When my sister was about 10, and I was about 12 and half, she got a new ten-speed bicycle. It was beautiful – purple and shiny and perfect.
This wasn’t it.
It was summer-time. I am sure my sister and I had been fighting constantly since sun up, as siblings, and most especially my sister and I, were wont to do. My mom came up with a fool proof plan to separate us for at least a short period of time and end the bickering. She decided that I was to be sent on an errand to the local grocery store to buy some random grocery item or other. This is quite logical as I was the older sister and more capable of such an errand, and along those lines of logic, I decided I would be taking my sister’s new bicycle on this adventure. I was really excited to ride that purple, shiny bicycle.
I am not sure where my bicycle was in this story. Maybe it was in storage. Maybe it rode away from home.
I made it one block away from our house before all hell broke loose – and not a city block either, but a small-town block. So, not very far.
You see, in our small town, they pea-rock the roads in summer.
I Google-imaged “pea rock” and “pea rocked road” and could not find a single image showing a pea-rocked road…
So, here are peas and rocks to help facilitate that image for you, and if you can find an image of such a road, let me know because Google is supposed to have everything!
The roads being pea-rocked would not be so bad, unless you are the older sister who, in essence, stole your little sister’s bicycle without asking either her or your parents, and subsequently decided to do “tricks” on said bicycle. I tried to pop a wheelie. You know, when you lift up the front tire of the bicycle off of the ground and ride on the back tire only? I was not, and am not, a BMX-er. This was not a trick I should have been attempting under any circumstances, much less on a recently pea-rocked road.
I crashed. I crashed hard. One small-town block away from home. On my sister’s brand new, shiny, purple bicycle. Oh, it was painful, and humiliating. I cut up my arms and legs, and even got a pea rock in one of the cuts. My sister’s bicycle, however, survived the crash in tact.
I painfully limped toward home, crying, worrying that I would forever have a pea rock stuck in my arm. Fortunately, my neighbor was much more skilled in medically assisting bicycle stealing, wheelie popping twelve-year-old’s than my mom, as he was a volunteer EMT. Not that there are many bicycle stealing, wheelie popping twelve-year-old’s in my home town. I am probably the only one, actually.
Once I was all patched up, I wondered back home, sure that my sister would be as concerned for me as I had been for me. I mean, I almost had a pea rock stuck in my arm FOR LIFE! That would be a gruesome way to die. But I was wrong:
“Moooooooooooom! Nan stole my bike, crashed it, and now there’s a scratch on it!!” She lovingly, jealously hugged her bike, and gave me a look that assured me that I would have more to worry about than a pea rock in my arm if I ever touched her bicycle again.
We call this the “death glare.”
With the haircuts our mom gave us at that age, I was actually very similar to this.