Hopefully your number won’t be up too soon

Grant McGee

Grant McGee

By Grant McGee

Local columnist

Did you ever hear that saying, “Well I guess their number wasn’t up”?

I can remember the first time I heard the phrase.

I was just a kid. My mom and dad were getting ready to go on another trip. They were always going on trips. They’d go to a convention over there or a vacation some other place.

This particular time I told my mom I didn’t like it that they were off on a jet again.

“What if the plane crashes?” I asked.

“Then that means our numbers were up,” she said.

“Who gives you your number?” I asked.

“That’s a saying,” she laughed.

“So what about all the other people on the plane?” I asked.

“It means their numbers are up, too,” she said.

Years later I thought of the idea of whether a person’s number was up or not while watching the clean-up of a big wreck.

An 18-wheeler loaded with rock came rocketing down a steep grade into a river valley. The truck hit a patch of ice right at the beginning of the bridge over the river. The whole rig broke through the guardrails and plummeted about 100 feet into the shallow river.

For the cleanup a mobile crane was brought in from a big city. They were going to use it to pull the wreck from the river.

This was big entertainment for a small town so a bunch of us went down to the river to watch.

As the big crane was lifting the flattened cab up a guy spoke up.

“And would you believe the driver walked away from that?” said the man. “Waded through the water and went and waited on the shore. He had a couple of broken ribs and was cut up but he was OK.”

“Well Lord have mercy,” said a woman standing nearby. “I reckon his number wasn’t up that day.”
So here’s hoping your number doesn’t come up for a long, long time.

Grant McGee is a long-time broadcaster and former truck driver who rides bicycles and likes to talk about his many adventures on the road of life. Contact him at his blog: grantmcgeewrites.com.