So I was lying on the grass the other day just outside our front door, on the lawn beside the sidewalk. Now, I hadn’t laid (lain? layed?) on the grass for quite some time – maybe since the Rotten Kids were little and it was time for a regularly scheduled ‘Nice Sunny Day Wrestling Match’. Or when I was a kid and lying on the grass and looking up and studying the clouds was practically a part-time profession. (Look! An elephant standing on a mountain! Hey, that’s your Grandma’s face!)
But this day, I wasn’t in the mood to spot cloud faces. In fact, I thought of that time I wiped out on my 10 speed bike. I’ve written about it before. It was night and our street was scary and as dark as the inside of a cow and this bellowing dog suddenly ran at me and grabbed my pant leg as I was wobbling by on my bike. I don’t know which was worse – the skinned knees and elbows or the pre-teen heart attack resulting in about two years of werewolf induced insomnia.
I thought of that time I wiped out on the Bird Sanctuary hill where the LTCHS hill is now. I was on my Honda 50 Sport bombing up the hill in the thick gravel and a car zoomed up behind me and, well, gravel hurts, especially when a motorcycle dumps you into it and then falls on top of you.
And I thought about the time my buddy John and I were on his Honda 150 Benly and we ripped down the north hill and across the Gaetz Ave. bridge and wheeled south at the Avis across from the big Alpha plant. We hit corner a little hot and suddenly we were somehow skidding and tumbling and crashing all over the 55th Street corner. I remember standing up, seeing John was OK, and then, weirdly, I keeled over. The only time I’ve ever actually fainted and it wasn’t because of the resulting ripped clothes and road rash, I figure the topsy turvy tumble left me momentarily discombobulated.
But somehow I made it through the bicycle/motorcycle years and here I was face down on the grass. Did I mention that I was face down? And did I mention that what I was really thinking about more than anything through excruciating pain was: Oh, great. Twelve hours waiting in emergency – and – How in the heck am I going to play my drums now?
You see, for my birthday last summer I got what I’ve wanted for a long time. An electric scooter! (I think I just heard a penny dropping…) I’ve rambled on here before about renting those two wheeled standup scooters on holidays and then in town when our fair city got them, and how much fun they are, and since I got mine I’ve racked up about 35 kilometers of happy scooting.
So I was rolling along, coming home after a nice supper at a nearby establishment (that may or may not have been a pub) and I carefully turned onto our sidewalk and scooted along towards the house. I swear, I only looked over at some commotion down the street for ONE SECOND and BAM!
The front wheel of the scooter hit a rut between our sidewalk and lawn and my ride stopped dead. I didn’t.
The good news: I landed on my shoulder on the lawn instead of the sidewalk. Also, I was wearing a helmet. Also, it’s been a week and I can almost lift my arm all the way over my head now.
So I’ve parked the scooter away in the garden shed. It’s not very good in the snow anyway.
Harley Hay is a Red Deer author and filmmaker. You can send him column ideas to email@example.com