Mistaken Identity – Empty Nest, by Curt Swarm


I used to go on long runs on Sunday mornings. This was when we lived in Windsor, Colorado. I’d start off from our front porch and run east and north on the highways to Severance, population 325 and home of Bruce’s Bar (another story), then back west and south for home, jiggity jog. It was the old Windsor Half Marathon course (13.1 miles) and was a good combination of gently rolling hills and fast flats. The Windsor Half Marathon was the first race I ever ran, so it was a friendly reminder of where my running started. During that race I passed up our family doctor and thought, “Humph, beat my doc.”
Early morning long runs can be rewarding and full of surprises. Anywho, the way back into town was a nice downhill, and if the wind was at my back, I’d pop out the imaginary sail and glide into town. I was on the Windsor Volunteer Fire Department, and I would often see one of my fire department buddies on the highway. I could tell his blue Dodge Ram pick-up truck a mile away. If he was coming toward me, I would pretend I was jumping out in front of him and he would swerve like he was going to hit me. It was just a friendly, “howdy,” no harm no foul.
I was seeing a chiropractor then and he cured me of life-long migraine headaches. It was like a miracle. No, it was a miracle. I’d been to every medical doctor and specialist and taken every test in the book and they hadn’t even diagnosed the headaches as “migraine.” In fact, they had told me the problem was, “In my head.” Ha ha, get it? The chiro wouldn’t accept this and kept working and working, even using acupuncture, until the migraines just disappeared. After this, I stopped calling him a “chiroquacker” and we became fast friends.
I was in his office one afternoon and he was white as a sheet. I asked him what was the matter, and he said someone had just tried to kill him. He was a jogger also, and liked to run during his lunch break. He had been running along, he said, and some maniac in a blue pick-up truck tried to run him over. He had to dive into the ditch. He said the look on the driver’s face was the look of murder. He could see the gleam in his eye. He reported the incident to the sheriff, but there was nothing that could be done without a license number.
The story had a certain ring to it, but I didn’t make the connection. That night, however, at the fire department meeting, my fire department buddy said he had something to tell me. He had been driving along and he saw someone who he thought was me running toward him. He swerved at the jogger, and the jogger dived into the ditch. His wife was with him and she hollered, “That’s not Curt!” Uh, oh. He drove off feeling silly.
I told him that was my chiropractor and I had just been in to see him that afternoon, and he told me someone had tried to kill him. My fire department buddy and I realized we’d better stop playing our little game. I told him I would explain it to the chiropractor and my buddy asked me to apologize for him.
I went to the chiropractor and told him the story, about how my buddy and I liked to play chicken when I was out jogging, and that he had swerved at someone he thought was me, and the person dived into the ditch.
The chiro didn’t believe me and said, “No, the look on this guy’s face was a look I will never forget. It was the look of murder and he was, without a doubt, trying to get me.”
I never did convince the chiro otherwise. However, I stopped jumping out in front of vehicles, and my fire department buddy stopped swerving at joggers. The chiropractor had cured me of migraine headaches, and I cured him of jogging at noon. He put white sunblock on his nose anyway, and it made him look stupid.

Have a good story? Call or text Curt Swarm in Mt. Pleasant at 319-217-0526, email him at curtswarm@yahoo.com or visit his website at www.empty-nest-words-photos-and-frames.com.

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