I Already Know How I’m Going to Die

I didn’t pay $30 to let a crazy old lady in turban-like headgear look into a foggy, mirrored ball and tell me very generalized “predictions” about my future.

It wasn’t one of those weird flash forward instances like in every hilarious, poorly-acted Final Destination movie.

And I certainly didn’t see this in a dream (most of my sleep thoughts consist of fighting panda bears that have dragon wings and/or talking to old friends who morph into 80-year-old versions of themselves – the sad part is both scenarios really have materialized in this brain in recent nights).

For some reason, I just know. It’s a strange, uncomfortable feeling in the depth of my gut. I don’t know when it’s going to be, and definitely don’t know why. But there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I will experience death by either plane or deer.

Yes, deer.

I’m fairly certain that the one chance fate had of ending me while airborne passed a couple of years ago, when I somehow averted the reaper by surviving 45 minutes hurtling in circles above Oakland airport in a storm that would make Zeus shake in his sandals (I’m talking lightning bolts striking just outside my window, rain causing static-like screens in my immediate vision, and unbearable turbulence).

So the more likely answer is that I will one day be killed by a freakish, vegetarian, antlered beast of the suburbs.

Please, let me explain.

I should have realized this was life’s verdict around age eight. Our neighbor used to have a shoddy little basketball court just down the street from my house. Before my family got a hoop for the driveway (always set to seven and a half feet so I can throw down monstrous dunks like THIS), I would mosey on down to the neighbor’s court and play for a while on most summer days.

Side note: For how often I shot hoops as a kid, there is no explanation for how royally I SUCK at basketball…

To provide context, my house (address not listed for security reasons – I don’t want you hooligans pulling any shenanigans like stealing my six-year old DELL, collection of NOW CD’s, or signature of Janet Evans) is also backed up to the Open Space.

In Walnut Creek, CA, the “Open Space” is a big, grassy, hilly area with flowers and wildlife and bodies of water. You know? A space…that’s open. Oh, nevermind. It’s where people go hiking and walk their dogs.

Sometimes, the woodland creatures venture down to my street from the Open Space and try to eat our apparently delicious garbage. Snap back to the basketball court with eight-year-old Jeremy ballin’ like LeBron. Before LeBron existed. Weird.

I chased an awful air ball into the bushes behind the hoop, and when I turned around there was a centaur-like buck with gargantuan antlers staring at me, furious. I had gotten too close to his sugar mama and offspring for his liking and Papa wasn’t happy.

Let’s just say my description of the animal is completely exaggerated, but he really did have antlers. And cut off my only route home. So eight-year-old me with my peach-like ego proceeded to whimper and sob in the bushes, clutching my basketball, until my dad came looking for me an hour later.

My dad scared off the mighty deer, reinforcing every young boy’s belief that his fatherly figure might be a superhero, and walked me home.

To this day, I have loathed the animal that trapped me in embarrassment for so many painful minutes. Add in the fact that they kind of resemble horses, which legitimately terrify me, and that those little puff-tailed demons shit ONLY ON MY LAWN, I’m convinced that deer have it out for me.

When I was little, I rarely thought about death. But now that I’m nearly a senior citizen (turning 24 in January) and very close to a deer-induced burial, it crosses my mind. And for whatever reason, those disgusting critters have evolved.

They are all over my neighborhood, and only come out at night. Especially when I’m driving down the street. In the rain. And they only jump out from the bushes when they recognize my car.

Fearlessness is a pretty scary trait to face in an opponent. And even though yelling and honking my horn no longer fazes them (they look up from eating, smirk, and carry on…bastards), I do have a shovel and many sharp kitchen utensils at home that are begging to be used.

See? They are out to get me. One way or another. They’re gonna find me. They’re gonna get me get me get me GET ME! Whoa…sorry.

So I don’t know when, why or how I will be killed by deer. I don’t know if it will be a hoofed kick to the heart, a mass deer-gang car jacking and beating, or a rabid buck who mistakes my neck for a delicious leaf.

I’ve accepted my fate. Remember me well, friends. But at the funeral, if you quip “Deer-ly Beloved,” my posthumous spirit will not laugh.

Maybe. I do love puns.

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Public Service Announcement: Thumbs and Driving Don’t Mix

This is a friendly reminder to not pick up hitch hikers, no matter how friendly they look. Even if he or she has a six-pack of Bud Light, obliging the thumb is a move that will likely result in an axe to your head, then the car cascading off a cliff into a fiery mess at the bottom of a canyon, suicidal hitch hiker laughing menacingly all the way down.

Then again, it could go right – you could make a new buddy from picking up a wandering soul on the highway. Hell, you could even meet the love of your life. It’s happened before.

Since I literally have nothing else to write about hitch hikers, let’s stop easing into a sensitive topic and get on with the real meat to this blog sandwich: Please. Please. PLEASE. For the love of human existence, stop thumbing your phone while driving.

Yes, I used to be guilty myself. There was a time when a well-timed “LOL” to a girl I liked was far more important than my health, let alone anyone else in my general driving vicinity. I was convinced I was so good at texting, I never even had to look at the phone because I knew where the numbers were.

Problem is, you still have to read the text that you got in the first place and then double-check yours makes sense before sending it off through cyber space. You may think it only takes a second, but it’s long enough. And no, the “LOL” to that chick didn’t pay off; thanks for asking.

I can’t even pull the “older and wiser” card on you guys here. Technically I’m older, the wiser part is debatable, but I’m still only 23. I just know better. A story I got in an email was what changed my ways for good – whether or not it’s true is irrelevant. The story went that a guy in a smart car was texting, swerved into oncoming traffic, and died instantly due to being sliced in half by a big rig. I’m assuming he never got to send that text. Here is one of many pictures of the aftermath, according to the email (WARNING: VERY graphic, please ignore if you expect rainbows and butterflies…lots of blood, metal and body parts).

My mom sent the email to me in her desperate attempt to make her son a well-rounded citizen (it worked…I’m freakin’ awesome). As if it wasn’t worrisome enough that there are human beings and fire hydrants and mailboxes and deer everywhere we drive (readers in or around Walnut Creek – how fearless are those damn deer that are trying to re-stake their claim to the land we built our neighborhoods on? I see packs of them driving home every night. What if they were zombie deer? Holy shit. I’d never leave my house after dusk. There are hordes of them standing in ditches and on sidewalks everywhere, just waiting for the chance to jump into my windshield or shit on my lawn. THEY FEAR NOTHING. Blood-sucking little Bambi’s…sorry…got carried away there).

Where was I? Right! As if it wasn’t worrisome enough that all those obstacles exist on a normal day, we have to worry about other drivers on the road. On highways there are gigantic, loud, terrifying trucks everywhere you turn.

If you think looking down at your phone to send a pointless text is worth slamming into the back of one of those trucks and leaving your head stuck to the bumper, leg to the axle, and ass to the exhaust pipe, you’re sorely mistaken. Keep challenging the facts. Keep laughing in the face of emoticon-fueled danger. Have fun in prison.

Just ask this guy. He’s one of the lucky few who you COULD ask.

When I see people scrolling through a text, tweet, Facebook message, email, etc. on their phones while driving, I want to give them a not-so-friendly bump with my right headlight just to make a point.

You know what I do when I get a text while driving? One of three things: I ignore it until I’m done driving, I give it to my shotgun rider/navigator/partner in crime (title pending, based on who is sitting there) and ask them to respond for me. I can dictate a quick sentence to them and keep both hands and eyes on the road. Or if it’s really that urgent, give them a call on speakerphone.

Honestly, I’m no angel. I still do it once in a while. I lose focus. But it’s like training yourself to do anything else: eating vegetables, flossing your teeth, chewing with your mouth closed, not picking your nose, only farting in front of your family and close friends. You know, normal stuff. Mind over matter. Make a concentrated effort to stop. 

You can’t make this stuff up. Students were asked to navigate a driver’s ed course while texting in a study done recently. The results were conclusive – driving while texting is equal to driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08. Or the legal limit. The number all tipsy drivers fear.

Do you really need any more convincing proof than that? Ignoring a statistic of that magnitude would be an ugly display of priorities…and make me hate my own species a lot.

Look, all I’m saying is texting is a dangerous activity while behind the wheel of a car. The only time there should be something so urgent is in a legitimate emergency situation. And in that case, if you’re texting, you suck at urgency. That’s why god invented speed dial.

This is how people get cut in half. It’s no joke. And next time this blogger sees you texting and driving, there will be a pre-meditated fender bender coming to a highway near you.

Try LOL’ing at that, sucka.