I ran into an old cowboy friend of mine at the local livestock auction barn last week. I could hardly recognize him with his arm in a sling, two swollen and black eyes, and a hitch in his get-along that was noticeably worse than his normal gait.
“What in the world happened to you?” I asked half jokingly. “Did a jealous husband or boyfriend finally catch you?”
“Very funny,” he drawled. “Sit down if you’ve got a few minutes and I’ll bring you up to speed.” I sat down beside him as the auctioneer chanted over the speaker system.
Roy Lee began his story by asking me if I’d been hearing on the news about all the problems with a certain automobile manufacturer and their problems with sudden acceleration and the inability to stop. I assured him that you would have to have lived in a cave with Osama Bin Laden not to have heard all the accusations flying around the country by all the people (and their lawyers) who claim to have had these problems.
“Well, put me into that same group!” he announced. 
I was stunned, as he continued.
“I had just started up the lane to the highway when the acceleration happened. I want you to know the G-force just about ripped my head off. I’ve never had that kind of sensation in my entire life. Jerry, it was just awful.” 
I could tell Roy Lee was terrified simply by the way his voice trembled as he talked.
“The dust was boiling up behind me as the speed increased. After the initial shock passed, I began to try everything imaginable to slow down, but nothing worked. I could see the cattle guard appearing at the end of the lane and I knew I had to do something – and fast. If you’ll remember, the lane to my house tees with the county road and there’s about an eight-foot embankment at the tee. All I could think about was the upcoming impact, ‘cause there was gonna be no way I could turn on the county road at the speed I was going.”
Once again, I stared at his arm in a cast and the bruised and swollen eyes that may have told the end of the story. “Tell me, Roy Lee, what finally happened?”
There was a bit of a pause before he concluded the story. “Well, I really can’t say with absolute certainty. I woke up on the side of that embankment with my arm twisted around to the back of my head. I was bleeding out both nostrils and my mouth.” 
At that point, Roy Lee stuck his finger in the corner of his mouth and pulled back his cheek to show me the two missing teeth, right behind his chaw of tobacco.
“So it threw you clear out?” I asked.
“It must have,” he surmised. “I was just lucky that a neighbor happened by shortly afterwards and rushed me to the ER where they kinda put me back together.”
Amazed at his story, I just had to ask, “Are you going to get a lawyer and sue Toyota?”
“Toyota!” he screamed. “I wouldn’t be caught dead driving a foreign vehicle.  If I do get a lawyer, we’re gonna sue the pants off the American Quarter Horse Association for registering that sorry-excuse-for-a-horse that did this to me!”    
Jerry Crownover farms in Lawrence County. He is a former professor of Agriculture Education at Missouri State University, and is an author and professional speaker. To contact Jerry, go to www.ozarksfn.com and click on ‘Contact Us.’


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