We’re all called to action at some point, right? Whether it be assisting someone with car trouble, helping an old lady cross the street, or performing the Heimlich maneuver on a stranger (e.g. Bill Murray Groundhog’s Day style), most of us hope to be ready to help when crises arise.
I call that “action-hero syndrome,” and boy, do I suffer from it.
Perhaps it’s because, as a child of the 80s, I watched too many movies (Cloak & Dagger and The Goonies) and TV shows (The Bionic Woman and Charlie’s Angels), or may be it’s just generational hubris?
Regardless, I aspired to be an everyday hero without feeling the desire to pursue or train for a truly heroic job (fire fighter, law enforcement or military).
I wound up a clumsy, non-weight-lifting, news reporter and PR professional, for Pete’s sake!
Still, my viewing habits in youth seemed to have influenced my decisions in adulthood. I think this might be why I’ve immediately pulled over, threw on my hazard lights, and raced upon the scenes of multiple road accidents. Or why I remained ridiculously calm during my mother’s first and second heart attacks while I called 911.
I may not have chosen “life saver” as a career, but I lived under the delusion that if my mom, or anyone else, faced a life-threatening situation, I could perform CPR or fill-in-the blank until real help arrived.
But despite my willingness to intercede, my hope-to-be-helpful skills weren’t put to the test in any of those scenarios, thankfully, beyond being supportive to those involved.
Which brings me to this…
My Ridiculous I-Wish-I-Were-an-Action-Hero Story
It began when I lived in Northern Maine. I’d been enduring what could be described as an abusive relationship…with my cat.
Laugh as you want, but Motor was psychopathic! If the Animal Planet’s “My Cat from Hell” had been airing at the time, this tabby terrorist and I would have been prime candidates.
He attacked me and anyone who dared to enter my apartment regularly, so much so that my hands looked shredded and diseased from defensive wounds. Scratches tic-tac-toed down my back from where Motor launched himself in the air and latched on. (Did I mention he was the devil incarnate?)
I remained convinced that I could rehabilitate this otherwise adorable pet rescue. I provided toys, treats and attention. He still stalked me,
When that failed, I adopted a new behavior-modification strategy – colorful water guns strategically placed throughout my apartment. (Jackson Galaxy, cat whisperer, would be appalled.)
Then a man entered in my life; we’ll call him Bob.
He questioned me about my chewed up hands, concerned. He laughed when I explained my cat quandary.
“Oh, come on, Kim. How bad can a little kitty really be?”
Then Bob met Motor and declared him evil too.
To protect my guests, and Bob in particular, I began locking Motor into his play room when anyone came over.
One day, Bob and I lay on my living room futon watching the Master’s. We alternated viewing golf and getting frisky throughout the afternoon. (Yep, we were that weird couple.)
Bob got up to run to the kitchen during commercial. On his return I heard his quavering utterance:
“Holy #%@&, Kim! Help.”
I looked over to discover Bob frozen, in a standoff with my cat. The evil escapee crouched down, preparing to pounce Bob’s naked, exposed body.
Assessing the situation (and calling on my Charlie’s Angels knowledge), I looked Bob in the eyes and said calmly:
“Don’t worry, babe. I’ve got you covered.”
In one fluid motion, I rolled over, grabbed a nearby neon yellow and orange water gun, and impaled Motor with aqua-bullets.
I leaped up in hot pursuit as Motor scampered away. I corralled him back into his bedroom, securing its door more firmly. I only needed feathered hair and a tube top and you could have called me Farrah Fawcett.
I returned to the living room and found Bob looking stunned, hands still cupping his man parts. Then we exploded in laughter. After recounting the event, we agreed that my adoration of Jaclyn Smith and those mighty Charlie’s Angels had saved Bob’s balls.
“Don’t worry, babe. I’ve got you covered.”
How about you? What’s your pseudo action hero moment? It’s gotta be better than mine.
(This series appears every other Wednesday. In these posts, I pose a random “What’s Your _______?” question, reveal my answers, and revel in your responses.)
June 4, 2014 at 1:50 am
On my way to a doctor’s appointment, I pulled over to the side of the road, pushed through a group of onlookers, hiked down a hill, and helped a woman out of the car she had driven over the edge. People screamed at me not to touch her but she was fine, just scared, and the car wasn’t going anywhere the way it was lodged there. I walked her back up the hill while idiots cursed me out for endangering her life, I helped her sit down on the side of the road, handed her purse to her, and let the paramedics who had just arrived take over.
Then I drove away to my appointment where the doctor and all his staff ignored my story and treated me like dirt. Or should I say ex-doctor. Still, I’d do it all over again.
June 4, 2014 at 9:25 pm
Funny how fear in people can drive them to prevent others from action. Glad to hear you didn’t listen and helped when needed.
June 4, 2014 at 9:33 pm
What’s crazy is that they weren’t in fear for the woman’s health or safety, they were in fear of being sued, being punished financially by an infomercial whiplash lawyer she might find later.
I admit that’s part of the reason I drove away quickly after helping her to safety. It’s a strange world when you have to escape a rescue.
June 4, 2014 at 6:18 pm
This is awesome!!! 😀 I have a crazy cat and I’ve used the water spritzer before, too. She doesn’t jump in the air and latch on so much as be bi-polar and go from loving one minute to psychotic the next.
Great story, thanks for sharing!! 😀
June 4, 2014 at 9:27 pm
Being a cat owner from birth, I can attest to their strange ways. But Motor was beyond anything I’d experienced to date and since then. 🙂 Glad you love your current kitty and enjoyed my story.
June 12, 2014 at 7:56 am
I can’t think of one… Oh wait… A snake in my sisters yard along the path blocking me & my 1 year old niece from grown up safety (I was 11). I picked her up & jumped over it like some sort of super child 😉 pretty lame…
June 14, 2014 at 4:08 pm
Are you kidding? That’s real, not pseudo, action hero bravery. I think I would have just passed out, Holly. Thanks for sharing!
June 14, 2014 at 6:48 pm
Haha thanks. I was pretty chuffed 😉