes for great stories that make me laugh every time.

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    1. Thank you. This was one of many where he was lucky to walk away.

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    2. I have 3 boys. I am very scared now.

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    3. I was the oldest of three boys. You should talk to my mother.

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  2. I think your family is descendant of felines. What with those nine lives and all. Jeesh!

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    1. Trevor is easily the brother that took the most beating in these scenarios. And his body is the most broken. We have spent a lot of time beside his hospital bed.

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  3. Crazy! I really want to meet you guys lol... you all sound like so much fun! Did you have no fear of pain? I'm such a sucker that I avoid it to the best of my abilities.

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    1. I don't know. Usually the thought process was that it seemed like a good idea at the time. Consequences only come later, if at all.

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    2. Ooops lol... did it again.

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    3. How many personalities do you have?

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    4. Hey, I'm evolving... these things take time ;-)

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  4. Is backwards, the safest way to tow a couch down the highway behind a vehicle? Just in case the opportunity comes up some time. :)

    No one can say you guys haven't lived life to the fullest!

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    1. If it is going to flip, it would be better to land on its back than for it to land on your back as your face is ground into the pavement.

      That's my life motto.

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  5. Replies
    1. Basically. I wouldn't know what else to call it.

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    2. Fun? Well until someone loses a leg on a couch

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  6. Is it bad that reading things like this gives me the urge to be more reckless, just for the sake of stories?

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    1. Probably, but if you live through it, you're pretty popular at parties.

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  7. Wow. I did some underage drinking, to be sure, but we weren't quite that crazy. But I admit that once I was done with college I saw the humor in letting others make drunken mistakes. I once handed a gang of friends 3 electric flyswatters and a fifth of vodka. The next day, surrounded by groans and burns, all I said was "you're welcome."

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  8. The reality of that story is oh so worrying. The telling of it however, downright funny.

    Most people are born with the instinctual fear factor but I think you guys were born with the 'have no fear factor.' Ha ha.

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    1. We let our mother have all the fear.

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  9. For a minute there, I was inspired to write a post about my siblings, and all of the stupid things they've done. Once, my sister almost drowned in a bucket of water. When my brother was three, he was hit by an ice cream truck. However, if wrote about these things in detail, I would cry.

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    1. I understand. So far, I have only told the ones that had decent endings. They don't all end with cheers.

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  10. I'm thinking your brother might be my soul-mate. Just saying...

    "Illinois state law prohibits open alcohol containers inside a moving vehicle, so my brother and his friend Chet decided to ride on the couch, which would allow them to continue to drink."

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  11. Dammit, you gotta love Southern Illinois. *sniff*

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  12. I've just been turned on to your blog, and this post sealed the deal for me. That's a crazy, but great story.

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    1. Thank you. No animals were harmed in the writing of this story.

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  13. Wow, it's a miracle they didn't crack their heads open.

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    1. They wanted to crack the head of the driver.

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  14. You know, Brett, I've had my share of wacky sibling-related experiences, but nothing that even comes close to this! Yeow!

    The absolute hilarity (I can picture this scene in one of those buddy movie comedies), combined with the sheer terror of the reality of the situation makes for a fabulous story! :D

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    1. It would make for a good movie scene. The big puff of dust at the end has been done a hundred times, though. We would need to think of a new ending.

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  15. Wow. We did not have exciting fun times like that in central Illinois. If I had known the southern part of the state was so wild, I would have taken more road trips!

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    Replies
    1. I don't know if all parts were like that, but we had some sort of adventure almost every weekend.

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  16. THat is crazy!! I'm glad no one was seriously hurt.

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    1. He was pretty happy about it as well.

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  17. It seems like Trevor always got the worst of the stunts.

    ...and yet "minor scrapes and bruises". I'm with Misty. At least that one Minor must be part cat. How many lives has he used so far?

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    1. Trevor has been on his death bed at least a dozen times. Whether accidents or health related, he has spent a lot of time in ICU.

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  18. My dad used to threaten something like this to me whenever I would sit on the couch all day playing video games or watching tv.

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  19. You're funny. Glad you survived childhood to blog. (Visiting from YeahWriteMe)

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    1. Thank you. I just discovered YeahWriteMe last week. I love that site.

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  20. My mouth was wide open the whole time I read this! Unbelievable! Ha! Funny, though. Funny stuff, especially since they didn't die.

    Thanks for linking up with us over at #findingthefunny this week!

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    1. Thank you. He has many stories like that. He is falling apart today.

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  21. This is hysterical!
    The Mother in me was worried sick reading it, but I couldn't stop laughing!
    Well told. :-)

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    1. Thank you. My mother didn't get to hear about most of this stuff until years later.

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  22. Yikes! I can just imagine this scene! Well shown :)

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  23. Yep. This sounds EXACTLY like something a bunch of stupid young boys would think up. Hilarious!

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    1. That sums it vary well. Smart enough to think this stuff up, but not smart enough to not do it.

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  24. Wow, that's terrifying and impressive! Great story.

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  25. I am thinking your relatives should meet my relatives for a childhood story-off. All to be recorded and turned into a book to movie about the joys of growing up midwest! It is great to grow up in a FUN-ctional family!

    Hestia

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    1. That would be great. We have a hundred of them and love to tell them.

      We definitely knew how to enjoy life and still do. I never could understand the people who sit at home and gripe that there is nothing to do.

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  26. This is a perfect example of why women live longer than men. Bwahahahahahahahaha. Sounds like a fun weekend though.

    Have a terrific day. ☺

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    1. I really can't argue with that logic.

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