I Survived!: True Stories of Human Survival Vol. 2May 6, 2010
Welcome back! It’s been a couple of (long) weeks but here it is at last: the next volume in what is hoped to be a series for the ages.
Brace yourself for the unkempt horror that is: I Survived! V.2
I Survived! Vol. 1
While capturing some field recordings for his upcoming concept album A Gaian Distress Call of Distress, Jason lost his footing on an incline when the rain-weakened ground gave way below him, sending him tumbling 120 feet to the gravel road below.
Severely wounded and unable to move, Brune briefly wondered as to the condition of the recording equipment, which he had borrowed (without permission) from a friend (who was currently out of town). His answer came less than second later when the reel-to-reel joined him on the gravel, smashing itself (and most of Brune’s arm) into hundreds of pieces.
Brune attempted to retrieve his cell phone from his pocket, but the severity of the pain prevented him from doing anything more than microscopically shifting his weight and vomiting, somewhat less microscopically.
Realizing that he would die if he didn’t receive medical attention quickly, Jason began to pray. The relative painlessness of the silent prayer was soon disrupted. An unlikely answer arrived in the form of a speeding Lexus, which ran over both of his exposed legs before screeching to a halt.
Alerted by the unexpected speed bump, Mike O’Connor (and his wife) sprang into action. (Beth waited in the car as instructed.) Said O’Connor: “At first glance it seemed pretty serious. But after some closer inspection, we only found some light scuffs on the rocker panel.”
The O’Connors brought Greil to the emergency room, putting him in the care of some of the finest self-medicators in northern California.
O’Connor: “I’m sure the trunk wasn’t the comfiest, what with our roll of chicken wire and some lovely loose agate from our earlier rock hunting in there, but I’ve got a genuine leather interior.”
Adds Betty: “We would have sent him something during his recovery, but Hallmark doesn’t carry a ‘Hope You Recover from Your Horrific Injuries and Agate Cuts’ card, and I won’t buy off-brand.”
Jason has yet to speak negatively about this experience, something doctors attribute to his “indomitable spirit” and his “struggles with re-learning the English language.”
Longwell, a self-styled “extreme” sportsman, found himself in very different sort of “extreme” situation one fateful August afternoon, when his “routine” 30,000-foot skydive became anything but routine.
Says Jake: “When I saw all the quotation marks, I should have known something was wrong.”
Something was indeed “wrong” wrong.
At 5,000 feet, Jake’s parachute fails to open. He deploys his backup at 1,500 feet but it becomes tangled in the main chute. Jake heads toward the ground at nearly 80 mph, his descent only slightly slowed by his tangled chutes and his screams of “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!”
Longwell’s body slams into the ground at a very “extreme” speed of 85 miles per hour, instantly pulverizing most of his “extremities.” Fearing that it will be several hours before his baked pilot even realizes that he’s missing, Jake consults his mental map and determines that he will have to crawl nearly 12 agonizing miles to reach the nearest town.
His progress is slow at first, as Longwell uses his chin to pull himself forward and his sole unbroken toe to help push. Sixteen hours later, Longwell suffers a setback when his soul patch blows out, dropping his usable chin surface by nearly one-third.
Running dangerously low on MTN Dew, Longwell regroups and gets his bearings, doing some quick mental arithmetic with his mental abacus. After mentally sliding the beads this way and that, Jake angrily hurls the mental abacus across the brain room and mindreaches for his mental digital calculator.
He is not happy with the answer. (5318008.) Jake determines that his rate of travel is around 18 inches per minute. He attempts to pick up the pace.
He presses on, using the 1.5 degree downslope to his advantage and attempts to make up for lost time by keeping his lapses into unconsciousness to less than 30 minutes per “spell.”
Around the 30-hour mark, Longwell gets another break as he find some relatively smooth pavement on which to drag himself along. No longer held up by uneven terrain and underbrush, he begins to pick up speed, occasionally troubled by irate ground squirrels and local teens, who pelt him with taunts, beer bottles and inane, indecipherable chattering.
At this time of this writing, Jake has still not reached the nearest town.