Have you ever been on a real adventure? a car chase, wild fire, plane crash or any other situation that is common in action movies? Have you ever done something that would look amazing with huge explosions and tense music?
I’ve been stampeded by cows a few times. Once I was on a road with fences on either side, I was with two kids and I picked them up and threw them over the fence with adrenaline fuelled super-strength. In my minds eye I looked pretty cool tossing those kids as the cows stampeded towards us in a cloud of dust. Not sure what it woulda looked like for an objective observer though…
Closest I’ve come to any of that was being in an SUV that almost drove off a cliff. We ended up with the passenger front tire off the cliff, the driver front and passenger rear tires on the road, and the driver rear tire in the air above the road. I was in the passenger seat at the time, and had to climb out the driver’s side door…carefully.
I survived. As did the SUV.
I have evaded the police three times in my life. Two times, I confused the officer and he pulled over the wrong car. Once I made a sharp right on the downside of a hill and watched the cop speed past, lights on (he was coming over the hill when I made my turn and missed seeing me by about 2 seconds… if that.)
Don’t know if that counts, but it’s what came to my mind when I read the OP.
Sure. It was called Vietnam. Didn’t need sound effects, either.
I’ve been in a storm at sea, if that counts.
When I was maybe 19 I had summited Mount Adams with my parents. In lieu of ice axes, we had grabbed some similarly sized wooden branches during the ascent, intending to use them to control our speed as we slid down some of the long snow fields on the way back down after summiting. The idea is that you jam the ice axe handle (or branch, in our case) into the snow to serve as a speed brake; this is a much faster way to get down than walking.
On the first glissade, things got scary in a hurry. The wet, sloppy snow soon formed a “raft” underneath me, and I had trouble digging my branch in deep enough to reach stationary snow and achieve any braking effect. Pretty soon I was hauling ass down the steep slope. This is dangerous, because if you get to the bottom end of the snowfield with a lot of speed, you can get seriously hurt when you hit the rocks there.
My dad was far upslope of me, and I don’t recall whether he was having difficulties or not. But I remember my mom sliding just ahead of me, and given her lesser upper body strength, I was pretty sure she had no hope whatsoever of digging her branch into the snow far enough to provide any significant braking. I somehow managed to catch up to her and get a leg on her, and then I finally figured out that I needed to get to the edge of my “raft” of snow to where I could dig my branch deeply into the stationary snow as hard as I could. It took a while, but I managed to get us stopped. The bottom end of the snowfield was still quite far away, but nonetheless I had a bunch of adrenaline and shaking going on. My whole upper body was sore from trying to dig that fucking branch into the snow so hard.
There were a few times like that in Iraq. But mostly I was lucky and avoided action.
My first marriage.
- bucked off a horse
- skiing over thin ice (spiderweb cracking under the skis)
- multi-week backpack trips
- emergency landing into hayfield in a small Cessna
No explosions (thank goodness) but yes, some excitement.
No fireballs, but I have gone on some spectacularly poorly planned vacations, including a a jaunt to the unpopular Maoist controlled western half of civil-war era Nepal, sleeping in the local jail at a one-horse Honduran border town, and taking the long, long route to Timbuktu on a overloaded cargo canoe staffed by slaves.
Jesus! My family went on a canoe ride once and the canoe tipped over in 3’ of water…
My adventure was when me and my teenage friends all went white water rafting, and somehow the adults in charge thought we didn’t need a guide. And we kept losing people out of the boat, and then the boat capsized on a rock and I was stuck under the boat and after the rock was white water so we all had to be saved by kayakers. Who are awesome.
Never went rafting again. Fuck that.
I was stuck on the top of a mountain at night, with three other people (a baby and two women) once.
Maybe not as big of an adventure as some, but it was a huge (and scary) one for us at the time.
I got into a car chase once.
The odd part is that my friend had gotten a VHS video recorder for his birthday, so we were planning scenes with martial arts and car chases and all sorts of action scenes --but never had much of a story to tie them together and justify them.
Then one afternoon I was heading off to work when I saw a handicapped neighbor down the hill (street) shouting at some guy who was jumping into an orange VW Jetta. Shortly after the guy pulled away, I stopped in front of my neighbor and asked what was going on. He waved one of his crutches as the departing Volkswagen and said, “That guy just stole my VCR!”
So I hit the gas and sped down the hill and caught up with the Jetta as he was reaching the bottom of the hill (valley) and starting up the other side. I gave my truck a little extra gas, passed the guy, and hit my brakes while turning my front wheels. Just as I’d done for my friend’s choreographed scenes, I skidded diagonally to a stop – except the choreographed scene didn’t include some guy in a VW Jetta trying to run through me. Fortunately, the guy in the Jetta stopped in response to my cut-off maneuver.
While I was setting the parking brake and killing the engine, I glanced out my rear window and saw the thief looking at me with his eyes and mouth wide open in astonishment. I got out of my truck and straightened my bow tie (I was dressed to go to work at a movie theater), dropped my keys in a pocket, then started walking cautiously back to talk to the guy. I was fully prepared to have him jump out and start swinging. Instead, he waited until I was past the tailgate of my truck and hit the gas (I didn’t realize he had never shut off his engine) to go zipping back down the hill in reverse.
I had thought my move was movie-worthy; the guy in the Jetta put me to shame. He stomped on his brakes, did a perfect 180 spin, then shifted to first gear and peeled out while leaving me staring after him. I knew I’d never catch him on foot and I knew I’d take too long getting back into my truck and in motion to catch up with him, so I just leaned against my rear brake light and memorized his license plate number.
I got back in my truck, wrote down the license numbers, and drove back to my neighbor’s house. He was still in his driveway (he had watched the whole scene) so I handed him a scrap of paper and said, “Call the police and give 'em this.”
Then I went off to work and forgot about it.
I explored an old abandoned missile silo/complex in western Colorado. That was pretty cool. All the machinery was on big ass springs to absorb the shock of an attack.
You’re like a Warren Zevon song come to life.
One incident immediately comes to mind from about 20 years ago. I was in Tahiti where I went scuba diving with a sketchy French dive outfit that brought some dead fish and a single chainmail type glove with them to ‘feed the sharks’. None of us had any other protective gear, other than some large camera equipment you could maybe put between you and a shark. A half hour later, about 40 feet underwater, there were 30 adult whitetip, blacktip, and lemon sharks surrounding us and acting quite aggressive as the one guy with the glove and the fish fed them. Thankfully, with the fish gone, they seemed to calm down after a few minutes and eventually spread out enough that we felt safe surfacing, but there was definitely a feeling of panic (and stupidity on our parts) for a few minutes trying to figure out what to do if the sharks came at us.
The feeling I hated most of all was being unable to communicate verbally with the other divers who I could see were getting panicked like I was. I wanted us to move towards some rocks and stand back to back so no one got surprised by a shark coming at them suddenly from behind, but there was no way to communicate that, so everyone sat there individually and out in the open spinning around and hoping the situation didn’t escalate, which it thankfully did not. Naturally, no one had considered this or discussed it when we were on the boat, and no one brought a slate, becasue we were all idiots.
Closest I’ve come is a bystander during a high-speed police chase. Would have been more than a bystander if I had tried to cross the street before the last cruiser rounded the corner but something told me to wait on the sidewalk.
I once did a backflip off a bluff while holding off a dozen opponents with swords. The opponents were real, the bluff was real (if not very high). The swords were foam. The backflip was…accidental. It would’ve made a great scene, though.
Most of my “adventures” would not really be enhanced by explosions, but tense music would work for the whitewater rescues.
Rescue attempt in dangerous waters.
Numerous cardiac arrests with a handful of good saves.
Never thought of adding a soundtrack, though.