Monday, February 28, 2011

Lethal Weapon

This is a true story from my life. Back in the 1980's I received a phone call from the Tech Advisor for a new movie being made called Lethal Weapon. He was an old friend of mine and he remembered the story I told him about my very first encounter with a straight jacket.
I was invited to the set to meet with the producer, director and my buddy the tech advisor. They all wanted to hear the story right from the horse's mouth. As a young teen, my mother worked in health care. I asked her if she could get a straight-jacket. She got permission from her employer and brought one home.
Keep in mind, this was the first time I had ever seen a regulation straight-jacket and didn't really know much about getting out of it. I was in my garage with my best buddy, Lee, and he proceeded to strap me into this thing. I was wearing a T-shirt which I later learned was a big mistake.
I twisted and turned and bent my body in ways that I didn't even know were possible. Then I had an idea. If I could shift my body within the jacket it might help me to gain slack and get my arm over my head, then I could get out. My solution, run full speed into the garage wall slamming my shoulder against it.WHAMMO! And OUCH! To make a long story short, I did get out, eventually. With plenty of marks and scrapes from only wearing a t-shirt.
That's the story I told the crew on the set of Lethal Weapon. They passed the story to Mel Gibson. Mel then comes to me and asks me a few questions regarding it, like was it true? Did it hurt? Yes, it was true. Yes it hurt! Well he loved the story so much, that he incorporated it into the film. When you watch the movie, you will see Mel Gibson's character escape from a straight-jacket by slamming himself into a filing cabinet so as to dislocate his shoulder and escape, ala the young Steve Baker!
And that my friends, was my contribution to Lethal Weapon.
Just a side note, I do not advise the shoulder slamming method as one of the better ways to escape from a straight jacket!

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