When I was a kid, I liked to go fast. To be fast. To zip. To zoom! I liked all things speedy.
One of the things that helped me zip and zoom all around my neighborhood was a very cool, very fast blue banana seat bike. It was just about the best thing ever. It had streamers attached to the handle bars that flew in the wind. On the wheels were spokey-dokes, these things that clipped onto the spokes of the wheels so that, when I wasn't a blue blur, the little plastic things would fall down and up and down and up to make a plunky-plunk sound that even I thought was annoying after a few months. (I never figured out how to get them off.)
But the best thing about my blue bike was that it had blue tires. And when I would zoom along the neighborhood sidewalk smiling my toothy second grade smile, with my too-long hair streaming out behind me (helmets? not then!) and suddenly see a pal I wanted to impress, I could skid to a stop. And those cool blue tires left a long blue skid mark on the ground.
Oh that bike was so cool!
I once needed my speedy blue bike to escape certain death. My big sister and I thought it would be nice to make our dad some breakfast one Saturday morning. We went big and fancy and made him some toast. He liked really, really toasted toast--black and crispy, so that when he put butter on it the knife would scrape along the hardened bread and make the same sound as when we raked leaves across our concrete driveway.
She and I started out with a kind mission, but then we morphed into funny. We decided to make him the darkest, crispiest, hardest toast ever made this side of the Mississippi. We had a toaster oven back then, and when the toast BINGED to an end, we gave that poor, innocent toast a second turn in the toaster oven.
By this time we were giggling, because the toast was already as black as he liked it. And we turned into ourselves and our little joke and laughed ourselves silly in the middle of the circle-rug in the middle of our kitchen. She and I tried to figure out who was the funniest, and then we started to think about how we'd deliver the blacker-than-black toast to him. And oh-my-gosh can you imagine how he was going to roar with laughter at the sight? Our joke would thoroughly delight him. We knew he'd eat it, and we knew it'd make the crunchiest sound if his teeth could even break through the crispiness!
And then we smelled something. Something, um...I think, no wait I know...something was burning. We turned from our rug of giggles to the toaster oven to see flames inside of the toaster oven! FLAMES! The toast, our Dad's toast, was on FIRE!
Since I was eight and super brave, I knew how to handle this. I walked out the screen door, grabbed my cool blue bike and pedaled so hard and so fast that I practically flew down the sidewalk. I didn't stop until I was at least two whole blocks away, a distance I judged to be a safe place when I could tell my neighbors about the fire and we could watch together as the house lit up. Which it certainly would do. I hoped my family would make it out in time.
Whew, I thought. That was a close one.
My blue bike rescued me from certain death that day.