The great escape

Many of you probably remember the movie “The Great Escape” produced back in 1963 and had a star-studded cast like no other films before or since. Steve McQueen was the main protagonist in the movie and his motorcycle stunts are still talked about today.

He was all man for sure and always did most of his own stunts in any film he was in. Tragically he died at age 50 and I guess the old saying “only the good die young” was true in his case, at least.

This past weekend just so happened to be Grand #1’s birthday and we celebrated all weekend long. Saturday she felt the urge to get poor old Grandpa up on a pair of roller skates at the local rink. It had been about two years since the last time I went with the grands and way back then I did pretty good. This time however was a horse of a different color. I was shaky, wobbly, and just could not seem to get the hang of it. About my third trip around the rink my wrist began to ache, and I was reminded of when I fell on the jetty at South Padre and how bad that hurt. This sent me to the sidelines as Ol’ Dutch is in the middle of building a house and I cannot afford to be hurt. Now before you make too much fun of me for quitting like that, let me tell you that soon my son Bubs also took the bench as he said he could not afford to be hurt either.

Of course, his wife Tinkerbell the dancer, skated forward and backward and sideways all over that rink and laughed at us for our cowardice.

Right out of Shakespeare however comes some wisdom that addresses those actions, and a slight warping of the actual quote says, “discretion is the better part of valor.” Meaning don’t be brave and skate and get hurt trying to look cool. So, we survived without any pain and even Miss Trixie skated until all the wild rollers drove her to the sidelines with their roller derby, bumper car skating techniques.

The next day meant more birthday fun and we went to an Escape Room. Now for those of you that do not know what that is you basically pay a lotta money to be locked in a room to solve puzzles to get out. I know, right? Grand #1 chose the Mad Scientist experience and soon we were all locked in a tiny room trying to solve a mystery about some virus and needing to find the antidote, so we didn't all die. We were given one hour to figure it out and they all dove into it like lemmings over the proverbial cliff. They scurried around like rats in a sinking ship all the while a running clock showed us just how much time we had left to solve the mystery.

Cooper and I sat over on a chair and watched the madness as they tried to unravel the clues. They were pretty good at it and Miss Trixie dove in like the senior crowd at the local buffet. She loved it. Finally with four minutes to spare they found the last clue and got us out of the room just in time to miss being infected by the virus and all dying a miserable death.

Toward the end of the experience when we feared time would run out, Grand #1 came and sat on my lap and told me goodbye and we fake cried about our failing to solve the puzzle and our impending death. She is always good for a laugh for sure. And true to her nature to cheat at games, she always wanted to hit the button on the wall for tips on progress.

If you get a chance to go to one of these rooms for your own “great escape” my suggestion is don’t. It's too much like detention in high school where you have to perform certain tasks to gain your freedom. You can thank me later.


Kevin Kirkpatrick and his Yorkie, Cooper, fish, hunt, ATV, or hike daily. His email is [email protected]. Additional news can be found at