Tim Rutili, songwriter and singer for Califone wanted to know how close you’ve come to the light. So we asked you to tell us about your closest near death experience and the best story wins a copy of Califone’s new album, Quicksand / Cradlesnakes. Thanks to everyone who participated!
Here is the winning entry.
October 1991. Aragon Ballroom. Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam and Red Hot Chili
Peppers. Mosh pit. Suddenly, the crush gets a little too much and I’m stuck
about two layers of people behind the gate in front of the stage. I can’t
move. I feel a bit light headed. I pass out. After an undetermined amount of
time, I come to in the space between the gate and the stage, staring directly at
Anthony Kiedes’crotch. I dust myself off only to find a boot print square in
the middle of my chest and a lot large bruises on my lower legs. All signs of a
good show I guess.
Susan will receive a copy of Califone’s new album. And here are some of the runners up…
When I was a freshman at the Michigan State University, I enrolled in an
“overseas” summer class to The Canadian Rockies (I’m not sure what sea we had
to go over, but I must have slept through that part of the drive). I shared a
ride out with two other students in one of their Pontiac 6000s. Shortly into
the journey, one of my two companions announced she would not be driving at
night, and since we had a 6-day plan of driving, this was not the best news for
myself or the other driver.
To make a long story longer, the car was grey, and the interior sort of smelled
like… no, no, just kidding. The car wasn’t grey, it was silver. Right. So
anyways, there we were, during the 4th night of driving, and I’m behind the
wheel somewhere in North Dakota, or perhaps Montana. Wherever it was, it was
dark and very lonely. My companions were asleep, it was around 3 in the
morning, pitch-black, and we hadn’t seen another car for hours. I’m driving
down this seemingly-perfectly paved two-lane highway that never ended, and the
terrain starts to get a bit hilly. Up ahead I see the first headlights I’ve
seen in a while, and as the car shoots by on my left I think, “What would
happen if you broke-down out here, or God-forbid got in a serious accident? Who
would help you, a moose? Hmm, scary…” thought I, and continued to slap
myself to stay awake.
Not less than 20 minutes later, as we came bounding at 90 mph over hills so
steep you couldn’t see what’s on the other side, for whatever reason that I
still don’t know to this day, I decided to casually coast into the on-coming
traffic lane. As I came flying over the next hill, there, standing motionless
in and completely filling the lane I had just unexplicably left, was a gigantic,
stoic, humungous (and did I mention Gigantic?) moose, the kind that makes you go
“Wow! That’s what a moose looks like? They’re so much bigger and more
dangerous looking than I thought!”. Only, instead of thinking that, there was
this movie-moment where (and this Could be because I was tired) I swear the
moose and I looked right into each other’s eyes and time stood still for a
split-second and the moose calmly implied, “Yes young one, I almost just flew
through your mid-sized sedan, destroying both of us in what surely would have
been a spectacular accident had you been in the lane you were supposed to be in,
but I did not, and we are both still alive, and now I must return to my forest
until a casting agent comes calling for a wise moose, and you are destined to
repeat this story whenever someone asks you if you almost saw the light.” Only
it was over before it even happened and I was immediately back in the correct
lane, sweating bullets, and re-evaluating what being an atheist is all about.
Time may have erased my memory of my two companions, what state we were in, and
everything I learned in college, but I will never forget that massive, beautiful
moose, and how he almost stuck his antler through my face.
When I was a stupid 14-year-old, I was scaling a rock quarry in Oregon, IL, and
was at least as high as a second story building, when all of a sudden, the place
I chose to put my foot had a spray of pebbles. Down I fell, and as I was going
down, I was strangely calm as I thought, “This is it, I’m gonna break my neck
and kill myself”. The thought at the time didn’t instill abject horror in me
weirdly enough; it was almost more like, “Well, here’s what your stupid ass
got yourself into.” Luckily, I escaped with only scraped palms. And that,
dear GloNo readers, is the closest that I’ve been to death so far, barring any
psycho ex-girlfriends who may have had murderous intentions that they hid from
On a night commute from Pittsburgh in a puddle-jumper, my family and I flew
through a huge thunderstorm. The plane flew as if a toy in the hands of an
infant, the worst turbulance in my 40?-flight career. My 10-year old brothers
cheered as if on a rollercoaster. When we landed, my mom commended the pilots.
One replied, “I didn’t think we were going to make it.” Yeah I know that’s
pretty weak, but it was scary as hell, and I really want that damn CD…
Well this probably won’t win me the prize, but I was snowboarding at
Tuckerman’s Ravine in New Hampshire when I fell on a very, very steep slope and
was plummeting towards a large, boulderous cliff which would definetley done me
in had I tumbled over it….oddly and amazingly a small branch was sticking out
of the snow and stopped my fall. I was injured but safe and 5 feet away from
what could have been my doom.
Will Kraft and I were driving his parent’s mini-van at 78 mph down extremely
curvy dirt roads outside of Clarkston, MI. We found out firsthand that Dodge
Minivans were clearly not meant to do 180’s at excessive speed. We found this
out the hard way as the vehicle spun out of control and smashed into an old oak
tree. Backwards, fortunately for Will and myself and you lucky stooges who are
reading this. As the rear window shattered all over the back of the driver and passenger
seats (we had folded the back down, to transport a drum set) I found myself
thinking “Woah! This copy of the Who’s Meat Beaty Big and Bouncy really
rocks!” True story.
I came relatively close to “beefing it” when I was driving my van out in the
country. This is Northern California, like the roads you see in the Ford
commericals. Little piece of heaven up there, man. Well, I’m not going to get
into this too much but I rolled the van and I was tumbling down this embankment,
and I fell into a creek and hit my head on a rock. Saw some stars, man, I will
tell you what. I had a vision of Luke Skywalker and he said, “Dagobah”, then
I woke up. Slept really well that night.
Thanks again to everyone who participated.
2 thoughts on “Turn Away from the Light: Califone Contest Results”
I knew I should have turned in my harrowing story of opium/automobile shennanigans -I would have so won the contest!
Sigh-it’s too late now…