If only I were a ninja

There’s just something about a ninja.

Wouldn’t it be cool to do backflips off buildings, to take down your enemy with a kick, to wear the cool ninja costume? I think I’d like to be a ninja.

Did you happen to catch the season premiere of Psych tonight? I couldn’t wait, and I must say I was not disappointed, especially with the show taking on a ninja theme tonight. Ever since writing The Edge, I’ve had a tiny little fascination with ninjas. Blame on the parkour research, I suppose. Oh, if I could only move that way. If you didn’t see the show, I recommend you check it out online. It’s worth the effort.

Apparently, the main character, Shawn, the somewhat psycho pseudo psych, has his own fascination with ninjas, stemming , in part, from his father’s refusal to let him take karate as a little kid. Shawn attempts to take on a real ninja, and the results are ridiculous. (The main character in The Edge, TJ, and his best friend DeAndre remind me a little of Shawn and Gus, especially when they accidentally kill a local legend, or so they think.)

Do you ever have situations like that? I’m talking about situations in which you strap on your best ultra cool and confident demeanor and then you go forth in denial and take on a challenge that you know good and well is ten times bigger than you are. I’ve been there and done that about a million times. It never fails. I always walk away feeling like a complete idiot. Let me give you a few examples.

Shortly after we were first married, Kenny and I were moving to a different apartment, and we needed empty boxes. One night after eating dinner at a pizza restaurant, I told Kenny to go raid the restaurant’s garbage bin to pick up some empty boxes I saw the workers throw out. We were broke, and I was shameless. Anyway, who would care if we took some boxes that were being thrown out?  Kenny immediately said no, but I insisted. He gave in. So I sent him for the boxes while I stayed in the car. Little did I know, but we found ourselves right in the middle of an undercover drug sting. Yes, apparently the cops were doing surveillance and thought WE were criminals there to pick up the stashed drugs. Do you know what it feels like to be frisked? I don’t, but Kenny does. I didn’t believe they were real cops, so I refused. Too much TV I guess. But the officers’ shiny badges turned out to be real. I was fortunate that I wasn’t handcuffed and taken downtown.

Then there was a time when I had to deliver important information to a good friend of mine. I’m a little bit impulsive; I don’t like to wait. I knew she was directing a play in town, but I thought I could reach her backstage in between scenes. Get in. Get out. Get the job done.  The play was held in a real upstairs court room to make it seem authentic. So what did I do? I ran inside the building, punched the button and climbed aboard an elevator full of people. Only when we were going up did I realize I was the only one NOT in costume. All the people around me were in character, preparing to make their entrance into the courtroom as they stepped out of the elevator.  All eyes in the audience—and the spotlight—would be fixed upon them. How was I to know I had stepped into a scene from the play? The actors were panicking. I was panicking. It was one of the most humiliating moments in my life.

Finally, I guess the reason why I like to write is because I am a hopeless romantic who dreams of adventure. But dreams are easier to manipulate than reality. Haven’t you ever wanted to be an undercover detective? To be a crime fighter? To be a hero? To be privy to top secret information? To be a spy? Oh yeah, that’s my kind of life. During our more adventurous days, Kenny and I owned our own crime-fighting vehicle, an old maroon and silver Dodge Ram Charger, the only Dodge vehicle that has ever let me down. (I do like a Dodge.) We used to drive the truck all around looking for trouble, but we never really expected to find it.

One night, however, we accidentally ran upon what appeared to be a drug deal going down, and the culprits saw us. And they knew that we knew that they knew we saw them. So we took off in the old Ram Charger with the “drug lords” chasing us through town. We made a turn, and they made a turn. On and on and on. We finally made our getaway and thought we had lost them. And then the truck broke down. The Ram’s shifting forks had a nasty habit of going out, and the only way to fix them was to crawl under the truck and to do a quick repair, which Kenny did in time to save us. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the first time the old Ram Charger broke down. There are landmarks all over the country where we could have found ourselves in serious trouble. One time the right front tire rolled right off with no warning. How often does that happen?

Life is definitely an adventure. There will be times when the load we have to bear is almost insurmountable. Then there are other times when our obstacles are mere bumps in the road. I say we should take every moment we can to laugh. There will be plenty other times to cry. Alan Alda once said, “When people are laughing, they’re generally not killing each other.” I tend to agree.

How about sharing your close calls and “ninja experiences”? We really want to know.