Saturday, April 04, 2009

Jogging In My Thongs--


Mum got her new tricycle yesterday, and stood over her walker with her reading glasses on staring at me until I got the bike put together.

When I was in the eighth grade, Pops lost his job at Pan American Airlines due to lay-offs, and we invested in a bicycle store that sold Schwinn's that were then made in Chicago.

Nearing Christmas, my brothers and I would be nabbed by Pops and driven down to the local rail yard, where we would crawl inside the freight car and begin the task of unloading bicycle boxes down to the men who worked at the store.

Our ace mechanic and wheel truer, Rick, was a greasy guy who smoked so much his skin was the color of a cigar. He and my Pops would eyeball each other as they grabbed the boxes we handed down to them as they placed them in the shape of a "Vee" into the back of a pick-up. You see, Pops hated cigarette smoke and the whole act of smoking (his father was a smoker/mechanic in the same vein as Rick, and Rick worked with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth most of the day). The two of them were tied to each other by need--Pops needed the best bicycle mechanic in town working for him, and Rick needed the best paying bicycle mechanic job in town- but oh did they stare...

My Pops coughed a lot of fake coughs too, while Steve and I and my step-brother Jay blistered up our young hands handing down box after box...

Anyway, Mum knew all this and expected to see her tricycle put together while she stared, and I put it together under her impatient glaring. I even pulled out a wrench set I own that's stamped "Schwinn approved" and showed Mum that I knew my stuff. The box was missing only a single washer, and only one part was pre-installed backwards by some poor Taiwanese boy dreaming of his week-end, so the rear frame got bolted to the main frame, the wheels were inflated and installed, the handlebars rolled and inserted and tightened, and the seat shoved into its post hole...

When it looked like a tricycle but did not have the fenders or basket installed, Mum got on it so I could adjust the seat and handlebars to fit her... and decided to take it for a ride out of our gate and down the road...

"Use the brake, Momma," I suggested. "Practice stopping before you get going too fast."

I walked alongside of her in my thongs (flip-flops), and was pleased to see the shit-eating grin she displayed while peddling slightly downhill. I walked flippety-floppity and remembered the day she walked alongside me, when I was five and learning to ride my first bicycle at a school yard in Daly City, California in the fog...

Tricycles are very stable but I worried she'd veer off into the ditch which would cause the tricycle to roll over. Rolling=over tricycles are unstable, so I stayed right with her.

She began to go faster.

And faster.

I was now jogging in my thongs, trying to hold them on with my toes, not wanting to see the joy gone from Mum's face. Mum just gleamed and peddled, her face pushed into the wind.

"Oh Scotty, thank you! This is so much fun!"

"Try your brakes, Momma! Make sure your brakes work!"

Oh Lordy. Next time she goes out, I'm wearing running shoes...

7 comments:

Jeannie said...

Yay for you!
Yay for Mum!

Sounds like you did the right thing getting the trike for her.

meno said...

What a great way for her to get exercise AND have some fun.

Good one Scott!

dogbait said...

Like you, I need to pad my arse from those ridiculously small bike seats, hence a Schwinn padded bike cover adorns my mountain bike.

Cheesy said...

HUGE GRIN!
You are a good son m'dear....

kario said...

Yup, put on those jogging shoes and have your Momma take off! I'm predicting you'll win the weight loss bet in no time!

Woo hoo!

D-Man said...

Heh. Glad you elaborated on the "thongs". That's a g-string down this way.

Sweeti said...

Scott your a good guy and I don't care what anyone else says about you. LOL.
I want to see her going on that trike. I think it's totally awesome.