Personal Bits

You may fire when ready.

Being the last of 5 kids means that the chances of getting a bike that wasn’t handed down past at least 3 other users was slim to none. And god help you if you “borrowed” your brother’s banana seat bike, the one with the gear shift (3 only) in the centre bar that looked like a Death Star laser beam control. A brotherly pounding was usually your reward if you were caught even dreaming of riding any of their bikes.

So when your best friend offers you a ride on his brand new bike, you take it, right? Even though your best friend at the time was a year younger and naturally shorter than you. Of course your knees would hit your hands/handlebars as you pumped the bike faster down the path in the park by your home, right? And we all know that knees hitting hands intermittently is a pretty crappy way to steer.


I was booking it on Paul G’s little bike. I wanted to do an Evil Knievel skid in the sand that lay across the cement path so I had built up some good momentum. When I hit the sand I slid the bike out from under me and the damn thing kept on going. I couldn’t right myself up and went horizontal with the bike.

I was in such pain and shock that I’ve blocked the sound of the bone snapping.

Actually I’m exaggerating. It was only a fracture but it was enough that I couldn’t stand up after untangling the bike from under me. I didn’t know exactly what happened to my leg but I knew I couldn’t walk on it. Tears flowed from my face like wine at a Roman orgy during a grapes harvest.

My unstoppable crying was persuasion enough to get my brother and Paul G to run home to tell Dad of my injury. Know that this was a lot like mere mortals crying to a God for intervention. Not that my Dad was a malevolent god, no. He was divine. His problem lay with the fact that he would faint at the sight of blood, anyone’s blood – his, his offspring’s, pot roasts, etc. Once at a work-sponsored blood drive he fainted so fast (before he got the cookie and juice) that they gave the blood back to him. To suddenly have two kids in his face yelling about an accident threw up all sorts of personal guards for my Dad.

Mike and Paul, simultaneously yelling: “DAD! (Mr Healey!) Come quick! Ted’s fallen and broken his leg in the park!”

Dad: “My goodness, Paul. Is that a new shirt? Looks great!”

Mike & Paul: “He’s hurt! He’s crying!”

Dad: “How’s school, Paul? Good grades?”

Dad, by this time, was the master of evading the site of human vino. He had endured a golf club to my sister’s head, a lawn dart in one of my brother’s back, a full on broken leg from another and a particularly bloody Xmas. But in the end, he was the one who picked us up and washed our wounds and hauled us to the hospital. To his credit, usually by the time the doctor had us under their protective wing, Dad would faint. But not a moment before, bless him.

I wound up with a toe to hip cast and spent most of the summer hobbling around on it. 4 weeks into my convalescence I had to have the cast re-plastered because I was walking on it too much and not relying on the crutches, much to the horror of the doctors.

The lesson? Uh. Never. Borrow a bike from… Paul G? I don’t really have a gem of wisdom for you in regards to this story. Shoo.

2 thoughts on “Breakage

  1. Donna

    Wow… I had a similar thing when I was 9… only I wasn’t trying for a power slide… just trying to handle a friends bike that I wasn’t used to… banana seat and high handle bars… very different to my standard bike. My mother warned me not to ride this bike because I would hurt myself… of course as soon as I was out of my mother’s sight… I hopped on that bike… proceeded to wipe out and break both bones in my right arm. I had not listened to my mom and she had predicted exactly what would happen. Never told my mom the truth until I was 18 and having coffee with my mom at the kitchen table one morning. I course she said… “I told you so”. 🙂

  2. Cb

    I can’t believe you even THOUGHT to attempt a powerslide on a brand new bike that WASNT YOURS!!

    What kind of manners do Canadian children have?? Geesh!!

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