“Phil left me for dead in the middle of the woods.”
That’s how I would first come to meet the man who didn’t show up for my call today. For better or worse, it will be the only thing l will ever know about him.
He is the other character in a wild and exciting story that includes but is not limited to: an adolescent dare, some criminal activity, and near-death experience.
Had I not possessed my own similar experience with some school chums, I’d probably chalk this one up to nothing more than an urban legend conjured up by the overly imaginative minds of two middle school boys from Long Island.
It's a cautionary tale that will leave you laughing and writhing in pain all at the same time.
As the only eye-witness to their juvenile crime, I wanted to get Phil’s perspective. I was hoping he would fill in some missing parts, like where he went off to after his friend hit the tree branch. What became of the two men who were out to kill them for throwing a crabapple at their moving car? And what about the girls they left at the school dance?
I could tell you the tale, but it wouldn't be the same. I am almost positive I would embellish it further. It's better if I leave it up to my dear friend to tell and retell the tale for me. That way I can count all the different ways he stretches the facts for his own benefit. Without getting to meet Phil, we will never really know the whole truth.
Suffice it to say, the moral of that dark and frightening night is this: Don't throw crabapples at speeding cars. They will stop, they will chase after you, and if they don’t catch you and beat you up…you might run into a tree and do yourself in.
Of course, the moral of this particular KNOWvember tale is: Don’t let other people write your story.
Get out there, meet strangers, let them know who you are and get to know them. Ask them to tell you something crazy they have done. Better yet, share something crazy with them. If anything, you'll share a good laugh or two. Who knows, maybe they will take your story and make it their own. It's been known to happen.
Years down the road, you'll be sitting somewhere listening to someone tell a story about that very thing you did. And before you know it, you've become an urban legend. Told by strangers who never had the chance to hear it from you directly.