“Are you going to go on your ride tomorrow?” I asked The Lad at dinner last night, because I am The Stupid. The Lad had been planning to drive his motobike 1,000 miles in a day to get an obscure certification which would profit him nothing in the real world, much like a Bachelor’s Degree.
“No,” said The Lad regretfully. “I haven’t had a chance to fix my bike yet.”
“What’s wrong with your bike?” asked my mom, who might also be called The Sharp Ears but won’t be.
“Oh, I laid it down last weekend,” said The Lad blithely, as if he didn’t know this would land me in a mess o’trouble. I began gently kicking his ankle with all of my strength under the table. (For those of you who just like normal 4-wheeled vehicles, ‘laying down’ a bike means anything from a minor fall to a near-death experience.)
“What,” said my mother, in a tone which to me clearly meant “You have ten seconds to pretend you’re joking before I forbid you to ever see my daughter again,” but to The Lad apparently meant “How interesting, please tell me more.”
“Yeah,” he said, “I was going about ten miles an hour on the freeway…” While he told his story, under the table my foot was frantically WHAM-WHAM-WHAMming his anklebone. My mom finally looked at me and said “Kicking isn’t going to help.”
When he finished his story, she turned to me and said “You understand that you can never go on his bike, ever again, ever, whatsoever, ever, never. Right?”
“I understand,” I said solemnly. Then The Lad decided this was a great moment to begin telling a story about this time he and his wonderbike hit the side of a VW Bug…