Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Benefits of Moving Slowly

Mark's was black.
In high school, I was on the science bowl team.  One day, when our after-school practice let out, I was walking out of the building with Mike.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Zach (a.k.a. "The Gooch") drop his books in front of Mark's (a.k.a. "Opie Potter Bucky") truck.

Mark, not a particularly tall person, was behind the wheel of his family's big Dodge.  It was a working farm truck, the kind with a calf castrating tool in the glove box because ya never know when you might need to castrate a calf.

Zach must've assumed that Mark saw him and bent over to pick up his books.  Mark on the other hand, had been buckling his seat belt and could barely see over the steering wheel anyway.   When Mark started up his truck, Zach got a funny look on his face, but kept gathering his books.  When Mark put it into gear and pulled forward, Zach moved very quickly for a fellow his size, rolling between the wheels and flattening out.  It was really the best option, given his starting position and the truck's mighty clearance.  He was really fortunate that Mark was very level-headed for a teenager and not the kind who floors it to impress his friends.

Mike and I ran up, waving our arms and shouting, "Mark!  Mark!  You ran over the Gooch!"  Mark stopped, just as the Zach 's chest cleared the differential.  He rolled down his window, looking at us quizzically.  Out of breath, I panted, "You ran over the Gooch...BACK UP!"

Others may correct me, but I think that's about the dumbest thing I've ever said.  I guess I thought that Zach had been crushed and we needed to get to his unconscious body ASAP.  I never talked to the Gooch about it, but I can imagine his feelings of relief when the truck stopped, rapidly followed by disbelief when the truck started to back up.  This time, the differential caught him and dragged him a bit on the asphalt.

Duck, fool!
I did another dumb thing today, but fortunately, I was moving slowly.  Ben and I were at Liberty Park and he was being more volatile than usual.  I could tell he needed to go potty, but when I brought it up, he yelled at me.  Then he was trying to interact with a couple of much younger kids on a play-set in ways that they were not getting.  He started started to lose his cool and the kids were looking a little scared, so I put Ben up on my shoulders and headed to the restroom.

We travel that way a lot, and I'm usually very mindful of clearance, but this morning, with Ben yelling and pulling my hair, I was not.   As I walked through the restroom doorway, I heard a small thud from over my head.

Ben was quiet for a moment as I put him down, and then he started yelling, "Go home!"  I hugged him, but all he would say was "Go home!"

We exited the restroom and I carefully put him back on my shoulders, heading for the car.  Then the bloody nose began.  Ben gets lots of bloody noses, and I must say, this one was quite the gusher.  I didn't have a good way to stem it, so I just hurried to the car, avoiding low hanging limbs.  By the time we reached it, we both looked like something out of a horror movie.  On the plus side, Ben was laughing and making smacking noises with his lips.
It wasn't our best trip to the park, but it wasn't our worst either.

Have a safe and happy summer!

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