Monday, January 30, 2006

Insight into the Skating Culture

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to spend the weekend alone with my daughter, which does not happen very often. I like when it does however, because it forces me to try and come up with ideas for having fun that does not involve alcohol or include activities that may draw the attention of law enforcement authorities. My daughter is only five-years-old and is not yet capable of the evasion skills required for tossing eggs at moving vehicles. On top of that, the concept of omerta is still a fairly alien notion for a kindergartner and I have little doubt that she would narc me out in no time if the cops started putting the screws to her.

So, this weekend we decided to go roller skating, something that I have not done in over twenty years. I have had better ideas. One would think that, have spilled out of countless bar stools in the decade and a half since being able to legally drink (and having fallen out of myriad of other things while drunk prior to that) that I would have learned to take a good fall by now. Well, I’m here to tell you that falling down drunk and falling down sober are two entirely different things.

When one is drunk, one’s body is quite loose and able to “roll with the punches” so to say. This is why a man can down sixteen beers and a quart of spirits, smash his Ford Pinto into tanker truck full of nitro glycerin, get blown halfway to San Diego before crash landing in a six foot high pile of broken glass and walk away from the devastation with nary a scratch while his misadventure has claimed the lives of twenty-two honor students, a truck driver and a slow moving squirrel, all of whom were completely sober. Now had the driver been sober, he probably would have died of a massive heart attack the instant he realized what it was he was about to hit.

Roller skating is little different than driving in this regard. You are too aware of your environment when doing it sober, so you end up hurting yourself far more often and far more severely. First, you feel your left leg start to get away from you. Then you feel your right leg heading off in the opposite direction. Then you tense up and try to force them back together, unwilling to face the realization that they passed the point of no return. Your leg muscles then tighten up, preventing any movement that might lessen your injuries and then you hit the hardwood, wind knocked out of you, gray matter pureed beneath your skull and defenseless against the taunts of ten-year-old rollerblading prodigies that zip around you with the barest minimum of conscious effort.

I hit the deck several times and nearly had a mishap at the urinal that would have caused the roller rink’s janitorial staff far more effort while cleaning the restroom than I am sure they are usually accustomed to. By the time we finally left, I had discovered muscles in my thighs, back and calves that I never knew existed, had an elbow that was swelling up far too fast to be natural and was a little impressed at my unknown ability to do the splits without requiring major surgery to reattach organs that I believed to be rather essential to my sexual identity. My daughter had the time of her life and before we had even turned in her skates, she was asking me when we were coming back.

I did not have the heart to tell her that we would probably not be doing so unless we could convince her mother to stand in as a designated driver.


Blogger Solo said...

Excellent post, Jep. Coincedentally, I happened to have taken my younger kids to the local roller skating rink on Friday night. As luck would have it, I also discovered it being an excellent college chick (well, perhaps a little younger than college) hangout in the that's where they've been hiding them. Enough trolling sleazy bars and snooty coffee shops.-hey, I'm going skating next weekend!

7:23 PM  

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