It could have been much colder. The first two weeks of Minnesota January have a way of quickly making December Christmas a distant memory. The lights are put away, the tree is taken down, the gifts lose their luster, and an icy grip descends on our landscape.
Yet this first week of January at 1:30 in the morning played host to a comfortable 28 degrees. While the weather was uncharacteristic, the call I found myself on was not; one involving a frozen lake. When the calendar flips to a new year, it is only a matter of time before we will be called onto a lake.
A man had been transported to the hospital with burns on his face, his story being that while driving an ATV across the lake he hit a bottle. He said the bottle erupted and splashed him in the face with some kind of liquid. Lies are difficult to keep straight and his were easy to unravel. We knew something else happened.
This led us back onto the lake in search of the truth. Maybe a meth lab in a fish house? Maybe he was using the “shake and bake” method in a pop bottle which exploded on him? Seeing a lone snowmobile in the middle of the lake, I checked the registration on it.
This began a series of five events which led me to a nearby house. There I found the owner of the snowmobile and also found the truth to this little mystery. The burns on the man’s face had not been from a meth lab gone ary. It had been from bear mace.
An argument between two guys resulted in a pushing match which resulted in one of the males whipping out his bear mace (don’t you carry that all the time too?) and spraying the other with a healthy dose of it.
The lies from the man that got sprayed were a sure indicator that there was another level of the truth that we would never find out.