Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ahhhh Summertime.

This morning it started out in the low 60's, right now on my weather station it's 21* BELOW zero with wind chill. Sheesh! "Global Warming" my butt.

So for anyone freezing half to death tonite, I'll relate a story from when I was about 16 and it was a nice hot summer, Missouri day... and we'll see if we can get your mind offa that teeth chattering thing that's happening with you.

As a young man I abused myself fairly badly with a variety of motorcycles and with those motorcycles the accidents that go along with them when you're young, stupid and bulletproof.

On this particular day I was riding along happily on a two lane blacktop road near where I lived. The sun was shining, it was most likely in July or August... I don't remember that part. Probably all the brain damage.

As I rode along thinking about nothing in particular, I noticed that I was gonna be going by the Bentley Girls house. Now the Bentley girls, 2 sisters, were some quite fine specimens of lovely teenage ladies and this day.... this day I was in luck. As I approached their house, low and behold, there were the Bentley girls out in the driveway, washing their mothers car... in bikinis.

"Dear Lord, thank you for this moment in my young adolescent life and please make me look cool on this motorcycle. Amen"

I sorta laid into the throttle a bit, adjusted my posture, turned my head towards them and gave the most laid back, non committal, but oh so cool wave that a hormone driven young man can give. They both stopped what they were doing and waved exuberantly to me and watched as I rode by.

Awesome!

It was at this point that I turned my head back around and saw the curve in the road that I was already halfway into. I very probably muttered something to myself such as "oh heck" or "darn".

Let me describe this curve to you. It was a sharp curve, probably about 40 mph in a car and it was banked fairly steeply, like you'll see on Missouri back roads. Halfway thru this curve there was a gravel road that T'd into it. What this left, between the curve and the gravel road was a fairly large area, the shape of a triangle that was grassy. The drop off the steep curve to this grassy area was probably 15 feet or there abouts.

There was no way to get that fast moving bike around that curve and instead of laying it down I made the split second decision to launch it off the curve. Yes I did.

As I soared through the sky like a Dove or a carefree little Sparrow , seemingly gaining altitude with each passing second, several things went through my mind. First and foremost was "This one is really gonna hurt when I land." Second "The Bentley girls are watching this from their driveway... not cool." And third, I think I saw my deceased Grandma walking through the clouds of Heaven, as I sailed ever so high into the sky, with her hands on her hips and shaking her head at me as if to say "You're in trouble this time Mister!". The whole slow motion thing had set in, and I was up there watching the Earth pass below me in a surreal fashion, just sitting on the seat of my motorcycle like I had good sense.

And then, the Earth started closing in. I leaned back on the seat, tugging at the handle bars and then a miracle happened. A thing that very rarely happened to me when I was in a situation like this. I nailed a picture perfect landing. Perfect. Now I hit hard 'cause motorcycle suspensions were not what they are today way back then. But it was perfect.

As I was riding the rest of the way across the grassy triangle to the gravel road, I had time to once again reflect on things and the thing that I reflected on mostly was. "THAT HAD TO LOOK SO FREAKIN' COOL TO THE BENTLEY GIRLS!" I thought about turning around and going back up to their house just to chat with 'em and give them the chance to tell me how cool it was and all and then my Grandma thumped me.

See... there was this steel culvert that passed under that gravel road that protruded into the grassy triangle and it was totally obscured by... grass. I squared the end of that culvert with the front wheel of the bike and like a big ol hunk of meat flipped on the grill... I just flopped upside down in the middle of that gravel road, motorcycle on top of me.

Now this is the point where it just wasn't such a cool thing anymore and as briskly as I could I got up, checked for arterial bleeding, picked up the bike, started it, and rode off with about a 30 degree twist to the front forks and handle bars.

To this day, I don't know if the Bentley girls saw the whole thing. I doubt if they knew it was me, I had a helmet on... maybe they did, I dunno. Nothing was ever said if they did know it.

I Don't know where those girls are today, but I can still see them washing that car on that summer day.

9 comments:

Vicky said...

You still see them washing that car on that summer day? Just pretend I'm your grandma....

THUMP!!

Sheesh, dude, it's a wonder you made it to adulthood! LOL

Gracie said...

I bet somewhere out there in blogger-space they've written a not as eloquent blog rendition of the same event....would be kinda fun to hear *their* version ;)

Jerry said...

See now to me, all this makes perfectly good sense. :)

Great story, Jace!

Kim said...

I am totally amazed and flabbergasted! After all, I had always heard that people in Missouri didn't even have enough teeth to chatter! Wow! You learn something new every day visiting your blog, Jace!

Cowguy said...

"Sheesh, dude, it's a wonder you made it to adulthood! LOL"

Miracles... :-)

"I bet somewhere out there in blogger-space they've written a not as eloquent blog rendition of the same event"

Most likely even better, happier and hunkier.

"See now to me, all this makes perfectly good sense. :)"

Thanks for backin' me up Jerry.


"I had always heard that people in Missouri didn't even have enough teeth to chatter! Wow!"

Putting the smack down on my whole wonderful state? Wow....

Kim said...

Shhh! Don't tell anyone! Some of my best friends either came from Missouri originally or are still there. Actually, I heard from my Kansas City buds that it was pretty dang cold, so I figured I'd see what you had to say about it. I used to have a boss who lived in Minnesota and told stories about the cold there--he said the cows ears would freeze and break off--so I was kind of looking for broken cow stories, not so much broken motorcycle stories! ROFLOL!

Dick said...

That makes my incident with a bike and a slippery cow pie ALMOST seem like fun.But there wasn't any bikinis involved. :-)

Cowguy said...

"That makes my incident with a bike and a slippery cow pie ALMOST seem like fun.But there wasn't any bikinis involved. :-)"

LOL :-)

Pinky said...

Love reading your stories! Think I made a mistake reading this one to my 19 year old son who wandered away saying, "Wow, nothing like that ever happens to me". I can just see him riding down the road on his 4 wheeler looking for bikini clad teens now!