Does This Seem Strange To You?

The Lion Tamer

A few days ago, Kyle was walking along South Congress to grab a sandwich between meetings.  He encountered a man walking the opposite direction.  Each found the other directly in his path.  Kyle shifted to one side, apologized, and said ‘excuse me.’  So the guy shoved him into the Subway window with both hands.  Hard.  So that the window shook violently.  Then he proceeded to begin slapping Kyle and push him around.  He even left a hand imprint on Kyle’s cheek before the shock wore off and Kyle began to react.  Kyle pushed him back, two guys came out of Subway to assist him, and the guy took off running.

The Accountant

Kyle and his two new friends chased the troublemaker for a block or so.  If a stranger pushes you around and shows volatile and aggressive tendencies, a citizen’s arrest is the obvious solution, right?  Thankfully, the guy was as quick at sprinting as he was at starting a street brawl.  Kyle gave up the chase after a block and a half and gave the troublemaker’s description to building security.  The finale is that as Kyle entered the elevator—shaken but sandwich still safely in hand—the occupants asked incredulously, ‘What happened to you?!’  He had been slapped hard enough that red fingerprints streaked across his cheek.

This little encounter got me to thinking about a number of other strange encounters.  Unusual things happen to Kyle.  Maybe it is because he is often working crazy hours and heading home past midnight.  Or maybe he just brings these kinds of things out by his very presence.  Don’t believe me?  This calls for a special birthday edition list:

  1. The Robbery: Kyle ran out of gas while driving home past 1am after a late night at the Houston office.  While walking—in his suit—to find an open gas station in a bad neighborhood, he was held up at gunpoint.  A sawed-off shotgun inches from his forehead, four young guys demanded his wallet.  He gave it to them.  It contained $1 in cash.  Thankfully, the men didn’t kill Kyle at this point.  A jogger found the wallet, with a few cards missing, the next morning and returned it to Kyle.
  2. The Arrest: Kyle was driving home from another very late night at work.  A car, apparently driven by a drunk driver, hit (and totaled) Kyle’s car.  He had run a red light before plowing into our Jetta (which I’ll come back to in a moment) and speeding away.  When the police arrived, they assessed the situation, took a statement from Kyle, and decided not to take him to the hospital.  In the interim, they discovered that Kyle had a warrant for his arrest due to many unpaid parking tickets.  So they booked him.  I had to awaken my seven-year-old daughter to take her down the Houston courthouse around 2am to bail her dad out of jail.  Good times.
  3. The Horn Malfunction: The Jetta was the first car we bought together after Kyle and I got married.  (The Ford Escort he had when we got married burned up on the side of the road as I held two year old Torey in my arms…But that is a story for another day).  Before the Jetta’s sad demise at the hand of the hit and run driver just mentioned, it had lived a long and fruitful life.  However, it did develop this little problem in its later years.  The horn had a short in it.  It would just randomly begin sounding at various times until Kyle could rip the top of the steering wheel and separate the wires.  The effect was as if Kyle was laying on the horn.  This happened in our neighborhood, at random intervals in traffic, and –my favorite—parking garages.  Classic.
  4. The Soldier: Our Toyota Corolla was hit head on by a drunken 18-year-old who was about to enter basic training.  His aunt (see car behind teen) bought him the beer and was following him to a local country and western bar when he pulled out in front of the three McDaniel’s returning home from getting ice cream.  The breath knocked out of us, we felt for blood and broken bones, Kyle looked up to see the driver emerge.  Before confirming if he hurt or killed anyone, the young man gathered all beer from his car and threw it into the ditch.  He was uninsured.  Of course.  [No McDaniel’s—including 5-year-old Torey—were injured.]

    The Snacker

  5. The Apricots: I bought some healthy snacks for Kyle to have at work to replace junk like twizzlers and dr. pepper.  These included mixed nuts, fresh fruit, some crackers I think, and an economy sized bag of dried apricots.  Kyle really enjoyed the apricots.  He felt good about snacking on them.  They were healthy.  Good for him.  Before he knew it, he had downed the entire bag.  Economy sized. About an hour later, the pain began.  About 30 minutes after that, staying at the office became problematic.  Conundrum.  He clearly needed to exit and head home and yet really needed to remain near a bathroom.  It was a long drive home.  He took the rest of the day off.  I don’t think he has eaten an apricot since.
  6. The Luggage Tag: Kyle did a lot of traveling.  I had seen a friend use the ingenious strategy of tying a small piece of ribbon to her bags so that she could easily pick hers out of the group.  I picked a spool out of the box of ribbons I used for Torey’s hair.  It was perfect.  It was rainbow colored.  That would really make his luggage stand out.  And it did.  Kyle didn’t have trouble finding his luggage in baggage claim.  During the several years these ribbons graced his bags, he did think the invitations to dinner he began to receive from strangers at the airport were rather odd.  [Disclaimer: two kids who grew up in small town east Texas had no idea the symbolic significance of the rainbow.  I did not do it on purpose, I promise.  Would I if I had known?  Probably not.  I think.]
  7. The Deer Blind: Driving to the airport to catch a 5am flight, Kyle was leaving a voice mail for a friend detailing some ministry updates.  Without warning, Kyle began yelling his head off as two deer veered into the path of his vehicle on 360.  Sadly, both deer were hit.  Shaken, he pulled over and checked the front of the car.  Realizing it was still running, Kyle then proceeded to the airport, parked, and boarded his flight, forgetting to call his friend back.  At about 9 the next morning, said friend hit the floor of his office as he listened to the voice mail.  He hung up certain Kyle was dead.  Thankfully, he was wrong.
  8. The Sake Bomb: When I was in graduate school, my faculty sponsor/boss threw a party to welcome a new doctoral student from China.  At some point, glasses were handed out for a toast.  Kyle was across the room talking with the guest of honor and my boss while I chatted with a sweet Taiwanese fellow student.  Kyle was given instructions on how to slam the sake at the appropriate moment.  On the count of three, the whole room drank. On the count of 3.2, Kyle spewed sake on 3 or 4 professors and our new student.  Thankfully, they thought it was hilarious.  That kookie American.
  9. The Cell Phone Call: Kyle was headed back to Austin after a business trip.  He boarded the final leg of the trip in Houston Intercontinental.  He was seated next to a gentleman who was having a loud and explicit conversation with his girlfriend about the reasons he was looking forward to being reunited with her and his hopes and dreams for their evening together.  Kyle politely suggested that he end the phone call.  The gentleman demurred and continued, speaking all the louder.  Kyle intervened by taking the phone and, if memory serves, throwing it.  The two men stood and were quickly joined by a number of men—friends of Mr. Potty Mouth who were traveling with him.  Long story short: flight attendants got involved.  Mr. PM was escorted off the plane and Kyle flew home with no trouble from PM’s friends.

These are a few of the many reasons it is never boring to be married to Kyle McDaniel.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday, Kyle!  Here’s to many more strange and awkward and unintentionally hilarious years.  I love you.

{Do you have a Kyle story?  Add it to the comments!}

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9 thoughts on “Does This Seem Strange To You?

  1. Happy Birthday to my first “son”! I enjoyed reading these stories again. Fortunately, there is humor that comes out of difficulty. Unfortunately, that humor occurs only AFTER the event is past! I’m very thankful that God has protected you with a whole host of His angels, and pray that that protection continues. We love you very much!!

  2. Well, it may have been God and His angels protecting you over all of these horrific events, but it was YOU, my big brother that protected me one day. As school kids, we rode the bus home from school every day with an atrocious bully who reveled in torturing all who rode with him. To say he was mean is the understatement of the year. He would pinch, pull hair, knock your books out of your hands, basically what ever he wanted to because no one was afraid of him. One day, he made the mistake of pulling my hair when you were looking. You marched up to him, and with one swift punch layed him out on the bus floor, stunned and holding a very bloody nose! Needless to say, he never bothered me again!! Thank you Kyle, for being my guardian angel that day, and many others! I love you. And I love the “Uncle Buddy” you have become to my kids!
    Happy Birthday!
    Love
    your lil sis!

  3. Kyle…….you are unique and we love you. Somehow, these stories don’t surprise me in the least! 🙂

    I love how, no matter what the weather, when you come home or you come to our house after work, you change into shorts. Even when I am cold and can’t believe you could wear shorts, it makes perfect sense to you!

    But, best of all, it means the world to us to have you as our dear and loyal friend! We celebrate your life today and thank God for you.

    Much love,
    Jan and Doug

  4. Kyle–you are one of the most important people I know…I would not be where I am today if I hadn’t met you. If you recall, the journey that ended when I first met you and Terra began in the back of a toyota sedan driving through the desserts of Namibia. Some people might hear the story and call it chance, but they don’t know God well enough. Thanks for being a solid man of God that I can call for wisdom, encouragement, and prayer.

  5. Kyle,
    You always were a man of action.
    1) You worked too many hours.
    2) Pay your parking tickets.
    3) Assume Terra didn’t drive during that period – good choice.
    4) Thank God he spared your family.
    5) . . . Never mind.
    6) Possibly a “setup”??
    7) Your Dad’s been there; done that.
    8) SOoo wish I could have seen that one.
    9) Applause!!! Way to go!!

    You always taught me more than I ever taught you. You are a strong, dedicated, wonderfully passionate man, with character and integrity. I am so proud of you.

  6. Was going to say the mo-fo still makes me laugh outloud sometimes, but JRF beat me to it.
    Good stories are worth a second mention.

    You are one of my favorite austin people, mr. kyle mcdaniel!
    Happy Birthday!
    deanna

  7. Pingback: This Year in Kyle « terra firma

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