Day 13: How I Almost Died With Peyton Manning (No, Really... Sort Of)

10:34 PM

Funny story: when I was about... seven or eight years old, Peyton Manning and I almost died together.

To clarify, my grandparents' house backed up to his grandparents' house, and it wasn't uncommon for the neighborhood kids to wander around together, sometimes riding bikes, sometimes playing football. (Eli has always been a sore loser, by the way, and Peyton has always been loud).

Back to the part where we almost died. There was a creek near the house, and we decided to go looking for frogs. What we found? Was not a frog. 

The creek had mostly dried up by that point, exposing jagged rocks and gnarled tree roots. Peyton and I, being the bravest -- and the stupidest -- picked our way down into what felt like the Grand Canyon at the time but was really an incline of maybe three feet. We explored for a bit, Eli and another friend, Emily, peering in after us. 

That's when we heard it. Tch tch tch. Tch tch tch. It grew progressively louder with each step we took.

The tch-ing is what a rattlesnake sounds like up close. It doesn't sound cute or playful. No matter how beautiful they are, they mean business. 

I'll definitely give Peyton his props. He very slowly nudged me behind him and said, "Don't move." 

Bitch, please! Like I was gonna run! (I was totally gonna run).

Emily took off running back toward the houses; Eli stood there, frozen in terror, thinking his big brother was about to get bitten by a Monster Snake from the Pits of Hell. 

And then, anticlimactic as you please, my mom came out and shot the snake. 

I later found out that Emily knocked on the door and asked my mom if she could have a butcher knife because Peyton was about to kill a snake that was shaking its tail a lot. No wonder she came running with a gun. 

Almost twenty-five years have gone by since that day. Emily died in a car accident one New Year's Eve. Peyton and Eli are, well, Peyton and Eli. I'm a crazy cat-mom who just had the pleasure of watching the boy I almost died with all grown up and winning his second Super Bowl ring. 

Congrats, you big jerk. 

P.S. Watch out for snakes. 

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4 comments

  1. Really great experience. Marco

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    Replies
    1. It didn't feel that way at the time, especially not for my poor mother, haha. I still love snakes.

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