Dirt Bikes

Contributor: David Macpherson

- -
My father was beside himself over the dirt bikes. A bunch of the neighborhood teenagers had dirt bikes and they rode through our subdivision late at night, every night. Because our house was on the corner of Hemlock Lane and Elm Street, they cut through our lawn, tearing up the grass every time.

His first course of action was talking to the dirt biker’s parents. Did he really think that was going to help? It seemed that the ruts in the lawn got deeper.

Next, my father reasoned that he should make the lawn less appealing to the dirt bikers. He bought a large landscaping rock and placed it in the middle of the lawn, the place that the bikes always appeared to go through. In the morning, we woke to see that this large half ton rock was rolled up right next to the house. Like a giant Easter egg roll, they pushed the offending lawn obstruction away from their preferred bike path.

My father had the rock returned to its place and planted pricker bushes all around it. The bikers responded. The bushes were pruned down to the roots and the rock was now just gone, never to be seen again.

It was here that he stopped seeing them as annoying kids with dirt bikes and only as the enemy. He taught my sister and I a new word, proliferation.

From a Korean War buddy, he scored a half dozen or so landmines and as a family activity, we planted them in the lawn. It was similar to our gardening chores, if the geranium bulbs were hollowed out and filled with nitro glycerine.

We were awoken by two shattering explosions and pleas for help. No one was killed, but two of the kids were without dirt bikes and one was missing a pinky finger. That was the last time they tore through our yard.

The only thing, my father was not in ordinance back in Korea; he was a desk jockey. His ability to retrieve unused armaments probably was a tad underdeveloped. My sister discovered this fact as she ran through the yard for the school bus. She heard the distinct click of a landmine being stepped on.

She stopped and and cried for help. She stood there for seven hours. They had to call the bomb squad from Chicago to deal with it. When she was finally taken off the mine, she had no more tears to weep. She was haggard and exhausted.

My father swept her into his arms and bombarded her with apologies. He was so sorry. How can he prove to her he was sorry? What can he get for her so she will forgive him?

My sister looked at him and said, “I want a dirt bike.”

- - -
Read more »
These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Help keep Linguistic Erosion alive! Visit our sponsors! :)- - -