A Chance of a Lifetime Only Comes Once « Pun Intended
Written by Bamboo Forest

Photo by agustingianni

Driving my relative to the airport, I had no idea I’d be met with an opportunity to have all my dreams fulfilled.

You know when you’re really young, you have aspirations for all kinds of professions? Don’t you remember kindergarten class when the teacher called out your name and asked you what you wanted to be?

I remember this vividly. Mrs. Hershey called on my name, “Bamboo, now what do you want to be when you grow up?”

Frank before me responded to Mrs. Hershey that he wanted to be an astronaut. Little Sally, she wanted to be a school teacher.

But when it was my turn… I wanted nothing to do with all the answers that preceded me. I said quite squarely, “I want to travel the world and have lots of adventures,” to which Mrs. Hershey grinned as if warmth somehow entered the crown of her head and filtered through everyone of her veins.

Much has changed since that day. I’m a lot taller, I’m not quite as cute and I occasionally get swarms of redness that speckle my face like red nerds that have been pulverized.

One thing has remained the same however… and that’s that my greatest dream today is the same one I had back in Kindergarten.

It’s crazy the things you think about while driving your relative to the airport!

Entering the big glass doors… we made our way to the counter where my relative had her luggage weighed. Everything was under 50 lbs… she waved goodbye… and I was on my way until something truly unexpected happened…

As I was walking toward the exit I suddenly heard what sounded like a 1,000 black jack dealers vigorously dealing a deck of cards simultaneously. Somewhat in shock, I abruptly stopped as if my feet suddenly lost their ability to move. I slowly turned my head around and saw the kiosk machine spitting out, what had to be, thousands of electronic tickets. They were flying everywhere as if being propelled by a leaf blower.

The first thing to hit me was, why is everyone standing around like zombies? Don’t they understand that my dreams are spitting out of that machine for crying out loud?!

A sudden euphoric feeling settled in the pit of my stomach as I witnessed my dreams being flung from a machine–floating through the air like little angels that came to greet me at the preordained time.

When an opportunity of a lifetime happens to you, one in which the chances of it occurring are three million to one – you don’t just stand there – you diligently respond to providence.

As if totally oblivious to everything and everyone around me… I ran with every last cell of my being toward the machine throwing up golden tickets that would alter my life forever.

As I got down on my hands and knees frantically picking up the tickets, my conscience began to intrude, for a brief couple seconds, but the promise of traveling the world unabated quickly overtook that hater of an emotion.

Gathering the tickets, a sudden dread sailed through my mind: what if they’re all the same tickets and not to varied locations? I took a very brief respite from piling and examined them. The first ticket I eyed said destination: Korea. The second, Belgium. I could now breathe again.

The frantic picking up and piling continued until I finally concluded that the mounds I made were all a two armed, two legged homosapien could carry. Getting up from my hands and knees I held the tickets to my chest like I was embracing my lover for the last time before she left to Asia.

I was outta there!

I sprinted frantically toward the exit doors; some tickets flew out of my arms as I ran–but like it mattered. I had more than enough to travel the world like a connect the dot puzzle that would never end.

I wasn’t even sure what direction I was going in. I was just running. I really believed no one short of an Olympic athlete could catch me, since I run quite regularly.

I ran and ran and ran… I don’t know how much time had passed–but the scenery was changing and I was feeling like I had just gotten away with murder; I felt elated!

My sprint started to turn into an enthusiastic jog. By now I must have been a good half mile from where I started. I was starting to feel like I was getting a new lease on life. Up until this point, all I really had was a cocky disposition and a blog named PI–neither of which really got me anywhere.

But this… this was something different. Something tangible. A new beginning, a new start… I was finally going to live the life that I could only once write about.

Without warning, I felt something no human should ever have to feel. I felt the weight of Mt. Everest ram into my side–my feet left the ground and I found myself gliding to the concrete with the weight of a tow truck attached to my side.

I hit the ground hard, my elbow skidded terribly against the sidewalk and blood started pouring out, though I was largely oblivious to it except for the sudden discoloration of all my golden tickets.

I was half in shock and half still attached to my dream of traveling the world like a shark that once bites refuses to unlock its jaws.

Slowly I got up and so did the mountain–what was before me was a heavy set African American male looking at me as I tightly clenched onto all of my tickets that were now crimson red from my vital fluids.

The following is what transpired, all recorded from a nearby security camera. Click play to listen: (Sound clip not in readeronly on post in website)

I was brought to court, pleaded insanity, and found not guilty…

Photo by NOIZE Photography

32 Responses to “A Chance of a Lifetime Only Comes Once”
  1. Hey guys. I’m really sorry for not having published a post on PI for such a long time.

    I have been tied up in court for the past two weeks and my brother only posts when I get on his back. Luckily I was found not guilty and my only punishment, per the agreement, is 500 hours of community service.

    I really screwed up this time guys. Hopefully you won’t judge me too harshly. We all make mistakes–let this one be mine.

    Good to be back!

  2. Hi Bamboo,

    It’s good to see you posting again.

    Don’t worry about being judged by me. Like you said, we all make mistakes and trust me, I’ve made my share, too. 🙂

  3. Davina says:

    Hi Bamboo Forest. Now that you’ve had a taste of being so close to your dream, perhaps you will find a way to make it happen for real. The proverbial carrot… ticket(s)… has been dangled in front of you. The message couldn’t be any clearer? 🙂 Perhaps?

    I believe there IS a reason for everything and although this was not necessarily what you would have aspired to do (when not under the influence of a dream), you will find some purpose to what happened, and not be too hard on yourself.

  4. Marelisa says:

    Hi Bamboo: Having to appear in court must have been a scary experience for you. You’re young Bamboo, you have lots of time to travel, try not to let impatience get the better of you. I’m glad you’re posting again. 🙂

  5. @ Barbara: Thanks. I’m really embarrassed about it all. Really, I never thought I would be brought to court for being unlawful. But it happened. I really did learn my lesson, though. Thanks for your support.

    @ Davina: Thank you Davina. There must be a reason for this whole ordeal; not just punishment!

    @ Marelisa: It was really surreal. I kept saying over and over again, “I’m not a criminal!”

    But, I can only blame myself. I got myself into this mess. But I’m more motivated than ever, now, to live a truly upstanding life.

    Thanks for the encouraging words. I won’t let this crap happen again! Court sucks!

  6. What a scary experience. I’m glad you’re OK.

  7. @ Vered: Thanks. It was, I suppose, just a day in the life of Bamboo Forest. Though, I think I had enough adventure for a while. And I don’t plan on committing any more felonies either.

    I’m on a new path. And I’m glad.

  8. Glad you are ok after all that. Sounds like quite a day and experience. I have to admit, the story you told was a bit amusing, but there is a right way and wrong way to fulfill your dreams.

    Glad it all worked out.

  9. @ Josh Hoff: You’re right about that. I definitely traveled the path deemed ‘the wrong way’.

    Yeah, it really did work out mostly. I’m staying out of trouble from here on out.

    Of course… I make no guarantees. If I do happen to get into more trouble, truth is, you’ll hear about it right here, in the PI Universe.

  10. Jeb says:

    (Shaking my head, air-chuckling through my nose) BF, you are hilarious. Your blog is like one of those optical illusion puzzles that make it look like stairs are climbing up, but to a lower level, or show buildings that connect with lines that go nowhere. Truth. Fiction. Real. Impossible.

    It’s all here, and I sit mesmerized by it all.

  11. @ Jeb: That’s a great and interesting compliment, to compare our blog to an optical illusion puzzle. You don’t hear that every day.

    Thanks for the good words.

  12. […] resorted to linking to their latest blog posts in this sentence; in fact, I even extended it to fit a few more in. It’s not just bloggers I want to thank though, it’s everyone. […]

  13. John says:

    Although you meant nothing by it, if you had bumped into a European American man, or an Asian American or Hispanic American, etc., would that have been central to the story?

    You bumped into a man, period.

  14. Bamboo Forest says:

    @ John: I think you’re missing the point. In writing, unlike television or film (because you actually see everything with your eyes), being descriptive is sorta the point. I wanted this character in my story to be an African American male. Is that really a bad thing?

    If your point had any validity at all, why would TV and film choose people of various backgrounds to play various roles? It’s not central to the story, so why do it? You might as well have an entire cast all of the same race.

    Of course doing so would be problematic on two counts. Firstly, it wouldn’t represent the real world. As you probably have noticed, we live in a multicultural world. And secondly, by having cast all of the same race, the story simply wouldn’t be nearly as interesting.

    But since in writing you can’t actually capture what the characters look like, as you can on film: You have to provide details like the one for which you’re criticizing.

    Are you suggesting that from here on out, that in every short story, anecdote or full fledged novel I write–that I omit mentioning the character’s background, or what they look like?

    Nonsense! I can assure you there’s nothing wrong with having an African American character in your story!

    Are you also suggesting, that if I ever shoot a short film and put it on YouTube, that I conceal the races of those playing the roles?

    Furthermore, considering the concern you’ve shown for me revealing the race of a character in my story who tackled me because I committed theft, do you also feel strongly against the fact that I revealed this person’s gender, too? I mean, the gender of the individual who tackled me isn’t really central to the story, right?

    In that case, you probably should’ve added to your comment, “You bumped into a human, period.”

    It’s important that I correct you on one point, however. I didn’t bump into anyone! On the contrary, I got side swiped and tackled by a law abiding citizen, either a security guard or police officer. He was protecting good citizens from thieves like me.

    I’m a writer, John! We give descriptive details whenever we feel it will help paint a more vivid picture. Black writers do it. White writers do it. Hispanic writers do it. Indian writers do it. Everyone of us do it!

    We all plead guilty! No contest!

    Here’s the thing: I wanted my readers to better picture in their mind’s eye what this character — who does indeed play a central role in the story — looked like. Conveying that he was African American, that he was male and that he was overweight was nothing more than adding additional detail. Absolutely nothing more.

    Seriously, your point is downright ridiculous.

  15. John says:

    This is a funny post. It was great that you got the tickets, but in the end you ran into somebody.

    I think your situation was still pretty cool. If I was there, I would have been right there with you taking all the tickets.

  16. @ John: haha… Right on. High five! Me and you would be sipping on Margaritas in Acapulco in no time flat.

  17. Sara says:

    Bamboo Forest,

    You do get yourself in trouble sometimes:~)

    Not only did you have the dream of a lifetime splashed with your own blood, had to go to court over it and then plead insanity…well, maybe that wasn’t so hard (the sound of me chuckling), but then you go and say you were tackled by an African-American man…I did notice John’s comment and your reply.

    On the other hand, this post made my day. I needed a good laugh right now. You are one the truly the funniest blogger I’ve ever read:~)

  18. @ Sara: Yeah, trouble seems to follow me wherever I go. Or do I follow it?

    Thanks for the nice words. Also… I have a funny feeling more trouble is brewing and it will be revealed here.

  19. Heya!
    I found your blog through a comment you left on pluginid:)
    I really like your writing style, very interesting! This is the first post I read and I must admit I didnt know if you were being serious or not, but good that you didnt get sentenced too harsly:)

    I have the same dream of traveling the world and having lots of adventures:)

    Keep well and until next time
    Diggy
    Upgradereality.com

    subscribed to your blog 🙂

  20. @ Diggy: Ah really? So comments do in fact drive traffic to your blog! I guess Darren Rowse was right all along.

    Thank you for the nice words. Yeah… I can survive a little bit of community service and having my records permanently record that I’m unstable.

    Ah, you’re a kindred spirit then 🙂

    Thanks for subscribing!! And seeya around 🙂

  21. Talisa says:

    Very nice blog… had fun and felt all the good energy here… Am a big fan of Dr. Wayne Dyer and saw you in his twitter. Blessings to you Bamboo Forest!

  22. Tabbie says:

    I’m dazed and confused by it all. What exactly happened here? =P
    Alas, I may never know, but someday Mr. Bamboo, in a fit of bloggerly generosity, perhaps I shall offer you a ticket to a land far far away. You can live your dream and be my travelling companion for a week or two or three (I really hate travelling alone).
    😀

  23. @ Talisa: Nice to see you hear. Dr. Wayne Dyer did give me a nice compliment :*) I’ll take it. Why… I’m practically a celebrity around here.

    @ Tabbie: That’s very nice of you :*) But it could get you in loads of trouble, I tend to attract a lot of trouble.

    Ah… Well… At least I know you, all my wonderful readers, will sit back and read about all the trouble I unfortunately tend to get myself in. And… you’ll all tell me you have my back, RIGHT?! 🙂

  24. I really enjoyed this bit. I hope all is well in Bamboo land – 500 hours? Yikes.

  25. @ Matthew: Yeah… I only have about 300 to go, right now. It’s pretty rough, but it’s better than jail time.

  26. Julian says:

    I think it was worth it for the story you get to tell afterwards Bamboo!

  27. Quite possibly, Julian. I get myself into problems and issues no mortal should.

    But I always remember the bright side: I can later share it with you wonderful folks who read my blog.

  28. T Jones says:

    Dude, you got to greedy,thats why i didnt work out. U should have swiped like a good 5-8 tickets and dipped, How are you running with tickets flying out your arms and thinking no one is watchong or pointing at you?

    Good Post tho, had me on the edge of my seat…lol

  29. This was a really interesting reading. Good that everything went ok in the end. Very nice blog by the way 😉

  30. @ T Jones: You know something… you’re rigiht: I did get too greedy : /

    @ Oscar: Thank you. We’ll be relaunching pretty soon — and will begin to post regularly when we do. I hope you can make it to the party. You’re invited 🙂

  31. You have my permission to spam my email when you’ll be relaunching this blog 😉

  32. We’ll be in touch, Oscar… We’ll be in touch.

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