A neighbor, who lives down the street,  brought over an object he’d purchased at a flea market. He gave it to me, saying, “I thought of you when I heard what it was.”

Instantly I was in love with the contraption – which was a hangman harness – used by stunt performers in movies and TV shows.  No sooner had he left than I went to work figuring out how to use the harness with its straps, buckles and hangman’s noose.

Once I strapped on, I went to our garage and slowly tested it by suspending myself from one of the beams in the garage.  But as soon as I stepped off the stool, I knew I’d made a mistake.

Swinging back and forth and accidentally kicked the stool. It slid across the garage floor far enough away that I couldn’t reach the damn thing.

Clawing at the buckles and straps, I tried to free myself, but it was too late. It would be several hours and long after dark before my wife came home, opening the garage door to drive her car inside.

“Oh, my God, Tom,” Mary screamed. “What have you done?!”

She quickly dug through her purse, found her cell phone and dialed 9-1-1.

“Do you really have to do that?” I asked.

“Yeah,” Mary answered. “I want everybody to know what a dumb-ass you are!”


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