The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

October 13, 2006

The Stupidest Things I've Ever Done


TO THIS...(no, just kidding, this is a guy named Al from work)

To, more or less, for better or worse, this wind-worn and ravaged example of a somewhat nomadic northern North American male, just one of the masses.

(caricature credit: Homo Escapeons)

Fifty years on a planet can bring a lot of experiences...good and bad, happy and sad, brilliant and stupid.

And while this is by no means an exclusive list, here are my top 10 or more stupidest things I've ever done, in no particular order.

I was going to make this a meme, but opted not to.

However, I invite all visitors to either comment with their own list -- we won't laugh, although I expect some of you might laugh at mine -- or post your list on your own blogs.

A meme is not a mime. If you think about the dumbest things you've ever done and then don't let the rest of us in on them -- as in mime instead of meme -- well, that's kinda dumb too.

And not nearly as much fun.

Anyway, here we go...some of the stupidest thing I've ever done:

1. Sneaking up behind the hugely unpopular teacher/tyrant Mrs. Davies in Grade 7 and pulling her skirt down. Ooh, did I get in trouble for that. A week's suspension, as I recall.

2. As a kid of maybe 7, trying to walk tightrope style along the fence in my back yard and slipping. Oops. Right between the legs. Ouch.

3. At about age 9, getting angry at my mom and going to push open the back door. Only problem was, the top part of the door was made of glass. Both arms go through the windows.

As I pull my arms back in shock, rrrrriiiippppp! Right wrist cut open almost down to the bone, hitting the artery. Drive to hospital in panic and in blood. Nine stitches.

4. Now maybe 12 or 13, me and my brother sneaking some cigarettes from my mom, going outside with him and lighting up...right outside the dining room window! Doh!

Out she came. Forced us both to inhale and almost die.

5. With an equally stupid buddy somewhere around age 15, drinking a whole bottle of the cheapest wine we could find someone to buy for us and downing it in the crying room of the church where I was (yes, it's true) an altar boy.

Then moseying on down the street to the high school dance, pulling up a chair, leaning back on it as I always did and promptly falling backwards, getting sick and being driven home by the -- eek -- principal.

Penalty: three-day suspension.

6. Being asked out by the most popular girl in Grade 11 -- and saying no because I had to train for football. Duh.

7. Ill-advisedly attempting a 2 1/2 somersault off a 3-metre diving board and doing what amounts to a belly flop, only the excruciating pain was a bit lower. Geez, I've put them through a lot of unnecessary physical anguish.

8. Passing out in the middle of a highway in northern Manitoba while foolishly (and, yes, drunkenly) deciding to walk the seven miles back to the fish plant I worked at from Leaf Rapids.

I woke up at dawn sprawled out on the middle of the highway, somehow NOT run over by a car in the pitch-black darkness or eaten by bears or wolves. (A pic of the fish plant follows)

9. On a 4 1/2-month overland bus trip from England to India and back, I was convinced to consume both copious amounts of very potent hashish and some Indian beer in Hyderabad.

Hey...I was young and foolish and this was the late 70s!

I passed out in some field...and actually woke up, alive.

10. On that same trip, in Kabul, Afghanistan, I made the poor choice of saying the word fuck as a merchant tried to gouge me by charging an unbelievable amount for a sheep-wool sweater I was trying to buy.

He promptly pulled a knife on me and backed me into a corner. He knew what the word meant because the "American hippies living on Chicken Street" used it all the time, he said. Oops. My mistake. I apologized.

11. Homo Escapeons and I went out to Wallace Lake for a weekend, an event that of course called for loud music, heavy alcohol consumption and, oh yeah, a 2 a.m. canoe ride out on the lake.

Umm, someone had removed the drain plug from the bottom of the canoe. We paddled out about 300 feet and while HE didn't notice, I remarked, "there's water in the canoe."

We sunk about five minutes later, somewhere out in the middle of the lake. The pic on the right is one of us in the cottage going to dry off following that misadventure.

Of course there are many other goofy things I could talk about.

Like ripping my knee out while playing frisbee football in Turkey, or screwing up a disc in my back while trying to do a bit of downhill skiing on cross-country skis (don't try that), or using a power drill and having the bit sink into my thigh when I was into my home handyman expert phase, or having a full can of paint fall on my head.

But that would make this post far too long. Actually, it already IS far too long and I haven't even gotten into my rather sordid love life except for Sylvie in Grade 11.

So let's hear it. What equally stupid things have you done?


  1. I was trying to think of stupid things I've done and none come to mind. Maybe I'm perfect. ;)

    Actually, one comes to mind. I was about 4 or 5 years old at the time. My older brother (by 2 years) and a distant cousin had turned on one of the burners on the electric stove. They let it heat up and then turned it off. I saw them do this and I saw the burner go from bright hot red back to the usual cool black. I'm not sure how it happened, but they told me to put my hand on the burner, so I did. It turns out that it wasn't cool at all. The palm of my hand bubbled. I screamed and cried. My brother put his hand over my mouth to shut me up and made me promise to not tell my parents. I agreed. So I guess those are actually two stupid things in one.

    By the way, I see a little bit of a resemblance to David Letterman in that picture of you by the water. That's a compliment - Mr Letterman is a hottie. And thanks for the tushy shot - very cute.

  2. You were a real piece of work when you were young.
    How did you ever manage to stay out of a Turkish prison like Billy Hayes in Midnight Express?

    If I was Dr Phil I would mention that most of your predicaments involved binge drinking...

    how the f**k did you manage to escape being eaten by a bear in northern manitoba passed out in the middle of nowhere and YOU WORKED IN A FISH PLANT! gee I bet you didn't smell and look like some big juicy Pickerel..

    You need to address that trip to Wallace..that looks soooo gay!
    (not that there is anything wrong with that)

  3. The mind boggles at your list . . . I'll have to think a few days . . . .

  4. Another brilliant one, WW. Love the shot of the two party boys in the canoe -- and is that your arse I spy? And how come so many of these are intimitaely connected with alcohol? (Now THAT'S a stupid question.)

    One of my stupidest alcohol-induced moments was on a wreck of a tin bucket ferry on an extremely stormy night in the Aegean when I was 19 and backbacking around Europe. Simon (the Australian), David (the American with the "Sit On My Face" t-shirt) and I were in some kind of stupid drinking competetion while the entire rest of the boat was either puking their guts up or trying not to crash into one of a thousand unnamed islands. And there's me, bottle of wine in one hand, other hand clutching a post, while sitting on the deck railing as the boat pitched and heaved. I'm lucky to be here today.

    And HE's reference to Midnight Express -- man, that was one movie that had an effect on me -- but not enough, obviously.

    I bet you're a ton-o-fun at parties.

  5. Maybe you are, Anna.

    I think most of us have stupid stove tricks in our repertoire or experience, but that sounds like a doozer. Did you ever get your brother back and is your hand still functional?

    Letterman likeness? I get the space between the teeth thing, but...he's a hottie?

    Well, thanks.

    Oh, and the tushy shot...hey, if I'm going to admit to this stuff, might as well bare it all...


    Welcome back.

    Yep, I was Mr. Doofus back then, same as now. Not sure how I escaped the Turkish prison.

    I had "matured" by then.

    Yes, most of my predicaments involved drinking...many of them I didn't mention with you, such as making snow angels in the nude with all those other people at my mom's cabin in the middle of winter.

    At your insistence, as I recall.

    Not quite sure either how I escaped the highway episode in the north with my life.

    What do you mean, address the trip to Wallace? All I remember is me laughing and you just shaking your head...

    And where's YOUR list?


    Nice to see you again. Now we know YOU must have far more bizarre stories than me.

    Take all the time you need. We'll be waiting.


    Yeah, note HE's legs covered up by a shirt or something, the weenie.

    Yes, that's my arse, eloquently captured by HE right after the sinking of the Titanic.

    And yes, I admit to past alcohol consumption, although I would like to categorically state I am not an abuser except in extremely isolated cases over a long period of time.

    That's a fascinating story about the Aegean but it's like you stopped it before all the good parts. Go didn't just end that way.

    Actually, I am NOT a ton-o'-fun at parties, not the wild type (although obviously am capable at times of being so), that's more HE's schtick if you get him going.

    I mean, I have fun and all, but most of this craziness is from younger days, long ago and far away...

  6. WW booty! Woohoo!!!

    Altar boy?

    C'mon hoser. Didn't you ever stick your tongue to a frozen post?

  7. MJ:

    Well, now that you mention it...yeah, I did get my tongue stuck, but can't remember to what.

    I also got hit by a bus...trying to run away from my mom. So what's it to ya?

    You Vancouverites are such smartasses. ;0)

    And I skipped out of kindergarten. The school principal told my mom he had never seen that before and I needed to see a child psychiatrist.

    My mom brought me to the doctor, who phoned up the principal and said:

    "If you were a five-year-old boy, what would you rather be doing: climbing trees or sitting in school?"

    My mom told the principal to take a hike.

  8. dear nomadic northern North American male, white ass american male :P hahahahha

    you are f***king damn cool. hahahha,,,and u preety much had a normal american growing up!

    Well, my stupid thing, i got drunk once and rode my bike on a one way street, after that I just sleep at the homes of the people get drunk.

    Walked naked in me apartment for a whole day when no ones around.

    HAhhahahaha...others are much too embarasing to say!

    maybe we should get together for a boating + booze trip someday with HE

  9. Admitting that you were hit by a bus when you were a kid explains a lot of things! Was it a direct blow to your noggin?

    I mean address our 'manly' activities you doofus!
    Our Wallace Lake retreat looks like a gawdamn scene out of Brokeback Mountain (nttawwt) with your bony little franco-manitoban ass running down the hall!

  10. Ghosty, me man. No offence, but:

    I'M A CANADIAN!!!!

    As much as I love Americans, and as much as we may be swallowed up by them at some point in the future and become Americans, I am NOT an American.

    We're that huge expanse of land north of the U.S. of A., where the population density is about 1 per 1 million square kilometres.

    Canadians invented the game of basketball. We invented the telephone. We invented the Blackberry and, some would argue, we invented the United Nations. We invented cold weather. While we didn't invent ice hockey or curling, we are, generally speaking, the world's best at those events.

    I'm just sayin'.

    So you didn't say what happened when you rode down that one-way street on your bike.

    And you won't mind if I say I'm glad I wasn't around to watch you walk through your apartment nude for an entire day.

    I'm all for you, me and HE getting together for a boat trip.

    As long as you wouldn't mind capsizing in a canoe and swimming to shore.

  11. Homogenized Escapeons:

    What the hell are you still doing up? I thought you went to bed about 10 p.m.?

    Oh, so you're worried about your fragile male libido being threatened on the worldwide web?

    For the masses (or the 5 people who are ever likely to read this thread this far), I declare:

    HE is completely heterosexual to my knowledge. As a young lad, he was a conqueror of women.

    You might ask yourself, "Why did he and WW then spend an entire weekend alone at a cottage?"

    And "Why did HE take a picture of WW's butt as he walked down the hallway after the canoe capsized?"

    The answer to Question No. 1 is we just have a hoot together talking, solving the world's problems, laughing and drinking in moderation.

    The answer to No. 2 is I don't know, you'll have to ask HE.

  12. My hand healed beautifully and without any scars. And no, I never got back at my brother. I was the nice one, the good girl; but you probably already guessed as much. :)

    Yes, Letterman is a hottie. And, in case you haven't looked in the mirror lately or have enough women around you to tell you so, you're a hottie as well. Deal with it. ;)

    I giggled at your second reply to HE's comments. I read those questions like I was singing that Talking Heads song:

    And you may ask yourself
    What is that beautiful house?
    And you may ask yourself
    Where does that highway go?
    And you may ask yourself
    Am I right? I wrong?
    And you may tell yourself
    My god!...what have I done?

  13. Anna did bring one stupid human trick to mind, athough it wasn't what I'd call death-defying.

    It was a grapefruit juice-and-grain fueled evening where me, my dorm roomie and his girlfriend had gotten back from seeing the Talking Heads concert flick "Stop Making Sense."

    Said roomie was a big-boned fellow, so I co-opted his suit jacket, stood out in the dorm lounge, jerked around like an epileptic and exclaimed "SAME AS IT EVER WAS, SAME AS IT EVER WAS, SAME AS IT EVER WAS . . .."

    Still digging for something of Wagnerian stupidity

  14. The dumbest thing that I ever did...hmmm so many to choose from..
    OK back in high school after a stint at a local pub one of our mates was just coming in as we were leaving and warned us that some drunk Biker Chick was screaming obscenities at all of our dazzling little suburbanite friends...STAY CLEAR...and that is the last thing that I remember..

    however from the first hand accounts of my friends who were with me the whole thing unfolded like this..
    I exit building
    Biker Chick calls me a pussy
    I walk up to her and tell her to F*CK OFF
    300 lb Biker Boyfriend steps out from behind Biker Chick
    I stand there and let him adjust my chin..
    my friends drag my unconcious body to the car..
    I regain conciousness and discover that we are on our way back to the pub with baseball bats..
    arrive in parking lot to discover that there are now about 20 Bikers
    high speed pursuit begins..
    we evade certain death in our suburban hood..
    Next weekend we go back to pub and all is apparently forgotten..
    Biker says HEY! and apparently all is forgotten...
    apparently I now had some street cred for not being a wuss..
    jaw still 'clicks' to this day.

  15. Good morning, Anna.

    Yes, I do believe you're a good girl, especially when you call me a hottie.

    Personally, I think Letterman is kind of a goofy looking guy, and by logic I might have to then assume the same about myself, but...

    Hey, bring it on! My frail ego can take the stroking!

    I did kind of get into the Talking Heads theme there didn't I? They're the favorite group of my brother in Ottawa, who used to live in Montreal.

    You will see that you and my fellow journalist friend Fronty both thought of them.



    We want death-defying, man!

    No, this is perfect and fits in well with your clearly evident musical tastes and knowledge.

    That exchange between you and Harmonious Escargots a few weeks ago was priceless, or at least piercingly prolonged to the nth degree.

    We await your next vignette.


    OK, I remember that one, wussy puss. Next...

  16. What a coincidence! I'm in Montreal and I have a brother-in-law in Ottawa. Perhaps the planets will align some day and we'll cross paths.

  17. First the post, then the pictures and now the agonising tenderness between you two - it IS Brokeback Mountain 2 - for gawd's sake - just kiss and get it over with! ;)

    Stupidest thing I ever did? Roller-blading in Kensington Gardens ( no, that's not it). My sister's then-boyfriend had been encouraging me to blade down slight ramps and bumps rather than sticking to the flat, boring paths. I'd got quite brave after a few hours, thought I was a natural and that I didn't need to be as whoosy as my sister and take my boots off to get to the bottom of the steep, wide, gravelly road that led down to the High Street where we were to be picked up.

    It was like a scene from a Carry On movie with me playing the Barbara Windsor role( I could also have said Last Of The Summer Wine but not sure if you'd have got that reference - I think you'd appreciate it), arms making like windmills, heads turning all over the park to see what was making all the noise. Somehow I managed to throw myself onto the grass at the bottom rather than careering across 4 lanes of busy traffic. I still have the scars.

  18. More booty pics!

  19. Anna:

    That's not at all out of the question and I'd enjoy that.

    I might be in Montreal or Toronto (or Vancouver or Calgary, don't know yet) a few weeks from now to cover the CFL divisional playoff finals.

    Could happen sooner than we think!

    Cherry Pie:

    "Agonizing tenderness?" How about endless taunting and teasing? He always starts it...

    You don't have video of that rollerblading escapade, do you? It'd be great on YouTube!


    I've already put the kibosh on that idea, threatening to bring back some pix posted not long ago...

  20. hmmm...stupid sister and I talked Mum into letting us go swimming in a flood. We had a thing of going on (tyre) tubes down the river. There was a particularly good set of rapids in one spot - good in a flood I mean.So I get in, go over the rapids and whoosh - what the hell happened! Some weird water forces came into play and I was sucked tube and all under the water and held under -had to swim with all my might to try and get to the surface again.If Ii'd hit my head, that would have been it. Have always wondered - WHAT kind of pressure would been required for a tube to be held under the water???? -UNBELIEVABLE.But it did cure my sister and I of begging to go for a swim in a flood ;).

  21. Oh man... I've done so many stupid things my list would go on forever.

    Love your caricature! My dad was a pro-soccer player and I have a bunch of caricatures of him that were printed in the weekly Sports Argus. ~bb

    ps. I'd wolf whistle the butt shot but that's hard to do in print ;-)

  22. Lee:

    Now that WAS a close call! Glad you made it. Still OK with swimming, though?


    Yikes. And you couldn't even list one of 'em?

    My buddy Don (Homo Escapeons) is the caricature guy. He's done one for my daughter, my son and a former girlfriend.

    They're great, aren't they?

    Wolf Whistle: So THAT'S why they call me WW? Ar Ar.

  23. hey great 'stupid' post. :) Loved it!

    ** passed out in some field...and actually woke up, alive.

    LOL r u for real? well it sounds like u were a very cheeky lil boy and grew up to be even worse ROFL!

    thats u n HE in that pic? WOW so nice to see u both togther!

    And that naked pic LOL great stuff ;-)

    **What equally stupid things have you done?

    many many many many things mate. I'd have to write a book on this. But the few that top the list r:

    **swallowed my granma's medication when I was abt 4yrs old and passed out for 1/2 n hour.

    **accidentally stepped on a snake that was underneath a huge coconut leaf, and when it stood staring at me, I still waited n watched it!

    **when I got my first car I forgot to change gears just once and thinking it was on Reverse, I accelerated and hit the wall damaging my brand new car, and then cried like crazy ofcourse.

    **Used to argue over silly matters and I think thats one of the STUPIDEST things ever.


  24. i'll get back to you when i finish giggling... thanx for improving my so far hideous monday morning!

  25. did I get that wrong...I kno ur a Caaanadian when i read ur blog, just that i got carrried away by that tags of urs. "nomadic northern north america male.

    My uncle lives in canada, been there for 20+ years. And he has that thing too...crazy lad he is.

    Well, i started scolding the car drivers for coming in my direction before i realize im on the wrong way when some bikers smiled and waved at me from the other side. :D

    Im sure glad u were not here!

    Hahaha...hey I know canoeing!

    Blame Canada!

  26. Keshi:

    Stupid is as stupid does, the saying goes. And this is only a partial list.

    But I'm perfect now and don't do stupid least not more than once a day.

    I like your snake one (I think Australia has more poisonous snakes than any place in the world).

    And the reverse/forward screwup, I can relate...


    Glad to be of service. Y'all come back, ya hear? And hope your day gets better.


    Don't worry bout the American/Canadian thing.

    Just seems you had confused the two before and we Canajuns have big enough inferiority complexes already.

    Woulda been funny to see you riding the wrong way down that street...DOH!

    Yes, blame Canadians.

  27. Oh, wait, I did do something pretty stupid and recently to boot!

    Attending a high school band festival in which my son the tuba player was competing. I watched one of the bands doing 70's music (and rather poorly) and later remarked to someone standing nearby that I'd never heard a band suck the life out of "25 or 6 to 4." That person was their band director.

  28. Too many that I can't recall any now.
    Will be back as soon as I make a list of all the strupid things I have done....

  29. WW, NICE booty shot!!! I loved the post as well, it seems you were either accident prone or ADHD.

  30. Fronty:

    Ewwww, that's punishable by death, doncha think? How did the band director react?

    Did your son pass band that year?


    We'll be waiting...don't want every single one, now, just a few or one even...


    Booty: I've been asked to do a pictorial calendar, so watch for it in 2007. Great Xmas gift.

    As far as all those mishaps, I was accident prone, yes (and I didn't mention the half of it).

    But I was a daredevil of a kid too, always trying things and (mostly) getting away with them.

  31. **And the reverse/forward screwup, I can relate...

    Really? And back then I thought I was the biggest idiot breathing on this planet as a P-plater.


  32. Kesh:

    Duh. What's a P-Plater?

    And I can relate because while I was driving a 5-ton truck for a while, shifted the old girl into reverse at a red light and then forgot to shift it into drive again.

    When the light turned green, you guessed it...smack into the guy behind me.

    He was amazingly patient with me...


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