The Dumbest Thing Shannon Bardole has Ever Done

Small people talk about other people.
Average people talk about things.
Great people talk about ideas.

When I first began my sentence with the Boone Outpost of the Evil Clown Empire, there was a ludicrous sign posted in the crew room that had this observation written on it. I’m not sure who put the sign up or who they were trying to fool or how much they were trying to lie themselves, but the wage slaves of this joint were at least 60% high school students or middle aged women. Talking about other people is what high school students and middle aged women do.

If that sign is to be believed, I hang out with lots of “small people” because when my entourage and I are hanging around the Photography 139 water cooler, a popular topic of conversation is: “What is the dumbest thing Shannon Bardole has ever done?”

Recently Shannon took this topic of discussion off the table forever. Recently Shannon did something so foolish, so ill-conceived that there is no longer even the minutest amount of room for debate.

When I moved into my humble abode I found a few things that the previous occupants left behind. Amongst those things was two jars of pickles.

My first (and the only rational inclination) was to dispose of these potentially toxic inedibles in the nearest refuse bin and forget that they ever existed.

I did not do what logic and safety dictates because Shannon insisted that she would like to try these homemade pickles that she had no information on. I mostly thought she was blowing hot air as people are prone to do, but I maintained ownership of the pickles just in case.

The Highly Suspect Pickles

On the night of my Birthday Barbecue she did in fact remove a pickle from this jar and eat at least 50% of the pickle.

That was over a month ago and last I knew Shannon was still alive, but eating a pickle from this jar is still “The Dumbest Thing Shannon Bardole has Ever Done”.

On a completely unrelated note, she also recently jumped out of a plane. Here are some pictures:


More Training

Even More Training

Her Noble Steed

Landing Practice, I Believe

More Noble Steed

The Pilot Explaining Aviation to Todd

Photographing Another Skydiver

Peggy Photographing Another Skydiver

It is surprising what passes for “Authorized Activities” in this day and age.

Shannon did not get to jump on the first day because it was too windy and she is too Lilliputian.

More Training

Strapped In

The Protective Helmet


Fashionable Safety Goggles

Loading Up

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds…and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of…wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,

It is hard to figure out what happened in the previous picture, so hopefully this helps.

I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up, the long, delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the windswept heights with easy grace

Where never lark, nor even eagle flew.
And while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space…
…put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

I should have found a longer poem.

The Cyclone Parachute

Almost to the Ground


Terra Firma

Boring Terra Firma

Seems Like a Fist Bump Might Have Been in Order Here

Packing up and Going Home

This is kind of a random image. Todd wanted me to take a picture of the barbed wire, so here is that picture.

6 thoughts on “The Dumbest Thing Shannon Bardole has Ever Done”

  1. Hashem is the greatest! I actually had a sprained ankle when I jumped several years ago – doing a tandem landing on a bum ankle is a bit awkward (we tipped over), but I am so glad she got to do this. And the hat looks killer on her.

    I do have to say that the pickle is not her finest moment, and that I adore this blog title. If your birthday had ended with a stomach pump, that would have really killed the mood.

  2. ISU parachute – but I noticed she wore her UNI t-shirt!!!!!
    Great pictures. I can’t believe she ate that pickle. What was she thinking of?

  3. Wow! I am impressed by Shannon’s courage for skydiving. I can hardly even handle going up in a small plane like that, I couldn’t even imagine jumping out of one.

    Happy Birthday to Shannon!

    I’m curious whether she had her choice in parachute colors? Seems a very unlikely pick for her!

    Not sure what to think about that pickle (it’s kind of scary looking), although I still have two jars of last year’s batch of over-vinegary pickles left if you would like to challenge her to those. I’m sure they would still be a lot easier on her stomach.

  4. Angie,

    The good thing and one of the reasons that I allowed this to go on is that I only live 3 blocks from the hospital. But I’m not really sure what would have been a worse Birthday Barbecue memory. Taking Shannon to the ER to have her stomach pumped OR the year before when there was some battle rap going down on my brick patio (made up of Boone bricks if I haven’t pointed that out before).

    I’m glad that you enjoyed the blog title. I hope most people get the joke. You are married to a former salesman, I’m sure you knew it was the old bait and switch.


    Glad that you are amused. I’ll have to close my eyes and imagine your amusement.


    It should be pointed out that this was her third attempt at parachuting and on the previous two attempts, she was NOTflying the Panther colors.

    It was Hashem that made sure we knew that the parachute would be Cyclone colors. That was when I knew that she would be safe.


    I believe that Shannon has already tried some of the pickles you gave me last year. My jar is almost empty now, so if you wanted to part with one, you know where The Incidental Gardener AKA The True Lone Wolf hangs his hat. (It is in the hat closet.)

    She did not get any choice in parachute colors, but I’m pretty sure she would have chosen Cyclone colors. Pretty sure.

  5. That UNI shirt was the stroke of good luck. It was the shirt that finally got me the perfect weather to jump. And I’m pretty sure that I would NOT have chosen a Cyclone-colored parachute. But, it did make me easily discernable when there were two other jumpers in the plane, and you didn’t know who was jumping first.

    I don’t recall if I’ve tried Dawn’s pickles, but you know I’d be game to do so.

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