It landed on ‘me head

I’m surprised I haven’t told this one before.

It was senior year track practice. We were supposed to be on a three mile run through White Memorial, but instead a group of us were goofing off. I believe the group consisted of myself, Bub, Tai, Ads, Joe, and I wanna say Rich Decker?

We stopped in the middle of the woods and began bullshitting. As Bub leaned against a tree, we watched in amazement as the thing shifted. This mutha was loose.

Without even really communicating, we surround the tree.  Everyone found a spot for their hands, and we began pushing back and forth. For some reason we became determined to get this thing out of the ground.

The tree was by no means  a mighty oak.  It was probably about 40 feet high and skinny.  If trees could get sick like humans, I’d say this particular wood had pancreatic cancer.

As we rocked the dying tree back and forth, trying to uproot the thing, giggling like school girls, we failed to notice the 6 foot branch on the tippity top was bending as it was continuously pressed against a giant oak.


We heard the branch crack with a thunderous snap, reserved for only the finest of movie theaters with digital surround sound.

We looked up and sure enough flailing toward us was a sawed-off six foot branch.

I watched as everyone scattered to the right.  But me, for reasons that will be debated always, scattered to the left.  I must of made it two steps before the decrepit old branch, made more powerful with the speed at which it fell, landed upon the back of my head.

I collapsed to the ground with a thud, the dying branch on top of me.

Before I felt pain, I tasted dirt. The side of my face was pressed into the woodsy ground of White Memorial. I slowly lifted my head and spit. Then the pain kicked in. It was a dull ache at first, running from my head, down to the space between my shoulder blades. Then there was burning on the back of my neck, which was still covered by the broken branch.

I focused my attention in front of me. If there was such a thing as cobwebs, I had them.  My vision, for the moment, was a bit blurred.

About 10 feet before me were my fellow teammates-my friends. Most stood silently, not moving, maybe a bit nervous that I was dying before their eyes. Tai I believe was running toward me. Joe, him I remember clearly. He was leaned against a tree, arms folded across his stomach, eyes closed, mouth open, laughing hysterically.

Tai pulled the branch off me. I remember him and someone else helping me to my feet. I was bombarded by questions: “Are you alright”, “Where did it hit you”, “Why did you run the other way”.

As soon as my friends ascertained that I was OK, they all began laughing. Though they did remain by my side the entire way back to the high school. Thinking back, I must of been walking really really slow.

Back at the high school, I sat on the track and field mats. I was a bit dizzy and the back of my neck really burned. The force of the branch took a little chunk out of my neck, which someone described as “gross”.

As my teammates made the rounds, telling everyone that would listen what happened, two people offered to help me.

I’m not 100 percent sure but I think it was Marcy Warner and….Lisa Cash maybe? (like I said, specifics from the immediate aftermath of the incident are spotty at best).

They went to CVS, bought hydrogen peroxide and band aids, and basically cleaned me up.

I didn’t practice for the rest of the day. I suffered through the worse stiff neck in the history of mankind. I missed the track meet the next day. I endured ribbing from my friends and teammates for the rest of the week. And then it was over….Until the Spring Sports Banquet.

As we were called up one by one to get our varsity letters for track, Hawk, our coach, said he wanted to give me a special award. He handed me a cardboard box.

“We chopped down the tree that fell on ya,” he said, seriously. “And we made a box out of it. We’d like you to have it.”

I grabbed the box, said thank you, and went back to my seat. Was it finally over? Not really.

A few nights later, I stood in Kathleen Ebner’s kitchen, ready to take her to my senior prom. As I nervously waited for her to come down stairs, her father and I stood there in awkward silence.

“So,” he said, his words cutting through the silence like a knife, “Is it really true a tree fell on your head?”


3 Responses to “It landed on ‘me head”

  1. interesting story. i wasn’t there, though…

  2. bigdaddygouda Says:

    Really? It looked just like you. But, like I said, after the tree hit everything went groggy. On second thought maybe it was Rob Thomas

  3. sounds about right. or maybe the blais kid…

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