A decade and four years ago I learned to ride a motor scooter – well, I tried.
Since then I’ve often wondered why a couple of semi-sane parents would buy their daughter a scooter when she has, in the past, very often and quite painfully displayed a penchant for being a klutz.
It’s not like they woke up one morning and went, “Maybe we should help her overcome her klutziness and the best way to do that is to put her on the road in control of a slow-moving vehicle.”
Umm, maybe that’s what they actually did because I soon was the surprised but proud owner of a scooter which, thanks to my petite frame and skinny structure, weighed a ton.
I wasn’t going to let that get in my way, though. I quickly found myself perched precariously on my brand new scooter. My childhood sporadic bicycle-riding moments rose heroically to the rescue and helped me to keep the scooter vertical and moving in a relatively straight line till I got to the end of my quiet lane.
But, gulp! How do I turn this thing around? Did I mention it weighed a gazillion tons?
So, there I was, calculating the axis of rotation and other totally irrelevant things in my head, when my scooter decided to take matters in hand. It decided it had had enough of my clumsy handling. It wanted to stop and smell the roses and unfortunately for me, the roses that grew closest to the road were the ones overhanging a neighbor’s fence.
Now this was no ordinary wooden fence. This was a sturdy metallic fence with absolutely no give to it. You could see into the garden through it and, as a result, the roses were clearly visible too.
Before I knew what was happening, my scooter had raced to the fence closest to the roses and met up quite forcefully with it. There was a loud resounding thud and a fraction of a second later, my rose-obsessed scooter and I were both smack down on the ground, in close association with that aforementioned metallic fence.
Let’s just say it took me a long while to live that one down, especially as many of my neighbors came to help my scooter and me up.
I haven’t been a big fan of scooters or metallic fences since that day. But it did help my parents realize that putting me in charge of a moving vehicle on 2 tires was not the brightest plan when I didn’t have a successful history of being adept on 2 legs.
(One-word prompt: Fence)