Memphis has a new skate park. It’s nifty. They allow bikes, but don’t so much encourage them. This is for many reasons, mainly the one being that skaters and bikers tend to be like the Jets and Sharks. And by that I mean they spontaneously throw down their means of locomotion and have dance offs with a jeté or échappé sauté thrown in for kicks and giggles.
So this conversation happens:
Chuck: Hey, you still have your old bike, right?
The Son: Yes.
Chuck: Bring it over, will you? I want to take it to the park.
The Son: Okay.
It is testament to the type of relationship they have that when Chuck said he intended to take the bike to the park he was not met with the choking sound and eye-rolling he was when he told me that’s what he wanted to do.
And he rides. And he comes home with a hole in his jacket, but no hole in him. This is a win in my book. And he goes back. And again, he arrives with all the parts he left with, but they are slightly more bruised and achy. And then. It happens.
Chuck: I think I’m going to look for a used board.
Me: OH HELL NO!
Chuck: (Looks at me all innocent- and dewy-like)
Me: Okay, first? You get the deck, then you have to get the wheels, and the trucks, and then you’ll want tail guards, and at the end of it you could have bought a new road bike for what you’ve put into the board. Second? No. I have never said no to anything like this before, can we agree on that?
Me: Right. You are not young. You are creaky. And when they call me because you’ve popped out a kidney or something, I’m gonna be all Chuck Who? I served with skaters. I knew skaters. Skaters were friends of mine. You, sir, are no skater. Because you are a grown ass man. Your shredding skills are, admittedly, unknown to me. Because you are a grown ass man.
And a few days later:
Chuck: I was looking at boards…
Me: (Head asplodes)