Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Death On Two Wheels

The picture on the left is my new bicycle Daphne. I tried calling her Josephine (and those of you who LOVE Some Like It Hot will know why) but it was Daphne that triumphed. Better luck next time Joe.

For a while now I have been looking for ways to reduce my carbon footprint on our little blue marble. Selfishly, I want this planet to last as long as I do. But more importantly, I want my niece and nephew to enjoy it too. I keep telling myself one person can make a difference. And one person, two feet and a bicycle can! Especially when the bicyclette (that is French for bicycle) is as sassy as Daphne.

With a basket in the back and one in the front, she hauls groceries, wine/beer, dogs, plants, tools, blankets, books et al like nobody can. And she makes my ass and thighs look good to boot!

I just hope that this joyous experience with a bike does not meet the same untimely demise as others. Back in the day, when I had to walk to school, up hill, both ways, my dad was keen on family outings on the family bicycle. And I mean that quite literally. We had one bike. Well two really, but my mom flew solo.

On my dad’s handlebars was a car seat type contraction (less the seatbelt) that one of us sat in, spawn two sat on the cross bar, the third child on the seat and my dad stood and peddled. God bless him. One day, while I was sitting upfront, we were out and about when there was a rather sudden stop. Did I mention there was no seatbelt?

I was a loud child at the best of times so you can well imagine the fuss I made after pealing my face off asphalt. Luckily there was no permanent damage and I turned out cute as a button. Instead of a facelift on my 40th birthday, maybe I’ll just throw myself down a flight of stairs.

Tempted as I was to tell my mom that it was this event turned me gay, it would be just messing with her head. And besides, how do you explain my sister? Well there was that wheelbarrow race (with the real McCoy) where her head got pinched between two of them. But I still think not. Could you imagine all the seatbelt ads they would run in the Bible belt? “Buckling up prevents the spread of gay”. Hee hee. I wish George Bush’s parents hadn’t used seatbelts. Oh well.

Then there was the time when I was 16 and had been home for lunch. (Still uphill, both ways, but at least I had a bike). On my way back to school I stopped at a red light and a huge (is there any other kind?) cement truck pulled up alongside me and decided to make a right hand turn. For anyone familiar with Streetsville, you know that the corner of Britannia and Queen (hey, I love Britain AND I am a queen….dum dum dum) used to be quite small.

Needless to say, to make the turn, the back tires jumped the curb and ran me down. So young, so tragique (that is French for tragic). A litany of profanity reigned forth from my mouth as I begged for my life.

Freeing my leg from the metal monster, I hobbled up the street and collapsed in front of a store. As I looked back, the truck went back-and-forth over my bicycle about three times. The driver later explained that he didn’t know if he was still on me or not and wanted to make sure he gave me a chance to free myself. Or kill me. Who knows?

As policemen and firemen arrived, (God, even then a man in uniform did it for me) I managed regain my senses establish a certain level of decorum and explain what had happened. As I was being loaded into an ambulance, they asked where my parents were. I knew my mother had just left to go grocery shopping and explained where my father worked.

By the time I arrived at the hospital, dad was already there. I began to regale him with my tragic tale only to be shushed by the nursing staff. What can I say, I told you I was a load kid. But still beotch, let me tell the story!

Mother (love you!) later revealed that she was in the check-out line when two policemen arrived at the FoodPort to deliver the dire news. “What am I going to do with the ice cream?” she asked. Ummmmm, hello. Leg. Trapped. Under a cement truck! They placed my mangled bike in her trunk and sent her home. She too was soon at the hospital number one and number two on the speed dial in tow.

I spent the night in the hospital after they wretched open my leg to repair the damage and clean out the dirt. The next day I was presented with the pants that had been cut off me - thank goodness I heeded mother’s advice and wore clean underpants! They said, maybe my mom could sew the seams back together and cut them off into shorts. Yeah. Good idea. How did you become a doctor again?

Several weeks and a skin graft later, my leg was on the mend and I was able to get around with crutches. Having to change my own dressing was pretty gross at first, much like trussing up a turkey. But you either get used to it or you get gangrene as the nurse explained it.

Daphne is equipped with lights (front and back) and I, a helmet. These accessories and an ever increasing number of bike lanes should keep me safe. But just in case, Emily gets my pearls!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:23 AM  
Blogger Blair said...

Julie's head pinched between two wheelbarrows?!!

Ba ha ha! I'm just glad you didn't post about my squishy ear. :)

9:49 AM  
Blogger Robert Mitchell L.L. said...

anonymous...thank you for the comment...but I am afraid I must edit it...my mother reads this and is not used to the f-word in reference to her little boy

5:34 PM  

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