The other day, Now Husband asked, “You don’t ride a bicycle?” This was an interesting question, since NH has known LBL since December 2002 and has lived with her since May 2006. Apparently, his astute powers of observation are limited to things like “Wow! Look at that squirrel in that tree a couple blocks down!” or, when, driving at a fairly rapid clip along the highway, “Wow! Did you just see that bird catch that mosquito!” But he has never noticed that in all the time he and Life in the Boomer Lane have been together,
1. there is no bicycle on the premises that belongs to LBL
2. LBL has never said, “Let’s go bike riding!”
3. LBL has never used the word “bicycle” or “bike” in conversation unless she is referring to a child or to NH’s motorcycle or scooter.
After LBL told him she didn’t ride a bike, NH asked why. This was an anticipated question, since most people between the ages of two and eighty-five are out there, pedaling away in a blissful state of cycling-induced intoxication and optimal health.
The answer is that LBL doesn’t ride a bike for the same reason she no longer skis, no longer hikes, has never ridden on a roller coaster, would never go rock climbing or walk on one of those rope bridges in the jungles of Costa Rica, and won’t go up more than a few rungs on a ladder. This is because:
LBL would fall down and kill herself.
And even if the fall didn’t kill me, the fear would make my heart stop and I would be dead anyway. She has proof of this. Years ago, she did a “ropes course,” the exhilarating, bonding, life-altering experience in which you are expected to do what Green Berets and circus people do on a regular basis. Everyone but LBL shrieked “OH! I AM SO TERRIFIED!!!” And then they did each activity anyway, followed by “OHMYGOD, I NEVER THOUGHT I COULD DO THAT! MY LIFE HAS CHANGED FOREVER!” and other drivel. LBL, on the other hand, said nothing, because her throat locked up (along with all of her heart valves) and was was unable to do anything but squeak.
After the owner of the ropes course watched her attempt to do one of the assigned life-altering “challenges” (Climb a telephone pole and stand on a small disc the top which has deliberately been secured by only one nail so that it wobbles all over the place, and then leap into the air and grab a rope that is hanging just out of reach), in which LBL got only about half-way up the pole and voided in her pants, he pulled her aside and told her she needed some kind of therapy before attempting anything like this again. He suggested starting with a small foot stool and working her way up in height.
She took his advice. She started with a small stool. She is still working on perfecting that one. The bicycle will have to wait. She’s just happy to be alive and have clean underwear.