Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Fun Ain't Cheap

A friend sent me a movie clip from YouTube I guess. It showed two guys about twenty five years old out in a field. Upon closer examination they both had bicycle helmets on. What was even more strange is they both had harnesses around their chests and the two harnesses were connected by a rope. The guy facing the camera said this is human tug of war...and they both took off running in opposite directions. When all the slack was out of the rope they both had a full head of steam. The smaller of the two was snatched off his feet and slammed to the earth on his back. The crowd of onlookers hooted and laughed. You could tell there was beer involved. Then they got up and did it again. I couldn't believe my eyes. - what idiots I thought!
But as I shook my head, I noticed a photograph on my desk. It's been there for years and I had all but forgotten about it until just now. It is a photograph of our crew of friends taken about twenty years ago. Jilda and I are the two on the far left. It occurred to me that we were as foolish as the human tug-of-war guys.
If you look closely at this photo, you can tell there are about twenty two people standing on what looks like a piece of carpet....well that's because it IS a piece of carpet. The carpet is nailed to a wooden beam. You see those two ropes leading off towards the photographer...they are attached to a four wheel drive pickup. You see all those people standing on that piece of carpet? Well all of them except the kids were about to go for the ride of their lives.
We all stood on the carpet as the pickup lurched off slowly--everyone scrambled for balance and we lost a few then but most everyone crouched down much like a surfer and hung on to each other to stay on our feet. The pickup which drove around a forty acre hay field gradually picked up speed. When the rug hit a stump, or a rabbit hole a few people would fall off. He picked up more speed and when he'd make a turn we'd lose a few more.
Only the young and agile...and stupid, managed to hang on until the pickup made a complete orbit around the field. As the truck approached the starting point it looked like a NASCAR racer heading for the finish line. The poor kid that was left on the carpet was lying on his stomach holding on to the beam for dear life. He looked like he had see a ghost but he had the smile of victory on his face. The fallen limped back towards the beer coolers -- with bleeding knees and elbow's.
We did this for years on Sunday afternoons. People would come from all around to experience the rug ride. We'd probably still be rug riding if it weren't for the chance of nasty lawsuit. I can hear the judge right now "YOUR WERE DOING WHAT!!!!!!"
But it was great fun while it lasted and we had very few casualties though a slight concussion persuaded my lovely wife that she'd had about as much fun as she could stand.
So I guess I really don't have a right to call the human tug-of-war guys foolish but I'm sure they would agree that fun ain't cheap.


  1. I am still laughing about this post 5 minutes later..

    But I have to say this - it only confirms my thoughts about the people from The South. You're absolutley a breed of your own. More unrestrained laughter.

    Truth is I would really liked to have been there - but looking on, no way would you get me on that carpet!!

  2. Hey AB, you have no idea. I could tell some really funny stuff about our crew but they read my blog so I fear I'd be cooked at the next pig roast. Thanks.

  3. Was it before or after the concussion that Jilda decided to marry you? A great story! Just right to start my day. And the music on the Cds is GREAT. Thnks again.


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