Sunday, February 28, 2010
The Skipsy Doodle of Death
My brother David got a red skipsy doodle for Christmas one year.
It was used inside as a teeter totter and a stand-y thing until the snow melted. For about a week it was an outdoor teeter totter. But David who could tear apart a Tonka Toy Jeep with his bare hands, had other plans.
We lived in one of those 60's neighborhoods on a culdesac (I like that word). As the street moved away from our house it sloped down into a pretty decent hill. David and his friends rode various bikes, wagons, big wheels and scooter-type things down this hill a literally breakneck speeds.
I knew something was up one sunny afternoon when David came in in wearing a football helmet, an old bath towel superman cape and wanted to borrow my long pink jump rope. I went out front and there was David tying one end of the rope to the back of Bobby Trauger's purple Spyder bike . He then secured the other end to the handle of "old red".
He threw himself on "old red" face down, grabbed the handhold on and yelled let 'er go! Bobby peeled out of our driveway and "old red" popped over the curb about a foot in the air, smacked the street and scraped away with David holding on for dear life. You could hear the scraping sound all the way down the street and David yelling "Go Go Go!" Amazingly, Dave and his friends never got hurt on the "old red" street runs until they started using him on their bike rides through the woods behind our houses. I think it was Jeff who got catapulted into a tree and got scratched up. But, his real problems started because he landed landed in a poison ivy bush .
Poor "old red" went to the great teeter totter playground in the sky when I was going off to college one year. My Dad was cleaning out the basement and put a bunch of stuff out by the trash cans. Scraped and battered "Old Red" was leaning upright against one of the cans. I was upstairs packing and looked out my bedroom window when I heard an old heap pull into our drive way. David and a few of his friends piled out. They all stood looking at "old red" who was scraped, scarred and still had a length of pink rope tied to one of his handholds. For a few minutes, they each took turns laying on "old red" and dragging each other around in street in front of our house. Eventually , they stopped and were laughing and telling stories looking at "old red" who was resting at their feet.
Dave propped "old red" back up against the can and they all started to walk back up the drive to our house. Everyone of them looked back at least once at that battered old piece of red plastic.