Reuben and Me
Reuben and Me. This photo was taken a few weeks ago.

Okay, several of you have been asking me to hurry up and tell the story of the mountaintop rescue already.

It happened more than a week and a half ago, and I chose to share my health journey posts first, mostly because I wanted some time to think about everything that happened before I wrote about it.

I also think this story has brought out a lot of additional perspective for me when it comes to health, stupidity, and safety, and I didn’t want to talk about that until I discussed where I was currently at mentally and health-wise when the rescue happened.

The story I’m about to tell you was a crazy one, and if I wrote it all in one post it would be about twenty pages long. So, I decided I’m going to split it up into several different posts and tell it to you that way. It’s the first time I’ve spread a story out over multiple days. Hopefully it keeps you a little less zoned out than usual.

And while the brunt of this story happened on Sunday the 24th, it really started on Saturday night when I threw a slow pitch to karma and set her up for the home run of the century.

I had several friends over at my house for a little Saturday night birthday sleepover for my sister (yeah, we’re all still teenagers like that). The next morning, three of us were planning to get up early and go on a fairly difficult hike.

Reuben (who you’ll hear much more about in this story) dropped the bomb at about 10 PM. “So, Johnny Lupita is coming on the hike tomorrow.”

Johnny Lupita is someone I’ve met briefly a couple times. The last time I saw this person (Johnny Lupita is not his/her real name) was when we were going to do this same hike. This person was out of shape and a smoker of 13 years. Hiking was an AWESOME idea, but not this particular hike. So, we ended up changing it last minute and doing something a lot simpler so that Johnny Lupita could join us.

But this time, I made sure Rueben knew early on in the week that we were doing the difficult hike. “AND IT’S GONNA BE A TOUGHIE!” I said a few different times. I tried really hard to emphasize its difficulty over and over because I wanted to make sure that an invitation wasn’t extended to Johnny Lupita. I know, I’m a jerk.

But you see, Reuben is quite literally one of the nicest people you or I will ever meet. He has a soul of gold. And when Johnny Lupita told him he/she wanted to go, Reuben said, “sure!”

I love you Reubs.

But that wasn’t cool.

And when he told me on Saturday night that Johnny Lupita was coming, I had to put my foot down. “I’m sorry, but you have to withdraw the invitation. There’s no way Johnny Lupita will make it.”

He looked at me like I’d smacked him in the side of the face with a rotting fish. “I think it’ll be fine,” he said.

I clenched my teeth, not wanting to miss out on this hike again. “Reuben, I promise you… if Johnny Lupita comes, this hike will end in search and rescue.”

I might as well have handed the catapult lever to karma and climbed inside the sling.

Murphy wrote an entire law about that moment.

And why did I not think about knocking on any wood?

I “debated” with Reuben for the next half hour about it, and finally I won. He had to bite the bullet and tell Johnny Lupita that the hike was off.

I assured him that it was safer that way. It was the right thing to do. And sometimes it sucks being the mean one, but it sucks more to be the irresponsible one that gets somebody killed because being the mean one is no fun. You know… lots of rationalization about why it was okay to be a jerk-wad.


Karma doesn’t like jerk-wads.

And the next day I would find that out the hard way.


Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

PS. Has trying to be the rational person ever invited karma your way? Has being a “responsible jerk-wad” ever backfired on you?