Article Title
Article Title

A Brush With Death

by Sean Curry

I had a conversation with some friends this weekend about each others’ most embarrassing stories. Due to my long, storied affair with mind-numbing stupidity, I was able to go a few rounds with everyone, until I eventually realized no one really wanted to tell more than one. But I’m always hungry for attention, and eager to celebrate -- nay, revel in -- my right as an adult American to dare to be stupid, so I continued on. I realized that few of them had heard one of my favorite stupid stories, and was quick to fix that. I thought I’d repeat here, for my adoring, reading masses.

All names (except mine) have been changed to protect the truly stupid that were involved. It’s been a few years since the events in question occurred, so the conversations are largely paraphrased. But rest assured, these events happened.

One time on a summer break in college, I was over at a friend's house. It was a weeknight, we weren’t old enough to drink, and there were no parties going on. A few of us were hanging out, watching TV, or whatever else idiots under 21 do in North Jersey on a Wednesday night.

At one point I looked around the room and noticed my friend, Al, was missing, and had been missing for some time. I spoke up.

"Guys, where'd Al go?"

At this moment, Al sprung at me from behind the doorframe in the hall. He had been waiting there, for who knows how long, for someone to mention that he was missing. His arm was outstretched towards my face, with something in his hand. Before I could see what it was, there was some salty, chemical taste in my mouth, and Al was landing on me. I pushed him off and pulled an open stick of deodorant out of my mouth. I reached out to hit him, to yell at him, or to save face in some way, but then I realized that an open, used stick of deodorant had been shoved into my mouth. I rushed to the bathroom to disinfect myself.

After boiling the inside of my mouth, I came back to the room, where everyone was calming down from laughing. The look on my face sent them back over the top. As their cackles were dying down again, one friend looked at the back of the casing.

"If ingested, contact Poison Control immediately."

There was a moment of awkward silence.

"...Sean, how much did you swallow?"

"Not much... Not much I don't think... I feel fine."

We decided it wasn't anything to seriously worry about, and if I did start feeling pain, they'd call the number immediately. We all forgot about it soon after I smacked Al in the back of the head a few times, to more great laughter.

The night eventually came to an end, and it was time to go home. This was around 2:30 in the morning. I had borrowed my parents' van and I was already out way past when they wanted it home. So I started on my way. About five minutes into the drive, I started to feel an uneasiness in my stomach. I thought nothing of it, but it persisted, and soon turned into a very sharp pain. I started to get nervous, then remembered the wording on the back of the deodorant casing:

"If ingested, contact Poison Control immediately."

Full-scale panic set on. My friend's armpit was killing me. The DNA of the armpit lice I had ingested mixed with the chemicals from the deodorant in the protein-rich, primordial enzyme soup of my gut and transformed the creatures into hideous, Sean-eating mutants.

I pulled out my phone to call Poison Control, but realized I didn't think to take their number down. So I called the next best thing I could think of: 911.

"911, what is your emergency?"

"Hi, I-- I think I've been poisoned."


"I think my friend poisoned me."

"My have your name, sir?"


"Your first name, Mr. Accidentally?"

"No, he accidentally poisoned me."

"I see. What is your name, sir?"

"Sean. Sean Curry."

"Thank you Mr. Curry. Where are you now?"

"I'm driving home."

"You're driving?"

"Yes, ma'am."

"And you've been poisoned?"

"...Yes, that's correct."

"Well, pull your vehicle over as soon as possible, sir."

"Oh... yeah. Yeah! Ok."

The next parking lot was that of the local Elks Club or VFW hall. I pulled in.

"Where are you sir?"

"The parking lot of the local Elks Club or VFW hall."

"I'm dispatching an ambulance now. An officer will be with you soon to take your statement and stay with you until medical help arrives."

"An officer?"

"Yes sir, a police officer will be--"

"--I don't really think that's nece--"

"--Standard procedure, sir."

"Ok, I'll be here."

"Would you like me to stay on the phone, sir?"

"I'll be ok, I'll get some fresh air and see if I feel better."

"Probably a good idea, sir. Sit tight."

I hung up as I opened the door and stepped out of the van to take in some fresh air and stretch my legs. As I stood up fully, my intense pain in my stomach was instantly relieved by the loudest and longest fart I have ever had in my life. It honestly went so long I was almost getting nervous, but as it ended, I felt every tense part of my body relax, and the pain in my stomach just evaporated. It was glorious.

I laughed when I thought about the the police officer on his way to deal with my developing poison situation. The instant of release and following moment of relief were cut short, however, by the realization that a police officer was on his way to deal with my developing "poison situation”.

I began to panic, trying to think of how I was going to explain this, right as the squad car pulled into parking lot. I waved as he rolled up to me and got out of the car.

"How are you doing tonight, sir?"

"Oh, hi! Fine, just fine, I--"

"--Are you the poison victim?"

"Ha, kind of, you see... I'm the one who called it in, yes."

"Where's the victim?"

"Well, it is me, I'm the 'victim', but this actually just a huge--"

"--Have you been drinking tonight, sir?"

"What? No, I haven't been drinking--"

"Are you under the influence of any illegal substances, sir?"

"No, no I haven't. Nothing crazy like that, I was just at a friend's house earlier--"

At this point, a second squad car pulled in. The second officer stepped out.

OFFICER 2: I got the APB, is this the poison victim?

OFFICER 1: Apparently.

ME: No, not a victim! I'm very much ok, I just--

OFFICER 1: Why did you call us down, then?

ME: Well, I thought I was being poisoned, but it turns out--

OFFICER 2: Wait, how did you think you were being poisoned?

ME: I was at a friend's house earlier, and my one friend played a joke on me that ended up with me possibly ingesting a small amount of deodorant.

OFFICER 2: Deodorant?

ME: Yeah, deodorant.

OFFICER 2: Is that... poisonous?

ME: Well, the back of the packaging said--

OFFICER 1: --I don't think that's poisonous.

ME: I don't think it is, either, or at least not the amount I ingested.

OFFICER 2: Then... why did you call us?

ME: Well, I panicked. You see, I was driving home and I started to feel this sharp pain--

A third squad car pulled in.

ME: --in the pit of my stomach--

OFFICER 1: Wait, start over for this guy. I don't want you to have to do this twice.

ME: Ok...

The third officer walked over.

OFFICER 2: You got the APB?

OFFICER 3: Yeah. What's going on?

OFFICER 1: Our victim here was just getting to that.

ME: So I was feeling this-

OFFICER 3: Mind starting over for me?

The officers made me start over for the third officer. So I started it again -- I was at a friend's
house, prank ended up with deodorant in my mouth, I felt a sharp pain in the pit of my stomach on my way home.

ME: So I remembered the back of the casing said to call Poison Control if any was ingested. I didn't have their number, so I called 911.

OFFICER 3: So are you poisoned?

ME: No, haha, see--

OFFICER 3: Are you still in pain?

ME: No, when I got here and parked, I got out and--

At this point two more cop cars pulled into the parking lot, bringing the number of trained law enforcement officers listening to me tell them how my friend made me fart deodorant to five.

ME: Oh god... Ok, I got out of the car and--

OFFICER 2: Wait, wait for these guys. They should hear this, too.

ME: No, you don't under--

OFFICER 1: --Is that everyone on call?

OFFICER 3: I think so. Not a lot going on tonight.

The final officers approached us, and were caught up to speed.

ME: ...So I stepped out of the car, and as I did, I...

OFFICER 2: Yeah?

ME: I... broke wind.

OFFICER 3: What?

ME: I farted. Turns out it was just gas.

OFFICER 1: You farted.

ME: Yeah. Really big misunderstanding, I didn't expect there to be all this--

The officers stared at me, silent. The looks on their faces were ones of shock, anger, and sheer bewilderment. They wondered if I really was on drugs, or really was this stupid.

ME: So, I am REALLY sorry about this, but I'm quite fine, so could I just go?

OFFICER 4: No, the ambulance has already been dispatched. We're required by the law to keep you here until the paramedics can clear you. You have to sign something.

ME: O god... so... should I just wait in the--

OFFICER 2: --Just get in your car and wait.

So I cowered in my car until the ambulance came. The officers were furious, but kept it to themselves. When the ambulance got there, I had to retell the whole story again. Surprisingly, the paramedics thought it was hysterical. They ran some quick tests- blood pressure, flashlight-in-my-eyes, etc- had me sign something, and let me go.

The next time you’re too embarrassed to tell that one story your friend keeps bugging you to, don’t be. Ask yourself if whatever it is involves your gastrointestinal system giving and ambulance and the entire on-call police force of a suburban New Jersey town reason to respond to a 911 call. It probably doesn’t. Next time you don’t want to tell that one story about you, even though you know it’s a good one, remember that it’s not worse than mine.

Smart gets home safe. Stupid gets home with a great story.

Image courtesy of Super 8 / Amblin Entertainment


Follow The IN on twitter @TheInclusive or on Facebook. Have something to say? Submit a piece and Join The Heard.

Sean Curry is a writer, funny guy, and terrific dancer. He is 26 and a quarter and next year he gets to walk all the way to the store by himself. He resides in New York City with his wife and eleven dogs, and he even has a website: