Excerpt from the book FLOPPY PARTS which may be purchased at http://goo.gl/XdazVA
RJ was a bit of a thrill seeker. He would have been a perfect fit to play the Tom Cruise character in the movie Top Gun because RJ always “felt the need for speed” whether it was fast women or even faster cars. Since this was before a desire for fast women, RJ would satisfy himself by climbing the highest tree or swinging out the farthest on the school swing before ejecting himself for a crash landing. All of this would serve him well. When I left for Newberry, RJ left for the Navy, specialized in avionics and anti-submarine detection before retiring to a very high paying private sector job in avionics. This would lead to his obtaining a pilot’s license and an airplane. I feel sure the airplane came first.
The trouble began when we watched Roy giving chase to the bad guy who beat Roy over the head with his tommy gun before jumping in his car and racing out of town. Roy, now conscious but still stuck on a second floor balcony, whistled for Trigger and with nary a grunt jumped onto Trigger’s saddled back, saving enough time to chase down the bad guy and shoot out his tires. RJ was mesmerized. “That was great! I’m gonna do it.” I was mesmerized to but for a different reason. Roy did all of this without losing his hat and despite a loaded Thompson sub machine gun on the seat next to the villain. Immediately I pointed out that we had no horses and I knew of no second story balcony except the Nesbitt mansion and it was too far to ride to on an imaginary horse.
Not to be deterred, RJ had a plan– otherwise known as a “stupid man trick” and the reason bicycles should come with warning labels. When we played “Cowboys and Indians” we always pretended our bikes were horses. RJ decided that his bike would be his horse and that I would be his faithful Indian companion who would make sure his steed remained upright and in place. Can you visualize “Kemo Sabe” jumping off of the barn loft and into the saddle of his bike? RJ would then peddle off after imaginary desperados. It did not quite workout that way because for at least once, Kemo Sabe meant “dumbass” white boy. RJ actually missed the first time and landed butt first in the piled up hay we had used to help break his fall. We should have piled up hay on his bike saddle because he didn’t miss the second time. Who knew someone’s eyes could get that big and that your “floppies” were somehow attached to your vocal cords. He landed upright but didn’t remain that way. With his eyes as big as pie plates, his breath exploded from his lungs and he toppled sideways with his hands cupping his…you know. For the next fifteen minutes RJ was struck mute. When he finally found his voice, the first words that came out of his mouth were “If you ever tell anyone about this I will beat your ass.” Well RJ, it’s been over fifty five years and you are welcome to try.
I went to Wally World today and found myself in sporting goods looking for a new rod and reel. I did not find what I wanted but I also did not find any warning labels on their shiny new bikes that I stopped to look. I doubt there is one on my bike either but there should have been one and it should have read “Warning: Jumping into the saddle from excessive heights may render you sterile for life and speechless for fifteen minutes.” I will let you determine what is excessive.