I remember a former carpenter/framer, named Stan, whom I worked with many years ago. Stan was a dedicated, hard-working contractor who framed over eight houses a year. He was a short, five foot six, 160lbs, quick-witted fellow who bordered on the wild and crazy side sometimes.
He told me a story regarding his time in the Canadian Armed Forces when he had been stationed in Cyprus. The two local Cyprus factions were continually at odds with each other, and Stan's peace-keeping unit was there to keep things under control.
There he was on top of an electrical pole doing some maintenance work one evening, when a drunken local revolutionary fired a shot at Stan with his rifle. Stan immediately roared down at the fellow: "If you shoot me, so help me I'll make damn sure I drop dead right on top of you, you drunken fool" And with that, the threatening fellow laughed as he sauntered off.
Another, crazy incident which Stan had related to me during one of our daily coffee-break sessions, regarded an evening dinner party which got out of hand. Even though Stan was short, his hands, wrists and arms had built up an amazing strength from years of wielding a heavy claw hammer and framing materials. At the party some big, tall businessman kept harassing and pestering Stan to have him an arm wrestling match. Stan is a rather subdued and sober fellow in the company of strangers, and so he attempted to quietly reason with this boisterous fellow, insinuating to him that it wasn't a good idea.
Stan's attempts to put the arrogant, office worker off weren't successful. The fellow just wouldn't let up until Stan agreed to participate in an arm-wrestle. Needless to say, the party quickly came to an end when Stan broke the fellow's wrist in the match and the guy had to be rushed off to the emergency ward.
Meeting with Stan in a coffee shop a few years back, had him recalling his latest fishing experience off the coast of Vancouver Island. Stan had his line trolling off the side of his small fishing craft for a few hours when he finally felt a 'big one' on the line. After battling with his catch for over half an hour and gradually playing the fish out, Stan began to slowly reel the strong salmon close to the boat. As he was pulling the 60 lb salmon up from the water, a huge killer whale suddenly rose above the surface and grabbed a hold of the large salmon on the end of Stan's fishing line with his teeth! In efforts to regain possession of the salmon, Stan started cursing and swearing as he engaged in a splashing, tug-of-war with the killer whale! Well this encounter with the whale was not one Stan could win. The killer whale, with half the salmon in his mouth, casually dove back under the water and departed!
I'm sure Stan was lucky to have retrieved even half the salmon without his boat being upended. But in Stan's mind he hadn't wanted to share any of his catch! Of course, such encounters are not encouraged by the local wildlife and fisheries department. But this story just had to be told.