As I start pushing Alex down the driveway, my hands on the back of his shoulders, he is urging me to go faster and laughing all the way down. Well, maybe not all the way. Trying to steer a red wagon by a handle that sticks straight up is no mean feat. Apparently I wasn’t going in a straight enough line and when Alex tried to compensate by pivoting the handle, the wheels bit and turned too sharply causing the wagon to do a face plant and send me up flying over my nine year old friend. As granular chunks of asphalt dig into my young tender flesh that I was sure would be there forever, Alex and the wagon crash into me knocking the breath from my lungs. As my breathing starts to normalize, we discuss what went wrong. Lesson learned: Push straighter and don’t overcompensate.
The name of the game was StuntMan. It was a very simple game consisting of some way to either hurt yourself, your friend or some inanimate object. If it could be hurled, tossed, thrown, climbed on, jumped over, dropped or hit, it was a job for StuntMan. This particular episode of Stuntman called for the heroes to head straight for a new pallet of bricks. Just before impact we are to leap from the wagon and clear all the bricks. One tiny mistake and ‘BAM!’ we are either thrust straight into the bricks or ‘THUD!’ land on top of the bricks.
This time we get it right. My new and now scuffed ‘Buddies’ help me push all the way down both driveways. However, trying to make sure he had all the momentum he could get, I give a final lunging push that throws me off balance and sends me once again tumbling onto the pavement tearing skin and brown polyester clothing alike. Alex fared even worse. He wasn’t expecting that final push, so his timing was off. Instead of jumping over the bricks, he looked as if he was standing up just in time to have the bricks cut his legs out from under him. This called for more discussion. Lesson learned: don’t improvise at the last minute. Stick to the game plan.
It was my turn. Alex is shorter than me so he was able to get behind me and push more forward and less downward. I can feel the wheels shimmying side to side as I pick up speed. It really gets nerve-wracking as I approach the launch point. Wait for it…Wait for it……Jump! Dag! Too early. I land right on top of the bricks with a breathtaking UGHN! and roll off the back of the pallet. Lesson learned: Patience is a virtue. Wait until the last second.
After 3 or 4 hours of perfecting our form we headed back to the house for some much needed Kool-Aid and cookies. It was never our intention to cause any property damage. I mean, Hell they’re bricks! It never crossed our minds that we could possibly hurt bricks with a metal red wagon.
Apparently later that evening Alex’s dad, Art, gets a call from the neighbor trying to figure out how his pallet of new bricks had gotten so chewed up. Alex was shortly thereafter chewed up as well. My dad must have gotten the call following the aforementioned chewing from Art informing him of the days’ events. It sure seemed like the end of the world at the time. I was confined to my room for a week. ( aka no ‘Big Show’ after school and no Scooby-Doo on Saturday ) Alex and I were informed we needed to take a week or two off from each other and StuntMan was to be forgotten about.
The sad truth was that by the time the punishment was over, our undiagnosed ADHD had kicked in. Lesson learned: We heard you can do some really cool things with a can of Lysol and a match…….