Kelly Clarkson rocks!!
Check out her cover of
Walkin After Midnight.
Patsy Cline is still one of my favorite artists and
Video is no longer up.... if anyone knows where this can be located let me know!!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The bike, the potato, and the nose. A true love story!

Now or Later.

It used to be the name of one of my favorite sweet treats as a kid. I kind of liked the strawberry ones bu they were all good. As an adult it means a whole host of other things. Of course, we tend to use the word procrastination instead. To be honest though, I am good at it. For example, posting to this blog or doing my essays for school. Either way, I tend to put off til tomorrow what I could do today. I try to tell myself to buckle down and do it. Then I reason myself right out of it. I could offer up some nifty reasons but in the end, they don't really hold water.

So, with all of that being said, let's see what fun I can coax out of the misty blackness of my memories.

Bert. Ayup. One of my best friends growing up. He was a great kid, and none too bright. Well, that's not entirely true. He was a very bright kid, just no real common sense. He was our guinea pig, of sorts. We could talk him in to just about anything. Usually it was because we feared being injured. He was like a Timex watch; he could take a licking and keep on kicking (change intentional).

Oh, where to start at. There are a lot of stories about the hapless childhood of Bert, the neighborhood crash test dummy. Hmmm, the cartoonish tree fall, the plastic garbage bag parachute, the burning britches, the deer + Jack's mom..... and on the list goes. All of those are full of hilarity as well as ample volumes of stupidity and disbelief. But I have one that needs to be told.

The bike, the potato, and the busted nose.

Seems like a rather odd combination. Well, for most mere mortals it would very likely be. For us, not so much so.

One summer day we decided to have a dirt clod war. For those of you not familiar with this childhood warfare it is very simple. Find a plowed field/yard that has been subjected to the perfect amount of moisture and heat (Both of which were very common where I grew up at - not like now). What you end up with is an endless supply of dirt clods of varying size and density. You throw them like baseballs at your opponents. When they hit they explode into a sandy colored cloud, clearly showing when one has been hit. You should be aware that in South Georgia dirt clods came in two varieties.

There was the standard type, usually made up top soil. These were considered the perfect kind. They were not too heavy and did not hurt, much, on impact. We tended to favor these as it did not impede the fun factor by a large amount, unless someone took one to the face. This was rare so we didn't worry too much about it.

Then we had the least favorite type. The ones made up of mostly clay. You see, here in the south we have a large amount of clay, red clay to be specific. This would certainly make a dirt clod (well, technically speaking it would be a clay clod but don't judge) but it was of the type we did not like. Mainly because on impact it did not burst into that beautiful puffy cloud of loose soil. Instead, it was more like getting hit with a rock. Very much like a rock in fact. So we tended to avoid these expect in anger (Remind me to tell you about the infamous Pat/Jamie incident).

So we were having a dirt clod war. We were all having fun when Bert decided to hop on his bike. Now we all made it clear that shots at Bert would be close to the ground. Tires and feet. We were crazy but we really never, ever, set out to really hurt someone. Anyway, Bert goes hauling ass up and down the street while we all take pot shots at him. don't be fooled, he would stop and get some clods of his own and would return fire as he screamed by at the speed of sound.

There were maybe 5 or 6 of us out there that day. The Jody showed up. No one really liked Jody. He was strange. If you had known us back then you would realize that this is saying something when someone was strange by our standards. So he comes out and just joins in. Oh no, we will have none of that. We send him away with some harsh words. Ok, we might have pelted him with a few dirt clods but hey, we were just kids. So Jody goes storming home.

Back to the game. Things were going along smoothly until Jody reappeared. What happened next is still funny to all of us, except maybe Bert, today. I will try to do the scene justice.

A clear summer day, sun shining brightly and hot. Four or five kids, covered in a mixture of sweat and dust, are on the edge of the street in front of my house. Wearing only shorts and shoes we are laughing and chunking dirt clods at the lone kid on the BMX bike. The scrawny, blond, tousle-haired Bert, legs pumping the pedals for all he is worth is screaming down the street past us. On his last pass (yes, we are getting to the point), he looks back over his shoulder to see what we are going to do. Still cruising down the street we all saw Jody appear at his front door. Bert, on the other hand, was still watching us.

Jody was far enough away that we could only tell that he we wound up and threw something in Bert's direction. Here is where it slowed down, just like on television, for most of us. The object, which later turned out to be a raw potato about the size of a baseball, made a perfect arc through the air in front of Bert. Totally oblivious to Jody, and the potato, Bert turned back, to look where he was going.

I am going to say this for all to witness. In all my years of running around that neighborhood; in all the games of baseball, softball, and football; up to this date to also include all of the professional sports I have watched, I have never before, or since, seen a more perfect throw made. The distance, the arc, the timing... absolute perfection if there ever was. Sucked to be Bert that day.

Several things happened in rapid succession. The first, and most important of all, was that the projectile and Bert's nose attempted to occupy the same space at the same time. Instinctively, Berts hands flew to his face. At that same instant, the front tire on the bike began to wobble due to the lack of control of the handlebars. In about three or four seconds the bike was headed in to a shallow ditch, violently throwing Bert to the ground. By the time Bert skidded to a stop, the bike was on top of him and he was screaming in pain. It should be noted that Jody was also back in his house at this point, behind a locked door.

We ran over to him, pulled the bike off of him. There was blood everywhere. We were pretty sure that he was mortally wounded. when Bert finally moved his hands to show us the carnage, the only thing wrong was his busted nose. A busted nose and two black eyes. Bert was mad as hell but all we could do was laugh. Like I said, it was the perfect throw.

It is too bad, really, that the world was not full of video cameras back then. That would have been a perfect Youtube clip. I still wonder how we managed to survive to adulthood. I would also like to be able to tell you that events like this were rare for us. Sadly, they were more the norm.

I would like to thank Bert though. Without him and his fearlessness (or stupidity), my teenage years would not have been nearly as fun.

Thanks Bert!

So this is my post for today. I hope I was able to make at least one of you smile, if not laugh outright. I think I just need to stick to posting stories about events from my childhood. I am always in a much better mood after I do this.

So I am off for. Later taters!

i now return you to your regularly scheduled internet.

1 comment:

Have Myelin? said...

I understand. A smile came across my face as I recalled my son playing BASEBALL (the mother in me is going "and you know those balls are harder than SOFTballs") and the sun momentarily blinded him- and he caught a ball with one of his permanent teeth and lost it. The tooth that is. Not the ball.

He is now 28 and still has his titanium post embedded in his jaw.

I still see time slow he made that catch.

I remember red soil. Northern Louisiana and Alabama. Lots of it.