June 3, 1985. That was the day I survived my encounter with the Hulk.
How could I forget that when I thought for sure that I would not live to see my birthday in 2 weeks?
I was the only junior with a driver's licence only because my mother decided to start me in 7th grade instead of 8th grade after I graduated from a school for the deaf. That made me a hot commodity with my friends and I was more than happy to drive them around because naively, I thought this was a good way to score chicks.
I was driving my friend Jack* home and I did a coasting stop (where you don't touch the pedals at all) behind a car at a red light on an upward slope of a hill...and braked...or so I thought. I made the classic blunder of not realizing which pedal I was pressing on.
(foot presses down, engine revs, *thunk!*)
The driver looked back at me through the rearview mirror and motioned with his hand, pointing at a convenience store. I held up my hand and nodded.
We pulled into the parking lot and the Hulk emerged. Not the green-skinned, barely clad pissed-off type. No. He was HUGE - not obese...but MUSCLED. In my testosterone-fuled mind, he looked to be 6 feet 6 inches tall with 250 pounds of muscles packed on his frame.
He finally arrived at my window, leaned down to look at me better, paused, and cocked his head a little...as if I had stumped him...and he said, "Are you John*?"
I started thinking rapidly..."If I say yes, will he beat me up? If I say no, will he beat me up?"
Before I could answer the Hulk, my friend Jack* jumped in with an affirmation to my identity. I looked at Jack* in shock...how could he betray me?!? Before I could say something to my friend about getting his ride revoked permanently, I realized I still had the Hulk to deal with and I looked back at him.
Then...the Hulk inexplicably said, "Never mind. It's okay." and walked back to his car. Jack* and I looked at each other in disbelief. I looked at the Hulk's car uncomprehendingly, and then the car drove off. I looked back at Jack* and said, "What the bleep was that?!?" Jack* shrugged.
The mystery was solved 2 days later when I visited my dad. He casually asked me how my driving experience had been so far.
"Fine, still learning."
"Good. No problem with your car?"
"Other than the steering wheel shaking at 60 mph, no."
"Ah yeah. Any accident so far?"
I didn't want to tell him the truth - "Hm, no."
That's when I got suspicious - "Come on, Dad. How did you know?"
He grinned and said, "You don't know who you hit two days ago?"
I told him that I didn't recognize the guy and my dad laughed.
"Dad, who was it? The driver was huge. Who?"
"You really didn't know who?"
"No! Tell me!"
"That was our neighbor's son, Larry*."
Now I know who the guy was but...how could I when I was THIS CLOSE to peeing in my pants at the sight of the Hulk?
*Names changed to protect the inoccent parties. ;p