Friday, November 30, 2007

Evel Knievel R.I.P.

Evel Knievel, Greyhound bus-jumping hero to all American boy-children of the 1970s, has died at age 69. For a man who lived like he did, making it to 69 is roughly equivalent to a mild-mannered salaryman living to 112.

Despite the “don’t try this at home” mantra that accompanied every TV broadcast of Knievel’s stunts, you don’t have to look far to find men of my generation who still bear scars from trying to jump something on a bicycle. For me, it was a rusty chain about two and a half feet off the ground that blocked a driveway at West University Elementary School in Houston.

Emboldened by Knievel-style visions of my bike sailing over the chain in a graceful, photo-worthy arc, I attempted this brave feat at age 8 without the aid of a ramp. Unfortunately, the laws of physics conspired against me. I crashed straight into the chain, flew over my handlebars and landed on the pavement in a heap of ignominy.

Although no bones were broken and no organs were ruptured, I sustained a nasty cut to the elbow. When the school principal applied hydrogen peroxide to the cut, it stung my wound as well as my ego. Then he summoned my horrified mother to pick me up from school. She rushed me to the pediatrician, where I received stitches of some sort.

To this day, there remains a scar on my left elbow to remind me of my failed attempt at daredevil greatness. Tonight, I will pour some alcohol on that scar in honor of the man who inspired me.


David Wyatt said...

I like to say that he died trying to jump over pulmonary fibrosis...

A Music Page said...

At my school we called it "dog doo" but "ignominy" sounds a lot better. We didn't use them big city words in the Panhandle.

I join you in pouring alcohol in my scar. Oh wait, you said ON the scar. Too late.