I hate winter for a few good reasons. I can never seem to get warm enough, I still recall clearly what an aluminum light pole tastes like and I can't stand all the bundling up just so you don't die. Winter can be credited though with teaching me a couple of valuable lessons. Travel back with me if you will to a time when Dale was just as passionate but much, much shorter: Grade 4.
I was walking home for lunch one blustery winter day with a couple of kids who lived a few doors away when their dad, a delivery driver pulled up. He hurried us into the back of the van and let us out across the street from their house. He drove off, we called out our see ya after lunch goodbyes and headed for our respective houses. I decided to walk a few more steps down the sidewalk before crossing.
As I made my way into the street, there was just enough time for my brain to whisper at me never run out from between parked cars and BAM, I was down. I'd been hit by a half-ton pickup truck! The corner of the fender hit me at hip level and took me down fast. Blunt pain registered and all of a sudden I couldn't see anything but it felt like I was flying.
I was wearing a snowsuit and this, combined with very icy road conditions sent me into an uncontrolled human skid. As the driver fought to stop his truck on the ice, I got to my feet just in time for him to BAM! me again. This time he clipped me in the side of the head.
I was knocked off my feet again and went for some more freestyle sliding and spinning. I ended up more or less in front of my house which was my goal after all.
I'm not sure what the odds are that someone can be hit by the same truck twice in the span of about 15 or 20 seconds but I do know that it can be done.
I've just hit a kid with my truck he blurts to my mother. She in her unwavering wisdom says Bring him in and I'll call the ambulance. I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to move an accident victim but really, I was in no position to argue.
He scooped me up and laid me down on the couch and started to cry. My mother tried to comfort him but then suddenly shrieked Oh my God it's Dale!! You know this child? Yes! It's my son! and the waterworks started flooding the living room.
As I lay there semi conscious, my older siblings started arriving home for lunch. My brothers immediately whispered comfort to me -- what'd you do you little asshole? and god you're stunned. Someone finally managed to call the ambulance and its arrival restored order to the proceedings.
I ended up in hospital for 3 days observation and some really bad meals causing me to wonder if my mother had offered to help cook while I was there. The family visited in shifts and I even got a couple of small gifts. The best present of all though, was when I heard that a girl in my class burst into tears at the news that I had been downed. It made me feel special.