Final Word

By Jeff Girod

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Posted September 6, 2012 in News
Dateline: Montana. A man wearing a bushy, camouflage suit and trying to imitate Bigfoot died last week after being struck by two cars, both driven by teenaged girls, ages 17 and 15.

“From what I understand, at least one of his friends said that he was trying to induce a Sasquatch sighting by using the suit along the highway,” said a spokesman for the Montana Highway Patrol.

The guy should’ve impersonated the Loch Ness Monster. Fewer teenaged drivers.

Dateline: Turkey. Former Baywatch actress Donna D’Errico almost plunged to her death last month in a rockslide during a summer expedition to—wait for it—find the remains of Noah’s Ark.

“(I thought), ‘I can die right now if I lose my footing,’” D’Errico told Access Hollywood. “My face was dragging over the face of all of these rocks; I was ping-ponging like a pinball machine.”

I’d say that sounds like an episode of Baywatch, but Baywatch was never that interesting or fast-paced.

Dateline: Pasadena. My mother occasionally takes care of my 17-month-old son. Last week there was a prayer meeting that required my mother’s immediate attention. (Think Commissioner Gordon turning on the Bat Signal, only with more old ladies, folding chairs and cheese Danishes.)

While she attended to her eye closing and hand folding, my mother placed my son in the qualified hands of her church’s daycare. Apparently my son had a great time.

He also hit a 5-year-old. Girl. In the face. With a hockey stick.

Now what do these three seemingly unrelated events have in common? Nothing. And everything.

Life is precious. It’s also incredibly unpredictable. Things can zip along fine for weeks, months even, and then WHAM! You get conked in the schnoz by a proverbial toddler.

Take Donna D’Errico, for example. If anyone is going to set out to prove the teachings of Old Testament scholars, clearly it should be someone whose only qualification is running in slow motion during the ’90s in a onesie bathing suit.

What was Donna D’Errico thinking? That a few tan lines and a jaunty Middle East hike would transform her into Indiana Jones? That her “big discovery” would shake three religions to their core, not to mention everything we hold dear about faith, science and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation?

I can see the books of the Bible now . . . Matthew, Mark, Luke . . . D’Errico.

I’m no expert on life. Half the time I can’t find a clean pair of pants. But let’s be honest enough about who we are—and who we’re not.

There’s a country song by Tim McGraw called “Live Like You Were Dying.” At the beginning, McGraw sings about someone being diagnosed with an incurable illness, so naturally he goes “sky diving, rocky mountain climbing and two-point-seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu.”

But for the sake of argument, let’s say somebody beats cancer. It happens frequently. And while he was “living like he was dying,” he gets thrown off of a bull and his spine is crushed. The doctor says, “Congratulations, buddy, you beat cancer!” and he has to blow into a straw to activate a keyboard to reply, “Hooray!”

At that point he should’ve “lived like he was living,” which means maintaining a 50-foot bull-free perimeter. Sometimes living—even under the worst circumstances—ain’t such a bad hand.

If I only had so much time left to live, I can’t think of anything profound I would do. Most of my ideas revolve around revenge fantasies and hooking up a threesome. Now that’s a song I’d like to hear Tim McGraw sing.

Author Chuck Palahniuk once wrote, “You’re always haunted by the idea you’re wasting your life.” I guess the point is don’t waste the good parts.

But don’t over complicate life. That means taking a look at your job, your friends and even your family, and asking, “Just how much am I willing to put up with?”

If you’re lucky enough to find happiness or even an island of contentment, try to be thankful. And don’t go courting trouble by dressing up like Sasquatch. Because real trouble is out there.

It might take the shape of a 15-year-old Montana student driver or a bottomless Turkish gorge. And sooner than later, everyone gets whacked by a hockey stick.

Contact Jeff Girod at finalword@ieweekly.com.


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