When I was a boy, one of my favorite toys in the whole world was my Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle. Evel and his trusty motorcycle withstood any and all of the death-defying stunts I could dream up. Somehow he always managed to “walk away” in one piece (although sometimes he and the bike suffered some pretty deep scratches and dings). No matter how bad the crash or how far Evel flew off his bike, they both remained intact.
Until the taxi incident.
The year was approximately 1978. And it is a day I will never forget. I remember it as clear as a sunny Wisconsin afternoon (which is pretty rare by the way).
I was on my friend’s porch — at least 20 steps up, on the second floor of his two-story house. It turns out this porch would hold another traumatic experience for me (but more on that later).
As I revved up Evel’s motor with the hand crank (those who had one will remember the super-cool sound, and the painful hand blisters that ensued), my excitement grew. Once I got him to top speed, I let him rip! He went down the stairs like a madman — flipping, flopping and popping wheelies! I was so excited as he zoomed towards the, uh, street?
He made it to the center of the road before puttering to a stop. He plopped onto his side, the bikes rear wheel still turning. Then, I heard a sound…
A dirty yellow taxicab was barreling towards him! The bastard didn’t even slow down. Nor did he take evasive action. I would swear he took aim! It appeared to be an act of pure aggression on a helpless toy that he knew was more successful and more popular than he’d ever be.
And then he ran over Evel Knievel — squashing him and his stunt cycle like a pancake.
Needless to say I was quite upset.
The guy didn’t even stop. He just left my toy in pieces. He was a rude man, and I bet he smelled bad.
Soon after, my mother bought me a new Evel Knievel. But this one was the blue chopper version (they had stopped making the original). It just wasn’t the same. He popped a lot more wheelies, but I could tell his heart wasn’t in it. And neither was mine.
In case you were wondering, my original Evel did survive the taxi incident. I mean, he WAS made of rubber! Too bad the bike was not. The tire tracks across his nylon jumpsuit were a constant reminder of the tragedy.
Conclusion: The Hairy Lady
One day, on that very same porch, I choked on a piece of gum. As it lodged in my throat, my friend (who’s name and face I can’t remember — sorry dude) went and got his mom.
She came out in a tank top (I think it was red) and that’s when my fear of choking to death was replaced by an even greater terror.
Hair, and lots of it! Under her arms, in between her breasts. I had never seen anything like it! Nor have I since, thank God.
Although my airway was blocked, I couldn’t help but stare at my friend’s hairy mom. In between her boobs was both facinating and repulsive at the same time. And I’m not talking a few, “I need to tweeze my eyebrows” strands, I’m talking a big, bushy hairball. Yuck.
I eventually swallowed the gum. But the memory of that hair remains with me.
Remember, you are not alone…