I Played Chicken with a Pedal Car…and Lost.Submitted by AllyJeans at 2006-03-10 09:19:18 EST
Rating: 1.89 on 33 ratings (33 reviews) (Review this item) (V)
When I was a little girl, I was really tough. I’d jump off the garage twice a week and effortlessly tuck and roll to safety. When I did get hurt, it was because a branch was in my way, or I landed too hard on my head. Even then, I’d just have my dad apply the Neosporin and Charlie Brown stickers, and head right back out. I had a death wish that I couldn’t explain, and it often got me in trouble.
When I was six, I also had a bit of larceny in my blood. You see, back in ‘87 everything was cool. McDonalds would give away these great toys in their happy meals, like small kites, remote control cars, and plastic records that would tell you if you won a free trip to Space Camp. For cartoons, we had Transformers, G.I. Joe and Rainbow Brite. We had the clothes, which I could spend hours talking about…and we had Teddy fucking Ruxpin.
Kid’s like me were groomed to want it all. And we usually killed out parents trying to get it. Sooner or later, we got what we wanted, but it was never enough. There was a certain status that you could only get by having something new or special. I wasn’t immune to its power. So begins my story.
It was a lazy Saturday and I was running around the neighborhood looking for something to do. During the course of my travels, I eyed a mature 8 year old, who was selling throwing stars.
They were folded with perfection and looked as dangerous as the real thing. Some even had crayon Lightening bolts drawn on them. I didn’t just want one. I needed to know their secrets. I decided to get two. One for throwing, the other to take apart and analyze.
Of course, I didn’t have enough money. That was a problem.
I was desperate. I started studying the boy. He would sell his stock (usually two or three stars) and then run behind my neighbor’s house. Moments later, he would come back with more. It was obvious what he was doing…even to a 6-year-old. The bastard had a hidden stash. Evidently, he feared muggers. He should have feared a certain budding ninja named Ally.
Walking stealthfully I followed the boy on one of his return trips, ducking behind a bush when he would look back, then sliding along the house when he resumed walking. Fearing discovery, I got low to the ground with my palms flat against the shingles. Then I crept—in short, deliberate strides. It wasn’t long before I heard the rustle of a plastic and paper. Entirely in the moment, I pulled my hair over my nose and mouth so I would have ninja eyes. Then I waited. After digging out a few stars, the boy replaced the bag and wandered around in his hiding spot—apparently trying to fool any onlookers from the street. After a few turns he finally left.
In a flash, I flew from behind my bush and started looking around the tree. Then I saw it, a bag of throwing stars—at least a dozen, hidden in a hole under a few twigs. With no shame in my heart, I seized it and took off. I would have flown through the treetops if I had studied my wirework, but still made sufficient time along the ground, sprinting behind houses and hopping over fences. Eventually I made it to my house with the bounty in hand.
Now, let’s get something straight. I wasn’t the most experienced thief. If I had spent any time on the craft, I would have known that you hide out after you pull a job. What you don’t do is make a throwing star necklace and wear it in front of the victim. I did, and my prey wanted blood.
While I flaunted my ninja apparel in the setting sun, the boy had gone to his house and nabbed the infamous peddle car. Just as he was getting in, I turned and made eye contact. Time stopped. It was just me staring up the hill at the boy, who stared back with supreme hate in his soul.
My thoughts then turned to the necklace I was fingering in my right hand and I knew what he intended. I quickly grasped it and held it up smiling. The boy started peddling.
I walked off the sidewalk and into the middle of the street. I took the necklace off and held it in the air. He sped up.
I didn’t know chicken was before this moment. If anything, it was probably a vague notion in the back of my mind with no meaning behind it. Suddenly I knew what it meant and I wasn’t moving.
Halfway down the hill, he was zooming. I could see his body list back and forth as he peddled, and with each yard he gained, his listing became more pronounced. Still, I stood my ground. I don’t think I was necessarily brave, or that I thought I was invincible…I was just naive. I thought he would move first.
I guess he thought the same thing.
In a blink, he went from halfway down the hill to impact. He took out my legs and I went straight over the top of the car, flopping like a doll on the pavement. Being run over is a mystifying experience. At first, you wonder how the hell you’re body didn’t stop the car; then you wonder how you survived.
Still dazed, I rolled over and watched the boy speeding away. A hit and run. He must have thought he killed me or something because he never stopped peddling. He took the corner at the end of the street and was gone.
I rolled back and stared at the reddish sky. Instinctively, I started stretching my legs. They worked, but I had a tear in my skirt and a busted lip. After a half hour like that, I sat up and walked home.
Looking back, I had done well. I didn’t break anything and I had probably performed the coolest stunt a 6-year-old girl could do. Still, it was a sad lesson to learn--that I was no match for inertia and speeding boys.
If it means anything, I dissected those stars and learned how to make them. Then I started giving them away for free. I hope the little fucker went bankrupt.
If you guys want to make some, I found a link that shows how to do it.
They are great for around the office. Hard to aim, but very sturdy.