Most people like to think that they are a loyal friend. If someone they know is going through a tough time, they’ll make sure they send a courtesy text that says, “Hey bud, heard about [problem]. If you ever need to talk to someone, I’m here for you.”
Meanwhile, you don’t actually want the person to take you up on that offer. You’re just extending the nicety so that they will know that you care a little bit, and you fully expect them to reply, “Thanks man, I’m good though. But I appreciate it.” And there, you’ve done your part and you’re free to go about your life.
But in my opinion, you don’t discover how loyal of a friend you are until an emergency arises. When something unexpected occurs, you must make momentary decisions as to how you wish to react, and by doing so, you subconsciously prioritize what’s important, and that is when you discover just how loyal you are.
For example, if your friend suddenly gets into a fist fight, will you non-hesitantly jump right in and defend him or her, even if it most likely means you are going to get your ass kicked as well? This is something you can’t know until it happens. It’s a fight or flight situation.
But what about if your friend is in serious trouble? How far would you go to save them, especially if it meant risking your own life?
Well, in the case of some guy in New Jersey, the answer to that is — pretty damn far.
According to a recent article by Yahoo, a roofer in New Jersey jumped into a vat of nitric acid to save his coworker, a fellow roofer, who had fallen 40 feet into it while the two were working at a manufacturing plant in Clifton, New Jersey.
51-year-old Rob Nuckols, jumped into the vat waist-high to pull Davis, 44, out. Three other workers helped Nuckols pluck Davis from the acid, which is used to clean metal tubing.
Rescue workers “cut Davis out of his clothes and sprayed him with water to limit burns,” Colavitti told the paper.
Davis suffered “a broken rib, punctured lung, and burns on his legs and side” and is in critical condition. Nuckols was also treated for burns.
When you think of emergency situations, you think of saving a friend from veering too far off the sidewalk and getting hit by a car in the street. Or maybe even saving a friend from choking on a piece of food.
But I can’t even begin to fathom a circumstance where I would even be around acid to save a friend from — let alone a vat of it.
I don’t even know what a vat of acid would look like. Based on movies, though, I would have to guess that it is neon green, and that it both sizzles and emits clouds of hot smoke. But I could be wrong.
So the questions is, would you be as brave as this guy, and jump into a steaming vat of acid to save a friend? I mean, come on, that takes some serious loyalty. If I fell into a vat of acid, I wouldn’t even hold it against my friends for not jumping in and letting me die.
I would fully expect them to see me fall, watch as I scream and wither in pain, think for a second as to what to do, and then just wave their arm and say, “Nah, fuck it. Not worth it.” How can I blame them?
The funniest part is, if you read the last sentence of the article, it says: “It’s not that kind of acid,” the co-worker said, declining to give his name to the paper. “It’s diluted. He’s going to be fine.”
Oh, ok, well that changes everything. It’s diluted acid, and not… regular… acid. Forget it — that guy’s not that brave. Pshh, he only jumped into diluted acid. Weak, man. Totally weak.
Whoever that coworker is who said that sounds a little jealous to me that his buddy is getting all of the media attention for being a hero.
That’s like if a friend saved another friend who fell in a shark tank, and a third-party member commented, “Nah, it’s no big deal, they weren’t Great White Sharks or anything, they were just regular man-eating sharks.”
But seriously, I want you all to rack your brains right now and prioritize. Of your friends, whose life would you save, and how dire do the circumstances need to be? Here’s how I see it:
Save from choking: Any one who is around me, even though I don’t know CPR and would probably only worsen the situation.
Save from a fist fight: Any one who I am acquainted with.
Save from getting hit by a car: My friends
Save from drowning: My close friends
Save from getting hit by a train: Loved ones
Save from a vat of acid: Umm… is it diluted?
So what does your list look like?