This week's Theme Thursday is supposed to be "Bicycle". And, yes, I actually DO have a bicycle. And here she is:
It's obviously a "she" because she doesn't have that horizontal bar which, for some bizarre (and I imagine quite uncomfortable) reason is always present on the "boy" bikes. Anyway, who cares what sex my bike is? The whole thing is that this week's TT got me thinking about all the "wheels" I've had throughout my life.
It all started with these wheels -- four of them:
Then, just like parents will later take away Santa Claus after they have promised him to you, they soon take away one of your wheels:
So then I had only three. This may be where the expression "hell on wheels" comes from, but I'm not sure about that. I'm only sure about little legs pumping as fast as they can go - round and round and round - and hitting rocks and falling over sideways. Klunk!
Then what do you think? They take away another wheel! And something like this shows up under your Christmas tree one 25th of December - even when you asked for a boy doll:
And then the fun starts. You, with daddy running alongside, wobble down the street generating fear in the hearts of all your elderly neighbors who must remain indoors for the duration. And while you wobble, you chatter away at daddy - the guy you absolutely trust in all things. And you think - well, this really IS kinda fun. And you laugh and turn your head to speak to daddy and are gobsmacked to find that he's two blocks behind you and you have been riding this dangerous vehicle ALL BY YOURSELF -- at which time you immediately fall over. Klunk!
Two wheels just really weren't gettin' it. Life is just full of these little conundrums. So one day - maybe a birthday or maybe in yet another box under the Christmas tree - you find these:
Ha! Nothing can stop you now! Four wheels on EACH Foot! Your mom drives you down to the skating rink -- these are NOT street skates -- oh my, no! And you are so excited in your little skating outfit that makes you look like a little princess. You can't wait to get these things on. You've practiced this over and over. Two laces in one hand and you zig-zag them onto the hooks like a pro!
Then .... OMG. Why are eight wheels so hard to control? You hang onto the railing, your upper torso dragging the lower portion along like tugging your reluctant dog into the door at the vet. But somehow you make it to the rink floor where your expert mom informs you that it's just a lot like walking and she deftly demonstrates while - you are NOT going to believe this -- Going BACKWARDS! You trust mom and so you listen. You even believe her. Why don't your feet believe her? Klunk!
Of course, you finally master those 8 wheels and, at some point, they become too many and you turn them in for another version of Four Wheels:
Now you are right back where you started. Sort of. But these four wheels are spiffy and they spell FREEDOM! Never mind that the whole thing is backwards with the engine in the back and the trunk in the front and the battery under the back seat. What was up with that, anyway? But now you and girl friends can tool around town getting into all manner of mischief. These four wheels are GREAT! At least you thought they were until you saw IT:
O. My. God. There it was. White with blue interior. And it was calling your name. And soon you were driving around town just eating up the suddenly suspended animation when you passed the country club golf course and the golfers froze mid-swing to stare as you passed in all your glory. It was so wonderful while it lasted.
But one day, after going further afield into the world and making your mark -- even if it did look like: for ( j = 1; j < 10; j++; ) -- you decided it was time to move up to a new love:
This was no ordinary love - no sir-eeeee! This was TRUE love. This was the caressing feel of butt-hugging leather seats and a generously fat leather-covered steering wheel and gear-shift knob. This was the Ultimate. Yes. Really. This thing hugged the road at speed like Gonzo on Miss Piggy. It would be five solid years and an accidentally blown-up engine (lovingly replaced) before this guy stopped feeling brand new. And it would be twenty more years that you would faithfully love him -- all through the fading of his lovely baltic blau complexion and the cracking of his dash -- before you would mourn his death and watch, sadly, as he was finally towed away to Ultimate Car Heaven.
But, you had a back-up:
Not the road-hugger of your True Love, but so comfortable and friendly that she is still with you today. She sometimes lunges at creeping speed, but you can't fault her for that because you lunge at creeping speed these days, too. And she didn't seem to object when you brought the Six-Wheeled Brute home one day:
After all, there was no way HE could fit into the garage so he had to stay outside. Heh.
And there you have it -- a lifetime of wheels. We go from 4 to 3 to 2. Then we go back to 4 (sometimes 8) and 4 and 4 and 4 many times over.
But there is another wheeled vehicle most of us never experience:
I'd really like to experience this ONE-wheeled vehicle before I die. The only problem is that daddy isn't here to run alongside me now -- to encourage and tell me I can do it. And bones that were forming then are waxing brittle now.
Should I? Do I dare? Do I risk that final KLUNK!