Saturday 5 January 2013

Double Dog Dare

Every so often me and my mind drift off into the past. I don’t think it is time travel per se, but it is probably as close to it as I will come. It’s different than a memory, and yet it is the same. The only way that I can describe it is that instead of remembering the incident, I am watching and yes, judging.

Remember when you were a kid how if someone wanted to get you to do something really stupid they would bet that you couldn’t do it. If they wanted you to do something really, really stupid they would dare you to do it. If they wanted you to do something stupid and dangerous they would double-dog dare you.

I have a friend that was brought up on a farm in southern Ontario and every now and then his city cousins would come out for a visit. He didn’t like them very much, because they treated him like a hick. He was a hick, but that didn’t mean that his cousins were smarter than he was. The adults would shoo the kids out and invariable my friend would have to show the city cousins around the farm. Sometimes they would fight, but mainly the city kids would hate being in the country and he would hate having them in the country. On one of these sullen walks one of the city boys said he had to piss. My friend looked at him and said “Bet you can’t piss on that fence wire there!”
“Bet I can!”
“Bet you can’t.”
“Oh yeah!”

My friend lost the bet, but his cousin got the shock of his life when he pissed on the electric fence.

I had another friend that was brought up out here in Calgary and when he was younger he and his brothers would go tobogganing in the winter. They would go to the best and steepest hill around of course. The only problem with the steepest hill around was that right at the bottom of the hill there was a barbed wire fence. If you were small enough and quick enough, you could lay flat on the sled and just make it under the fence for the ride of your life. No one would be stupid enough to ride that hill! Well, until a brother would say “I dare you to sled down the hill!”

Well, it was a dare and you had to. He never told me if he got injured or if his coat was torn, but he wouldn’t because it would make him look stupid. Maybe I should dare him to tell me.

When I was younger and at my grandmother’s cottage, we didn’t really have enough to do. We had five or six friends that were in the same boat so we would get into trouble together. One hot August day we were on our bikes and it just seemed natural and even sensible to ride them into the lake. The trouble was that you couldn’t get very far unless you had a hill and we didn’t really. We did have a fence, a plank and a dock, which on that hot August day seemed to be very much like a hill. Well, not to me, but then I was one of the younger kids and didn’t know nuthin’.

Actually no one was stupid enough. Well, until my brother double-dog dared me to do it. A double-dog dare? They lifted the bike up onto the 2 X 4 fence and helped me balance on the bike. They let go of the bike and I sailed down the plank, across a small patch of dirt and out onto the dock. I was making history! Well, I was until the bike was stopped dead by the 4 X 4 at the end of the dock. How did we not see that? The bike stopped, I didn’t, and thankfully my testicles came with me although the handlebars made a grab for them. It is hard to swim with sore balls after doing a somersault into cold, deep water. I nearly drowned while the guys were laughing at me.

The front wheel of the bike was toast, I never, ever thought it would be a good idea to ride a bike off of a dock again and the double-dog dare ceased to have any influence on me ever again. Well, I stopped hanging around with people that would double-dog dare me.

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