Stunt Double


One of my dad’s sayings when I was young (the first 18 years of my life) was “If you pull another stunt like that…” and some type of age appropriate (in his mind) consequence was named. The bad part was he often didn’t mention which stunt he was talking about. “Don’t look at me like you don’t know what I am talking about! Usually he was thinking of only one of the three or four potential stunts possible (I think).

Throughout my life, my risk/reward analysis system of decision making has been lopsided toward the reward side. I now have a grandson like that, I sigh and cringe while watching. The little guys hands and feet are quite a ways ahead of his thought process. May he live to see his grandkids, bless his crazy heart. I wrote about him in “Cold Cold Hands” possibly my best writing piece when I had less readers.

Last Week

One would think I have learned to play on the safe side of life. NOoooo. Being side lined with a neck injury for a couple weeks made me looking for a crack in the door to get outside and go fishing. Never mind that it was -40 F for 4 nights in a row with minimal warming in the day. Never mind the wind chill factors that might freeze ones face off in less than a minute riding on an ATV from the shop to my fishing spot on the lake. Never mind all my equipment was sitting outside in my fishing sled and froze solid. I went fishing

When my life is replayed for me on judgement day I’ve asked the Lord if he couldn’t delete this part. I actually didn’t do anything wrong but everything went wrong. Murphy showed up. You have had those times right??

I dressed in my extreme cold weather gear. The ATV started. I hooked up the fishing sled. I made it to the fishing spot. All is well! It’s -25F with wind chill -50. I’m still warm, life is good on the lake. I drink in the frozen beauty through frosted eyelashes. I am 100% giddy . I should have gone home.

The ice auger started but the throttle was stuck on idle. I found the little lever that the throttle spring was suppose to control and put it forcibly on full throttle with a pliers I found in the ATV (amazed myself at being so prepared) and started the auger again. At full throttle the auger didn’t want to drill a hole anywhere, instead it wanted to drill everywhere and tried to catch my heavy coveralls on the sides. I had visions of the auger getting away from me and going down the lake on it’s side and taking out other peoples fish houses. I finally found the other handle with the hand that pulled on the starter rope and managed to contain my wild auger by drilling a hole in the ice. As I am drilling the thought occurred to me that I couldn’t slow down the auger as it punched a hole in the lake. My thought came to fruition as the powerful auger pulled the lake water up the hole and over my coveralls and boots. I lifted up the auger out of the hole bringing the water with it over knee high and started drilling another hole immediately while cradling the motor with one arm to free up a hand to hit the “off” button. Whew, close call. I am now only 75% giddy but ready to fish.

I pitched the ice fishing shelter, pulled out my propane tank and tried to hook up my heater, The coupler was froze, it wouldn’t turn so I took out a match and heated the brass with a match. a quarter turn and it was froze again. I tried and tried but it was a no-go fishing without heat situation. Something caught my eye as I was putting the heater away, the coupler O ring seal was broken. It would have leaked propane gas if I had connected it and upon lighting a match the fish house could have burst into flames and burned down. Whew…close one. I stowed my potential flame thrower in the sled. I am now 50 % giddy.

I fished for an hour in the fish house with no heat, no fish, the wind picking up and my ice fishing hole as well as my fishing line freezing up. I pack up to go home. The ATV grinds over but will not start. I try again and again. I pause and switch it on and off. It’s colder. Finally as the battery is dying and it’s on it’s last juices it actually starts and I can drive home. I arrive home with face frozen, parts of me cold and no fish. I am now 0% giddy.

I parked the ATV and sled in the shop and walked on our icy drive to the house. I spotted my wife bringing our dog around the bend from a short walk and decided to hunch low and take a couple of skips sideways to get a reaction out of the dog (you know, growl at me or something and then wag his tail in pure admiration). I had my new extreme boots on, which are not made or recommended for anything but walking or sitting in extreme weather, they caught on each other and I fell awkwardly. I landed wrong and cracked a rib. -25% on giddy-ness now. I wish it were not a familiar feeling. My wife knew where to look for the elastic band used for broken ribs.


So, here I sit looking out the window again drinking coffee and other hot beverages with the camera handy, lots of reading, thinking time in these much warmer drab days. There has not been much to shoot but the evening moons and a stray owl. I would laugh at my comedy of errors but it hurts to laugh.

No one one gets a stunt double in living out this physical life. Sometimes I sure could use one. I live mostly fearless even in these troubled times. Why? God has his finger on my life’s buttons, not a virus, not the governments decisions and not what’s not in the bank account. I realized in all my recent mishaps that I actually have a stunt double for my appropriate consequence with God, who is the central part of my life. All so I could know Him and have a relationship with Jesus Christ who died and then beat death, a stunt I know I cannot do. I have chosen to accept that stunt double in my place. 100% giddy over that!

Getting fishing again? A cautious 15% giddy and gaining. Meanwhile there’s moon watching and the owl poses nearby.


Lines cut from scenes:

“Am I in heaven?” “No, you are in whoville” OK wrong line in wrong movie.

Daughter: “You are too hurt to go fishing!” Me: “hold my coffee”

Published by Gary Fultz

Outdoors Man, Hunter, Fisherman, Guide, Writer / Author, Photographer, Public Speaker, Musician, Song Writer, Story Teller, Follower Of Jesus. Love God and family and total strangers

38 thoughts on “Stunt Double

  1. Gary, you had me laughing! I even read “Cold, Cold Hands” again before finishing this post because I could see you were on a roll. Priceless. Having spent a few days and nights in cold cold arctic weather (-40F) while in the military, I was on the verge of having flashbacks there for a second or two, but I thankfully pushed them away. Mental note to remember, at -25F just about everything stops working and that includes us. I loved the “giddy” percentages. You should put that into a book with pictures for your grandson because there is something warm and beautiful about your tale. And I wouldn’t want to actually wager on it, but I’m pretty sure Jesus was smiling. Thank you for sharing. Blessing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Bruce. Your comment warmed my heart. It was actually painful to type while chuckling at myself. Yes, anything below -10 in my book has a chance of not working or breaking down. I know about flashbacks, glad you kept them in their box.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. And you lived to share the tale!
    I’m guessing you have lots of tales up that cold, cold arm of yours (I liked the one about your grandson, and I’m glad to read he’s still alive).
    Take care. I don’t want to read someone else’s story on this blog about how you didn’t make it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’re a bad boy Gary! And, I’m sure, you’ll never learn you lessons. Thankfully, you have a Good Shepherd watching over you! I know whereof I speak brother. We are toast without Him! 😁
    My prayers go out to our Jesus for your complete recovery!
    Love you brother,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know Ron, but I thought the fish might be biting, the auger and the heater would work and the ATV would start. Now I know that I can’t dance with big boots on. Thanks for prayers. I fixed the typo at my end,

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Gary,
    Your comments are as entertaining to read as your story! Of course, you have some wonderful friends here chiming in with wonderful insights! Now I’m going back to read β€œCold Cold Hands”. I’d forgotten the β€œstunt” line my own father used when framing our shenanigans as kids. That warmed my heart as much as your story. I agree with the others, put this story in a book with photos! Beautiful work!


    1. Thanks Deb. Yes, memories of dads word usage: precious. Dads definition of a stunt was doing something way out of bounds. He would make us think that he knew way more than he actually did, that he could read our minds so we could never get away with it. He must have realized many times over that we were just like him at that age. Later in life I would know the feeling.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Gary, sorry for your cracked rib, but I got several chuckles from your post. Your comments about your father’s sayings struck a chord. My Dad was always “at the ready” to offer critical comments although I wasn’t allowed to comment when he did something dumb.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Tom. I watched the different parent child dance on discipline with my friends. Of all of them they pretty much agreed I got the best deal. It was a sobering thot. I dont ever remembering being critical of my folks. Their dumb stuff was usually admitted in front of us so we knew what a confession was and forgiveness was modeled. I was more in fear of them finding out the rest of my continuous misdeeds.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great tale Gary with a touch of comedy and a good ending, you made it safely home. I like what you said about being fearless because God in in control of your life. Amen!
    Hope you are not in too much pain. Get better soon,

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I wish I could G.W. He is waiting on surgery right now for both artificial knees and learn to walk again.
        I told him we could drive the car down to the lake and he could fish out of the window.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ooops. my bad. Sounds like the Border waters is a dangerous habitat. Two knee replacements, cracked rib, and an injured neck. Almost frost bite from artic bite. wild ice augur goes into the ice, filets fish, comes back up tries to filet you, ATV takes a nap while your adrenalin speeds up to keep you from freezing while you wait.
        Yep. And you tell a story so well you make it sound like a fun adventure. Just a walk in the park. But it IS a good adventure story, so you got that going for you! And sitting here nice an’ warm I’m just chuckling. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thanks G.W.
        Well it’s’ not my knees it’s a friends. I can still ski the mountains (I might be thinking I’m younger than reality but…) All I have is a bad neck and rib. Now that the weather is warming up I’m getting wistful about another adventure, only a tame one.
        There is something to taking everything as an adventure. Some day we will look back on our lives and see the adventure of it all. I guess I’m wired for it, including making it seem like everyone should get in on it.
        Now your explanation of my story sounds like I’m living on the wild side, LOL

        Liked by 1 person

      4. LOL. I did stretch it a little bit. But just enough to stretch it into a yarn to be recited to children for generations to come. You will be a small boys legendary adventurer. Maybe even with your own action figures!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Now that I am done reading and know that you are ok (well minus the rib) I can envision this as an episode featuring Tim Conway in Dorf Goes Fishing. The episode would be titled “Ice Capades.” Though in all seriousness, I do believe your experience illustrates Psalm 139:2-5.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Sara. One would think I have had enough crazy experiences to anticipate unintended consequences and nip them in the bud, but Noooo.
      I’m all good now except the rib may take up to 4 months to be back to normal (according to an expert) which means in my optimistic brain I should be good to go in a couple of weeks.(eye roll).

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Stephanie, No not long. I have talked a nephew into going fishing with me tomorrow. He will pretty much do everything. Set up portable fish house, drill holes, and any heavy lifting. I will guide him to the spot where fish tend to hang out and I am supplying the bait. I am also letting him use my camping gear for a wilderness trip so more than fair….I’m thinking 3 or 4 fishing trips worth?


  8. Love the photo of the owl! You do not lead a boring life! “Cold Cold Hands”, was a great post. You are so right; the fire of love that Christ has lit within our hearts is meant to stay warm. A life well lived is one in which we tend to that firelight and share it with those around us.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks so much Linda. The owls hang around here and hoot loudly at night. They sound meaner than in the movies for some reason. and, “Fire”. There are so many analogies and illustrations to draw from fire beyond roasting marshmallows and making smores, with a side of hot chocolate or cider.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh my. This adventure could have turned into a nightmare at several junctions. YIKES! Tame adventures from now on sound like a good idea, don’t you think.? Your wife and grandson will thank you. Hey! You could become known for your WISDOM, Gary, instead of someone in need of a stunt double! How does that sound?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes Nancy, becoming known for wisdom sounds quite attractive. 1st: The problem with gaining wisdom is it’s similarity to gaining patience for those of us who learn by doing. So I am a little wiser. 2nd: I have never been able to be like the owl just sitting there saying nothing but looking wise. 3rd: the nicest but least understood verse in the bible for me has been James 1:5 where I am supposed to ask for wisdom. This does really well in my head and even on my lips (and well meaning others) in prayer meetings, but has not been translated into the (yet unreached) language my feet and hands understand very well.( I am being somewhat facetious here).
      On the other hand, I have outlived my parents predictions of my life expectancy by over 50 years now. Sigh…


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