Zodi’s Blog

War Stories

Having taken inspiration from my friend Dan I’ve decided to tell you all a funny, little story from my own past. I assure you that this is all 100% factual except the names of the people I was with. These names have been changed to protect the guilty and to prevent me from being shot.          

On the evening of my 24th birthday I came home from ‘work’ to find a couple of little bags packed and waiting by the front door. My x-wife ‘Maria,’ my friend ‘Tony’ and his spoiled and temperamental girlfriend ‘Gina’ were also there to greet me. All three were by the door expectantly and impatiently waiting to tell me about my brand spanking new birthday plans. My wife had booked a weekend at our favorite cabin in a small camping village called Cook’s forest. Now, I’ve always loved this place…..in the summer. I’ve never been much of a camper, but we were always able to get this beautiful 4 bedroom, 2 loft cabin with 2 huge fireplaces and a hot tub. There is nothing but deep woods, the sleepy Clarion River and unadulterated nature surrounding the place for miles.         

Not our cabin, but close. Cook's forest.


We had never been there before in the winter though, or even made the back country drive at night. Also, my birthday is on Feb. 22 which is a really bad winter month for Pittsburgh and verging on the apocalyptic if you drive north for an hour and a half. As we packed up the car and headed out it was already getting dark, had 3 inches of snow on the ground and more was dropping fast.  The stretch of route 28 which usually took an hour, this time took two.          

By now, it was pitch black (no streetlights) and foggy as hell with blizzard conditions. Every single road sign was covered beneath an inch of ice and 3 inches of snow. So, I got lost. Utterly and hopelessly lost. Lost like Pete Doherty’s soul. Lost like Paris Hilton’s virginity. Lost like Heather Mill’s leg. Really, really lost. Since there are no convenience stores or anything else along that route, I decided to stop at a well lit house to politely ask for directions.          

She may not be pure as the driven snow


I pulled into what I believed to be a driveway under all that snow, parked, got out and gently knocked on the door. I was greeted by a Norman Rockwell painting. A 60-ish man wearing a plaid pair of pajamas, slippers and smoking a pipe and his wife who was dressed in the matching outfit, minus the pipe but plus rollers in her blue hair answered the door. They looked flattered and honored that I had chosen them to ask for assistance.          

After the kindly grandmother apologized profusely for not having the foresight to turn on her driveway lights, she explained that it was entirely her fault that I had in fact driven over their lawn and parked in their summer flower bed. After I then apologized just as profusely myself and had finally gotten directions, we were to be on our way. Only problem was, that we were now stuck like the Balloon Boy dad in a lie.          

See, I had a 97 Blazer (all metal) in which the 4-wheel drive had went out on only the week before. So the elderly couple did what anybody in God’s county (Clarion) would do; they threw on some coats and came out to help push. As they began rocking the heavy SUV I began hitting the gas, praying intently that I could gain enough traction to avoid sleeping in a doily covered, plastic entombed, Faberge egg decorated house. As I do, I notice large chucks of mud, grass, frozen begonia, and frozen petunia shooting out from under my tires and covering their clothes, faces and hair. After a two minute struggle, I was finally free! As they came up to say goodbye, they were encrusted and dripping their lawn and garden from every square inch of their bodies. I sheepishly apologized yet again, and drove away.          


Within a half hour I was hopelessly lost once again, and in the middle of a wretched, white-outed version of hell. I drove for 20 more minutes without seeing one house, store, bar or even another vehicle. When I finally found a dilapidated trailer with lights on I had to stop. Otherwise we were all going to fucking die.          

Now, a quick side note about Tony; his dad was way high up in…..let’s call it the ‘bakers union.’ So he thought he was in the bakers union. He had all the swagger, accent, and attitude of someone in the bakers union, and he had baked some bread…made a pie or two, but he was NOT in the bakers union. At least not yet at that point. Anyway, he loved to bring his guns up to Cook’s forest to ‘practice.’ Also Tony and Gina had been sharing a trip to the bottom of a bottle of SoCo in the backseat and were well on their way to stupid.          

So, I pull up to this rusted out trailer, complete with the requisite two rusted out muscle cars up on blocks in the ‘yard,’ get out and once again gently knock on the door. After waiting for 30 seconds, and as I’m thinking of knocking a little louder, the door explodes outwards. I was quick enough to jump out of the way but slipped a little, recovered my balance in time to see a fucking sawed off shotgun pointed directly at my fucking face. This guy was straight out of Deliverance complete with a beard that would make ZZ Top jealous and about 4 ½ teeth, wearing overalls with patches.          

Close enough to Bubba



He says, “Oh, I thought you was a critter,” while still holding the gun steady at my grill. Just as he finally starts to lower it, Tony jumps out of the backseat, barely staying upright on the ice, with his loaded 9 millimeter pointed straight at Bubba the redneck. The only problem was that I was directly between the two psychos with guns. Of course, Bubba’s gun came straight back up at my face. Tony now screams with a slurred, shaky voice, “Put the fucking gun down you fucking freak.” Bubba did not respond, just held his gun unnervingly steady….at my face. Did I say that already?         

The scene then hit pause for between 15 seconds and 2 minutes, I couldn’t possibly say which. This was the first and only time that I’ve ever been between two weapons of bodily mass destruction and I have to admit that my grippers were all aquiver. After the indeterminate period of standoff, Gina bursts from the car like a rocket, almost causing me to drop a load right there. Whether it was to scream at Tony or further threaten Bubba, I’ll never know. As soon as her feet hit the ice she practically did a back flip, slamming her head against the open door jam, and knocking herself unconscious.        


I was like the chick in the middle



Thank Baby Jesus, because both guns came down simultaneously and Bubba even ran into the trailer to get a surprisingly clean dishtowel and a bag to pack with snow. After she came to, befuddled and angry, we determined (even Bubba chimed in with medical advise) that she had a minor concussion (correct) and would need 10 or 15 (turned out to be 7) stitches. With Tony dutifully holding the compress to her head, we drove back to Pittsburgh to spend most of the night in Alleghany General Hospital.          

That was my 24th (and by far the worst) birthday.


January 12, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , ,


  1. That’s one hell of a fun time! Uh, I mean, damn that sucks. haha

    Comment by Jay | January 12, 2010 | Reply

    • Actually looking back on it, and retelling the story…it was one hell of a fun time. At the time though….not so much.

      Thanks Jay!!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | January 13, 2010 | Reply

  2. What an adventure you all had!

    Comment by Reb | January 12, 2010 | Reply

    • It was definitely an adventure that I will never forget. Nothing that crazy has happened in Spain so far at least.

      Thanks Reb!!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | January 13, 2010 | Reply

  3. Ah but you can laugh about it now…… and so can we!

    Comment by nursemyra | January 12, 2010 | Reply

    • You’re totally right too. I can and do laugh at it now, and it’s an honor that you guys laugh at it as well! It’s been very cathartic.

      Thanks Nursemyra!!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | January 13, 2010 | Reply

  4. You didn’t mention your underwear. Hmmmmm

    Comment by Micky-T | January 12, 2010 | Reply

    • What? Other than a couple droplets and maybe evidence of a shart….there was nothing to write home about. What? I’m a big, bad, brave man damnit.

      Thanks Micky!!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | January 13, 2010 | Reply

  5. Did you ever ask “Bubba” why he expected a critter to be knocking on his door? and why the gun? Do the critters drop by unexpectedly with jehovah’s witness literature? Was one messing with his wife?

    Comment by Donald Mills | January 13, 2010 | Reply

    • No, I never did ask him. I surprisingly found his communication skills to be lacking. The only thing I can figure is maybe he thought it had been a black bear. A black bear that had been ‘foolin’ with his ‘old lady.’

      Thanks Don!!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | January 13, 2010 | Reply

  6. Holy Mother of Pearl, Scott. That is one hell of a WTF story! Thanks for the shoutout brother, but I truly hope I didn’t inspire a series of flashbacks with emotions intact, like you felt back then. I’ve had some crazy ass shit go down that is hard to believe, but that is classic Dorsey stuff, only it really happened. We may be old men when it finally happens, but we have a night of drinking ahead of us somewhere; probably near the end of this long tunnel. By then we’re safe and wheelchair bound. GREAT story . . . glad you made it! I know there’s more!

    Comment by Dan McGinley | January 13, 2010 | Reply

    • Yea, I have to admit that you did cause me to look back at some of the crazier scenes from my life and examine, poke at, laugh at let go. Like I said, it was very cathartic for me. I won’t have too many more of these stories, because well….I’m not an idiot.

      If it really were a Dorsey-like tale, I would have managed to get Bubba tied spread eagle to a picnic table smeared with honey, and waiting expectantly for that black bear.

      I’ll almost definitely be back in the states within a couple years. So neither one of us better be wheel-chair bound!

      Thanks Dan!!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | January 13, 2010 | Reply

  7. Geez Scott, that would have been my best birthday ever story. One little question, which has been playing on my mind a little, though…. Was it only the old couple who got covered in the carcasses of dead flowers and mud or were you all pretty much filthy? If it was only the old couple that is friggin priceless 🙂

    Comment by frigginloon | January 13, 2010 | Reply

    • Actually it was only the old couple who really got dirty, unfortunately. Although Tony did get out to help push, he was at the passenger side front door and didn’t get the back-spray. The cocky little fucker was laughing at the poor people as well. I’m just glad they didn’t hear him. I did feel soo bad for them.

      Thanks Frigginloon!!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | January 13, 2010 | Reply

      • Yeah, but they are probably still telling the story 🙂

        Comment by frigginloon | January 14, 2010 | Reply

        • I’m sure they are. They’d never had such ill-mannered guests before and never sinse.

          Thanks Frigginloon!!

          Comment by Scott Oglesby | January 14, 2010 | Reply

  8. What the what? I mean, how do I even respond to a story like this? The worst Birthday I ever had was when I drank too many Rockaberry coolers and was passed out in the bathroom stall of the bar by 8pm.

    Like Don, I also want to know why Bubba thought that a critter would actually knock.

    And why in the hell didn’t your ex do anything? Is that why she’s your ex?

    Please tell me that you’re planning to one day write your memoirs…

    Comment by bschooled | January 13, 2010 | Reply

    • Although I can’t identify with the Rockaberry coolers (it was either vodka or SoCo on ice), I can totally identify with being passed out in the bathroom stall. Unfortunately it was usually the ladies room. I honest to god, don’t know why????

      I had the exact same question, as well as why he’d think that a ‘critter’ was 5’10? Or why he held the gun for a good 20 seconds after he saw that I wasn’t a ‘critter’ and before Tony jumped out of the car.

      My x didn’t ever get involved in stuff like that. She knew better. It is probably at least partly the reason that she’s my x. That kind of thing and a whole lot more insanity.

      If I ever do write my memoirs I’ll have to do it under a pseudonym. How does Rodrigo Bubbalou sound to you?

      Thanks B!!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | January 13, 2010 | Reply

      • Ha!

        I think you know exactly how Rodrigo Bubbalou sounds to me…

        (Like this- “Rod-Reeg-O Boob-a-lew”)

        Don’t tease me like that, Scott. You know how I feel about latin dreamboats with ridiculously thick accents, ridiculously bad English grammar, and ridiculous amounts of chest hair.

        Comment by bschooled | January 13, 2010 | Reply

        • You’re right, that’s exactly how it sounds.

          Oh, I’m not a-teasing B. Rodrigo is coming back in a thick accented, horrendous grammar, unbelievable amounts of chest hair, Xanex poppin, wine drinking, love making kind of way. The only real question is……..is the world ready?


          Thanks B!!

          Comment by Scott Oglesby | January 13, 2010 | Reply

  9. Hella funny bro. I went through my mental rolladex of true goofy stories and I can’t get close, let alone top it. Nicely written as well.

    Comment by fundamentaljelly | January 13, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks for all of the compliments FJ! If it was just one thing or the other, it would have still been funny, but it really was a remarkably strange night when it all happened it sequence like that. I can’t remember if it was a full moon……actually, I wouldn’t have been able to see it anyway, but it must have been.

      Thanks FJ!!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | January 13, 2010 | Reply

  10. Ha. Funny story. Of course I find every story that involves your personal misfortune and bad luck hilarious. Does that mean I really enjoy your writing style or that I take delight in your aforementioned misfortune? Cheers Scott!!

    Comment by Matt-Man | January 13, 2010 | Reply

    • I think that it must be a subtle combination of both. I only wish I could have told you guys the story in person. That way I could repeat the accents, facial expressions and physical comedy that came to pass that fateful night.

      Thanks Matt-Man!!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | January 13, 2010 | Reply

  11. I just love your true stories. Hi-freaking-larious as usual Scott! 🙂

    Comment by Candice | January 13, 2010 | Reply

    • That’s quite a compliment coming from you and your true story comedic talent!

      Thanks Candice!!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | January 14, 2010 | Reply

  12. While i might agree that was not the best bday..that is one helluva an adventure for a birthday….just missing the banjos at bubbas and the xmas music and ma and pa kettles…great story though..zman sends

    Comment by steve | January 13, 2010 | Reply

    • You’re right, it was a great adventure….looking back on it now. If only it did have a sound track, I could make it into one of those horrible made for TV movies with a run time of 22 minutes but with a play time of 2 hours when you factor in commercials.

      Thanks Steve!!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | January 14, 2010 | Reply

  13. Holy hell, that was entertaining! Almost makes one wish they were there, except for all the gun waving and concussions.

    If I take away nothing else from this (and I probably won’t as it seems to be stuck on there with glue or something), I will use this phrase at the nearest somewhat-appropriate opportunity:

    “we were now stuck like the Balloon Boy dad in a lie.”

    Just fucking awesome.

    Comment by Capitalist Lion Tamer | January 14, 2010 | Reply

    • If you were there I’ll but you would have held everything together like the super-glue that you are. Thanks for all of the compliments, they mean a lot coming from one of the most entertaining writers that I read. Feel free to use that phrase at any opportunity in which you choose. It doesn’t really have to be applicable either.

      Thanks CLT!!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | January 14, 2010 | Reply

  14. my favorite line from ‘Roadhouse’ seems to fit
    “it was a good day, nobody died”

    also – the text donation thing for Haiti can be found at http://www.yele.org
    thanks for asking Scott

    Comment by dianne | January 14, 2010 | Reply

    • The line from Roadhouse is perfect. RIP Swayze.

      Thanks for the link, I’ll use it today!

      Thanks Dianne!!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | January 14, 2010 | Reply


    you see? the Lord works in mysterious ways.

    Great post Scott. You writes good.

    And that photo on the hopper…classic

    Comment by Candy | January 14, 2010 | Reply

    • I praise the good lord everyday for Gina’s little foray into gymnastics. If not for that who knows how things may have turned out. I couldn’t believe my luck when I found that photo. I’m using it on this week’s caption contest. It’s too good for just one showing!

      Thanks Candy!!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | January 14, 2010 | Reply

  16. How could that be the worst birthday ever? It has the best story ever!

    Comment by Ramblin' Rooster | January 18, 2010 | Reply

    • I think it’s my favorite story to tell now. But at the time, I just wanted to go to a good restuarant and then party. Not drive around and around, get a nice elderly couple muddy, and grassy, the almost get shot, then spend the night drinking horrible vending machine coffee.

      You know what I mean?

      Thanks Rooster!!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | January 18, 2010 | Reply

      • Yeah, I guess I do know what you mean, (except for the vending machine coffee, that stuff is delicious!)

        Comment by Ramblin' Rooster | January 25, 2010 | Reply

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