Freudian Slips: Catch Me If You Can

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

November 10, 2004

Catch Me If You Can

In 2001, bee stings nearly cost me my life twice from freak incidents four weeks apart. My body's reaction had little to do with a bee allergy per say, but everything to do with how my skin disease, Mastocytosis, overreacts to venom. On both incidents, I was stung in my own backyard adding to the adage the most accidents happen close to home. Waiting for an ambulance to pick me up almost proved costly the first time I was stung. Not to fret, the law of averages alone told me I wasn't due for another bee sting in years.
Four weeks later, bees attacked me again but the disorientation I experienced made the first sting seem like a mosquito bite. This felt like impending doom. I knew that if all 225 lbs of me fell unconscious like the last time, the spot I landed could very well be the spot I died. My wife is petite so my limp body would have been like a jockey trying to drag his dead horse. I managed to stagger into the minivan and my remaining faculties used an Epi-pen stored in the glove compartment. Then I passed out in the front seat. My wife started a zip drive to the hospital with four screaming children strewn across the backseat. My body swelled, my throat closed shut, and I turned blue. Doctors later estimated that I had inside of ten minutes to live from the time the minivan reversed in the driveway. My life was saved that fateful day by my wife, who opted not to wait for an ambulance to knock on death's door.
I still needed a little Lady Luck and it arrived not only right on time but right in our path. An automobile accident detoured traffic right outside of our housing development. My wife drove around the detour and spotted police and ambulances on location. Another back-up ambulance, which had been dispatched to the accident scene, provided my unlikely high-speed shuttle to a hospital with call-ahead dial-up triaging in the works. I made it to the hospital in the nick of time but that's where the real fun began. I needed life support before it was all over. It sounds funny to say but we were lucky to find an accident. Irony seems to follow me everywhere in life including to the hospital when I needed it.
The following is an excerpt from my autobiography, Stop and Smell the Silk Roses: "Every once in a blue moon there is a person born who is so lucky that his fiancee finds him an ambulance originally intended to transport someone else. Accidents are meant to happen and irony is for anyone who cares to look. This is a story tested by adversity, tethered by love, and measured by humor. This is my life."
I received a charitable donation fund letter in the mail from the very same ambulance squad who rescued me. The rescue squad is a non-profit organization and donations are relied upon to cover operational costs. It seemed good business sense to target repeat customers in bulk mailings. If I said it once, I said it twice. Never bite the hand that feeds you, especially when it is a bee who stings you. I noticed that the Rescue Squad's mission statement has changed. I did a double take but it really read, "WE CAN'T HELP YOU, IF WE CAN FIND YOU. Now this has got to be the rescue squad for me. They might as well print bumper stickers with the catchy slogan, Catch Me If You Can. Well chasing an ambulance worked once, why not a second time? Given the new mission statement, I don't think their fundraiser will be a whooping success but I'm donating. You can bet my life on it!
I repeat. Irony is for anyone who cares to look



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