If I had not had heard this story directly from the woman it happened to, I would not have believed it myself. My friend, who is originally from southern Oklahoma and used to make Reba’s dresses when Reba was still running around skinning her knees and playing with the boys, is the biggest hoot you would ever want to be around. The way she told this story with the sweetness of her backwoods Okee from Muskogee accent was just to die for. I will attempt to recreate the story for you here, as best I can.
My friend, let’s call her Betty, owned a convenience store with her husband in a small town south of Tulsa, Oklahoma. She was was headed home from the local grocery store on a recent sweltering, hot day. Still a little edgy from being robbed at gunpoint just a week earlier, she was just driving along, minding her own business when all of the sudden, she heard a loud pop.
Immediately upon hearing the loud noise, which sounded like gunfire, she felt something hit the back of her head with incredible force. It was enough to knock her forward and cause her to almost loose control of the car. Fearing the worst, she pulled over to the side of the road to asses the damage. Before she could even get to the side of the road, her head started throbbing from the gun shot.
Being that the bullet had struck her in the back of the head, she was not able to look directly at the damage to her skull, so she reached back with her left hand to feel around for any sign of blood. The moment her hand reached the back of her head, she knew she was in serious trouble. She could actually feel part of her brain oozing out from the back of her head. She began to tremble as she knew that sudden death might become her if she didn't take immediate and decisive action.
Knowing that no one was at home, and wondering how long she might have to live, she decided to turn the car around and head back into town to the emergency center. With her left hand glued tightly to the back of the head to help slow the bleeding, her mind raced forward, as to what her husband was going to do without her. How was he going to be able to manage the books of the store? After all, she had been doing them since they opened the store more than 20 years earlier. What was she going to tell her children? Would she even have time to tell them anything? How on earth would her husband be able to feed himself, much less clothe himself, as he had never once done the laundry in their nearly 45 year marriage. Could these be the final moments before death?
Her thoughts came back to the present as she could feel part of her brain oozing between her fingers and she knew that time was short. She decided to call the hospital ahead of time and alert them that she was coming so that they would be ready and waiting for her upon her arrival.
The next 3 minutes seemed like an eternity as she raced toward the Regional Medical Center. She couldn't stop herself from thinking about all of the things she wished she had done or wasn't going to get a chance to do. She worried about the little argument that she and her husband had been in, just that morning, because he had left his dirty cereal bowl in the sink, yet once again. Now, it seemed so insignificant to her and she wished she could tell him how much she loved him and how much she cared about him. He shouldn't have to worry about all the little things because of all of the big things he had done for her over the years. He was the most wonderful man she had ever known, and now she wasn't sure if she was even going to see him again.
She fought back the tears as they welled up in her eyes and made it even more difficult for her to drive. The emergency room had received her call and said they would have several doctors ready and waiting when she arrived, that she just needed to be safe and make it there as soon as possible. How could this have happened to her? They had felt so blessed just one week ago, when they were robbed, that the gunmen had not even used his gun… and now this.
As she rounded the final bend and pulled into the driveway of the hospital she could see the emergency staff ready and waiting outside the emergency room doors. She sped up the driveway and skidded to a halt just as the medical team reached her door. They swung the door open and tried to pry her hand away from her head. She was unwilling to do so because she just knew that she was going to loose more of her brains and who knows how much blood.
She finally started letting go, having been convinced that they could handle whatever was going to happen, when all of the sudden a few of them started laughing. She couldn't understand what could be so funny in this life and death situation. How could these trained medical professional be laughing at a time like this? The laughter started to grow until the point where everyone there was laughing and some were even doubled over from laughing so hard.
“Would someone please tell me what is so funny?” she asked. The first nurse on the scene turned to her and said, “Well, you been shot alright maam…. by the Pillsbury Doughboy!“ She couldn't believe her ears. This was no time to joke around. She had a gaping hole in her head and she needed medical attention immediately.
The nurse continued, “Have you just been to the grocery store?” ”Yes, but what’s that got to do with anything?”, she snorted. “Well, maam, it appears that your can of biscuits has burst and one of them is now stuck to the back of your head.”
As she slowly pulled her hand around and into view, she could see the dough stuck between her fingers and suddenly the whole picture became clear to her. The heat of the day had caused the tin of biscuits to explode, which were sitting at the top of the grocery bag behind her seat, causing the sound of a gunshot. The metal top, along with one of the biscuits, had hit her in the back of the head causing a somewhat sharp pain. Allowing her brain to think that the sound was a gunshot, and the impact was a bullet, she naturally thought that the biscuit must have been her brains seeping out of her head. She looked straight at me and said, “And, don’t you dare make any wisecracks about my brains seeping out of my head.”. What? I hadn't said a word. I couldn't, I was rolling on the floor laughing about the whole thing, just picturing all of those hospital workers willing and able to help her out, only to find out who the real suspect was; that silly little Pillsbury Do Boy.
Needless to say, she’s a favorite around town now. The story has not only been retold over and over again there in her hometown, but Jay Leno and some other TV talk show hosts, picked up on the story and now it has become somewhat of an urban legend. So, now you know. It’s true and now Betty has a much greater appreciation for life and certainly another story to tell at dinner parties.
Al's add - Yeah, this has been around in various forms for about ten years. But a variation made it to my e-mail last night, and I thought it worth a laugh this morning here. Good day all!