I pass by this place often on my way somewhere else but hadn’t made it a destination until tonight. I’m rewarded with a twisting trail, stairs of brick and stone standing in proud defiance of current building codes, and an audience of deer, the “locals” in this wooded glade. The concrete bandstand has an access ramp to one side and stairs exiting opposite. Perfect. A couple of quick laps has the Monty chirping on the leading edge of the stair treads. Exiting a left turn I accelerate quickly towards the threshold yet again. I carry the speed with me over the edge transitioning smoothly from riding to flight. I’ve cleared the four set and stick the landing. By some unhappy circumstance the lawn below has responded to a seismic conspiracy leaving an evil divot. My textbook flight ends in a landing from hell as the wheel stops abruptly. My aging knees do their best but ultimately let me down on the seat - hard. In an instant my right testicle is converted to a tonsil. I feel ill as I crumple and fall to the ground letting the unicycle fend for itself. Like any other similarly tough male I’m… confused. Not sure if I want to puke or cry. Convinced I’m dying I look up to see if there is anyone to shoot me. A couple of half coughs, half gags remind me to breathe. Seconds and finally minutes pass.
My riding definitely over for the night I head to the local pub talking to myself the while arguing that unicycling is obviously a sport for young eunuchs. A strange sensation grips me. A confusing cross between hunger and nausea so I decide to split the difference and drink. I order a pint and it arrives followed, thanks to a friend’s intervention, by a well wrapped bag of ice cubes. My ashen colour has not gone unnoticed by those who remark there’s nothing in my complexion to suggest I’m alive. Those dear to me show their concern by debating the relative merits of a grapefruit sized nut versus a wooden prosthesis. Suggested ‘cures’ range the gamut from ibuprofen to things best not repeated on a family oriented mailing list. Thankfully band member Todd Butler is making wonderful use of a new amplifier sparing me the details of conversation among my “friends”.
Shifting regularly from hunched over to semi reclining I’m the grateful recipient of several pints sent by sympathetic souls who remind me there’s a reason bicycles have two wheels and suspension. In my weakened state I’m unable to recall a single one of the witty responses to lectures such as this posted regularly by list members. But it’s Wednesday night which is my chosen time for enjoying music and tonight the band is particularly good by any standard so all in all my night’s been a mixed bag.
If the above has been too graphic for your taste stop watching real TV, complain to your mother, and remember I ain’t her.