Caught on video: Proof of why I’ll never be a pole dancer

image The three elements of a “Perfect Storm” came together here on the Oregon coast today:

Extremely strong winds
Heavy rain
My weak acrobatic skills.

This is always a dangerous combination. Especially when my family suggests I do something funny, like pretend the wind is lifting me off the ground. Under normal circumstance — such as sitting on the couch, completely dry and nowhere near a pole — this would not have been a problem. But as we made our way through the school parking lot fighting the wind and rain, the third element of this Perfect Storm scenario developed.

“Honey, you should do that pole thing where you lift your legs up like it’s windy,” my wife suggested. “I’ll get a picture!”
“But it really IS windy,” I replied.”
“Exactly! It’ll look even funnier!”
Naturally, my response was what you’d expect from a 47-year-old man with limited health coverage.


After taking the above photo, we all had a good laugh. Then my loving wife suggested we take it up a notch. “Hey, let’s do a video of it!”

Keep in mind that my wife and son were both remaining warm and dry in the car during all this, and that I — along with the pole — were getting wetter by the minute. I, of course, took all of this into consideration before putting my foot down and answering with an unequivocal, “OKAY!”

The first take went pretty well…

With that take safely recorded, the smart thing to do would have been to get into the car and drive home. But then I asked myself, “Would Martin Scorsese quit with one take? Would Stanley Kubrick? Sure, NOW he would. But what about before he was dead?”

The second take didn’t go quite so well..

Thanks to the rain, things didn’t get much better…

Should the police ever decide to investigate what I’m sure were numerous reports of a man attempting to commit suicide by sliding down a pole face-first into the mud, I’ll be easy to find. That’s because, in addition to the lasting impression I made on those who witnessed this event, I’m pretty sure there’s also a good impression of my face at the bottom of that pole…

(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, or Barnes & Noble.)

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

111 thoughts on “Caught on video: Proof of why I’ll never be a pole dancer”

      1. Lol! Yeah, her laugh’s pretty great. In the second one, you can hear my son crack up, which always makes me laugh.

        And as for Netflix, having her own goes without saying.

    1. Aww, Thanks 😉

      A parent who was there said his son was watching and asked, “What is that man doing?” He told his son, “Oh, that’s Ned. He’s just working.” Haha!

  1. All along I pictured you as struggling comedian making his way against all odds, breaking ground one laugh at a time, alone in the face of adversity. Now I know better, not only do you have a cheering section, you also have a crew goading you on to funnier and funnier material. I have to admit, the face plant in the mud and the hysterical background laughter combine to really make this much more amusing than you could have hoped to be on your own. Keep up the good work! And kudos to your support team!

    1. Thanks, Paul! I am very appreciative of my support team which, in addition to my family, includes you and everyone who reads this blog. My Life Insurance company isn’t as supportive, however.

    1. Thanks, Carrie 😉 On Facebook, the dad of one of my son’s friends left hilarious comment. He said they were watching at the time, and his son asked, “What is that man doing?” The dad said, “Oh that’s Ned. He’s just working.” Haha! 😉

  2. Ha ha. I’m impressed with your pole dancing in the photo but have no idea what the videos show. I guess the internet police got to them on my side of the border. Canadians don’t have too much of a sense of humor. Seems ‘the connection was reset’.

  3. Hi Ned – this post is what I find as I take my first look at your blog.
    Very hilarious (at least on this side of the internet) I have to wonder now… what will this guy not do for his craft?
    following 😉

  4. i disagree, ned! i think you should quit your day job & take the first pole dancing op you can find. people would pay good money to watch you perform that live!

    1. OMG Robyn. I can’t breathe…
      For The Lord sakes…if he couldn’t stay up on that pole as a firefighter, he sure lord might not be able to hook up a hose …I’m jsut sayn..the videos sure do add a more vigilant act.
      I really think I coulda swiped my card once I was done with all my cash tho..

      1. Bahahahaaa Lisa – I was trying to imagine the speed & dexterity Ned said you’d need for the cash, let alone a swipe!
        …and when I saw the second video… well! Then picturing a similar result with the fire pole. Oh man, this was all way too funny! Had to wipe away tears!!!

        1. Yeah. And to think there you and I were all on twitter posing him off as a strip tease. Hose and all. That being said, Ida paid more money to see him oil himself down just for the fall. HAD HIS HOSE HOT THAT POLE…OMG da heard me from here…

  5. I thought that this must be the result of hours and hours of practice of sliding down a metal pole. But then I remembered that you’re also a firefighter, and it all started to make sense.

    1. Unfortunately, only one our four children was with us — one of our two sons — and you can here him laugh out loud in the first “fail,” which totally cracks me up whenever I hear it. I can only imagine a van-load would’ve sounded like!

  6. I am not sure what is funnier Ned, watching you do a face plant or listening to your wife’s fits of laughter as she summons you to make another attempt! Good effort buddy! Good effort!

    1. Lol! I know she was only trying to get my best performance. …Right?

      When it stops raining here in Oregon (like in June) I’ll do it again on a dry pole to save my dignity. Or at least recover a portion of it 😉

  7. it is good that you have the loving support and empathy of your family. even though you may not ever make it as a pole dancer, at least you have that,

  8. lmao…there is nothing funnier than the sound of someone laughing at someone they truly’s the truest kind of laugh there is…lol

      1. There is nothing my wife laughs harder at then when I fall or hurt myself. Yesterday I leaned too far over on the bed and almost fell off and she saw that i had regained my balance she pushed me off and was in tears with laughter for 20 minutes.

  9. Ned… what is that sinister looking green stuff in the background? I think I saw something like it in a movie and it didn’t turn out very well.

    By the way, where are your mittens, parka and Sorrels? My neighbor journeyed from his bedroom to his bathroom without wearing them and froze solid. Have you frozen solid?

  10. That was hysterical! We ain’t dummies though. You continued with the retakes so you could hear your wife’s beautiful laugh. At some point, you need to show us that pretty face behind that musical laughter.

    1. Can you blame me? As I’ve told her often, from our very first phone conversation, her voice was truly like music to me; like the missing notes in a melody I had been working on but couldn’t finish. When she laughs, it’s the best 😉

      Here she is…

  11. Ned, Sweetheart … You are such a good sport. Taking the fall for me – literally.

    You are part fireman, part stuntman and part Spider-Man. But not a pole dancer in an Oregon storm. (Believe me folks. We take turns laughing at, er, I mean “with” each other. The camera just loves him better!)

    You are the reason I do not wear mascara. Not even a waterproof formula can save me!

      1. At least she’s entertained by it. 🙂
        It’s good to see people be silly and have a little fun, especially when it comes at the expense of their face. Quality entertainment right there.

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