Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: ACCIDENTS WILL HAPPEN (04/13/17)
TITLE: THE ONE ENTHRONED IN HEAVEN LAUGHS
By Phillip Cimei
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“Okay, tie the end to the top of the tree. and throw down the rope,” my brother said. Choosing the right limber tree was important. There was an art to picking one that reacted like Alfalfa’s—from the classic show The Little Rascals—erect cow lick. It must be stiff enough to stand up straight and limber enough to be pulled down. And, when let go, spring back like a catapult.
We didn’t read the book on Newton’s laws of motion: things that are stationary remain there and things in motion keep going. “Okay,” I said, “let go.” I learned to fly at an early age.
That law also worked on the other tree adventure. “Why do I have to be on the bottom?” I asked as we kept chopping at the tree.
“Because we are older and smarter,” Dave said. Wrong. Dave would take the top spot, my brother underneath him, and I had to be the low man on the totem pole. Every chop the tree creaked a warning. Every breeze whispered danger. We climbed up and hung on anticipating the thrilling ride down. We heard the cracking as we swayed.
“Timmm..berrr,” we all yelled awaiting the climax to our exhilarating tree felling adventure. Didn’t happen. The tree felling. Yes. The exhilaration. No! It was like falling out of a three-story window. Splat! Dave broke his collarbone, my brother was knocked out, and lucky me, unscathed. I guess low man won out this time. “There had to be a better way to have fun closer to the ground,” I told myself.
It was the early 1960’s. We lived in a newly developed community outside of Chicago. I went to Queen Bee Elementary—I still have emotional scars from that name. It was a two-mile walk from home. I had to come up with some innovated ways to get there and have fun doing it.
“Hop in,” said the milk man from his white delivery truck. I still remember climbing into the door that stayed open all the way to school, the chill of the block-ice, and the wet stamped-metal floor. That was fun, but I had to come up with a “better” way to have fun. Skitching!
“Okay here comes one,” I said to my friends. It was winter time, the snow-packed road was expertly groomed like freshly shaved ice on a hockey rink. Perfect!
“You guys get out there and slow him down a little,” I said. The vehicle slowed down and just as the rear window was even with me I bent down, grabbed onto the rear bumper, and away I went.”
My slick shoes—which were required pieces of equipment for this sport—became hotter and hotter as he went faster and faster. I think there is another scientific law called “friction”. Then the unexpected happened—lots of unexpected events in adolescence. Unpaved gravel, that hadn’t cooperated with snow packing, snuck up unnoticed, in the middle of the road, in my path— eating gravel wasn’t “fun”.
This brings us near to the end of adolescence, but the brain still isn’t fully developed yet. An example is my friend Tom.
Tom, his girlfriend and I hopped into his old Pontiac and headed to a parking lot that had just been snow plowed. Mounds of packed snow and slick pavement, “Woo hoo!” I yelled as I hung on to his bumper while he made donuts in the parking lot.
“Okay, Sally your turn.” Tom instructed.
Sally hung on and Tom twisted and turned that old Pontiac slinging Sally like a dog wagging its tail. Then it happened. Tom lost control of his car and the rear end slammed into a snow bank. Sally flew off like mud on a spinning tire, head first into hard packed snow.
“You killed her,” I said. We ran over to were Sally lay motionless. We shook her, checked her breathing.
“Oohh!” she began to moan. She had been knocked out cold, but alive and breathing.
Did you ever hear it thunder during a snow storm? We thought we did that day. I think it was God laughing.
I call our little mishaps “accidents”. God calls them adolescence.
We both had some chuckles.
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