Brian T Shirley Comedian/Writer/Actor/TV Show Host

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Life/Road stories

"JUMP!" I said.

Posted by briantshirley on November 6, 2009 at 9:25 AM

 Remember when you were 16 yrs old, you just started driving and, you did really stupid things? This tale is about all that.

  I was a junior at Osborne High school, on the wrestling team, and I drove a 1972 Chevy Nova that was various shades of brown. The car had a bad carburator.( Back then cars had those as well as manual windows, 8-track players, and were made of steel.) The car had a  bad habit of stalling because of the Carb. and on this particular evening I'm describing I had 3 of my fellow wrestlers with me. We had just  finished with a match at a rival school and had climbed into my beast to go home. I suggested we wait and let the car warm up for a while once it got started, my fellow wrestlers/mechanics would have none of this. Let me tell you about them real quick as it is important to the story. Seated behind me in the back was the sophmore Gary Shagnon, beside him was my fellow junior Scott "Scooter"  Sullivan, who had the biggest afro I have ever seen on a white person, and next to me, up front , was sophmore Terry Daniels, the shortest of all of us. I started to ease out of the parking lot,which wasn't easy because to the left was a big curve in the road where you couldn't see oncoming traffic until the last second. I sat at the exit/entrance to the parking lot and determined that it was safe to go, then I gunned it! The first 5 to 7 feet of progress were great, then Mr. Carb decided he was tired and gave up the ghost. We stalled in the middle of the road, yet we were still coasting off the first great burst of energy. I tried to start the car 4 or 5 times in vain, we were still rolling and I could not stop the car because the brakes weren't working since the car was off. Just then a truck came around the corner headed straight for us. I'm not sure why I did what I did next, (yes I do I was 16) but I panicked and yelled at my fellow passengers " JUMP!!".  Then I leapt out of the car I was driving, slammed the door behind me, ran back across the road and was nearly hit by the truck I was jumping out of my car to avoid. It was a good thing Gary didn't jump, because the door I slammed as I was exiting would have crushed his head. When I turned around  I saw my car slowly rolling towards the big ditch on the other side of the road. In the street lights I could see Gary trying to steer the car leaning over the drivers seat from his position in the backseat. I could barely make out Terry trying to get his short legs over to the brakes, and Scooter covering his head and sinking to some safe spot in the floorboard. The last thing I heard, as the Nova went into the ditch, were the gears griding as Gary  tried to put the car in park as a way of stopping or slowing it's progress. When the vehicle did come to a stop in the ditch several cars had pulled over by this time. My former passengers exited the beast and a woman who was now standing beside me asked " Where's the driver ? ". " I'm the driver" I said, as her face turned to shock and dismay. Thank God I made it past 16, I'll never drive a Nova again chief!!!

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Reply Teresa Shirley
11:33 AM on November 6, 2009 
Oh, Brian, my son, thank God you were able to grow up. I just laughed at that, I could just see you and your friends in that old car. Oh, the things I didn't know as your mother!!!!!!!
Reply Melissa Hood
2:36 PM on September 28, 2010 
Brian, trying to imagine the 4 of you in that car and that situation is cracking me up!!!! Glad y'all were all okay and you lived to make me laugh at our 25th HS reunion!

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