Before anyone can think that crazy thoughts and actions can only occur in an older generation, I give you my nephews. Now I heard this story over a card game this summer and I just knew it had to be repeated. I have asked them several times to write it down (ok, I was being a little lazy…thought I would just publish their words), but to no avail. I have gotten a couple of excuses, the latest one being from the new college man Clint that he just does not have time! Come on now, I went to college….there is plenty of time! HA! Clint is pretty focused and we are proud of him. Clay has given me nothing, not a phone call or even one of those text thingy’s (proud of him too)! So, they have to suffer through my bad memory and any embellishments I might want to add to this story of the redneck bobsled!
The way it was told to me was that this was several years ago, not long after they had moved to Oregon. They were playing on the driveway and thought it would be fun to push each other around in their radio flyer wagon. From my own experience I can tell you that pushing each other around just loses it excitement when you factor in the arguing about whose turn it was to push and how far they needed to be pushed. So I suspect that the driveway started looking very fetching to them. Now from what I understand the driveway was long, circular, paved and downhill to boot! I can see how that would look enticing to a couple young daredevils such as Clint and Clay. They are a couple of intelligent young men and did not want to get hurt so they took all of the safety precautions that OSHA might require (for you don’t know OSHA is the Occupational Safety something, something Agency…I give up).
They installed seat belts to keep them from falling out of the wagon. They installed brakes, to slow them down or stop as needed. Heck they wagon even came with a steering wheel. There would be no careening wildly down the hill on their watch!
Of course the details of these “improvements” probably leave a lot to be desired in any adult’s eyes! The seat belts were bungee cords that they strapped across their legs when they were mounted on this wild wagon. The brakes were a cinder block with a 10-12 foot rope attached and dallied off to the back axle of the wagon. And the steering wheel, of course, was the handle of the wagon…they figured that anything that was factory installed had to be safe!
They pulled the wagon to the edge of the driveway, where it just started to want to slope. Clay got in front as he was the driver and Clint in the back because he would be running the brakes. They took a deep breath (you need to prepare for the excitement!) and pushed off! Now from what they both said the first part was pretty exciting, but Clint said he thought they were running a little fast. So after a bit, he applied the brakes. Meaning he threw the block out (Must have been holding it in his lap, radio flyers are not that big). At this point Clay said the wagon got a little hard to steer (I suspect the block bouncing and careening around behind them had something to do with that!). it turns out that a cinder block on a rope really doesn’t cut it as brakes. It wasn’t very long before the rope broke and they picked up speed again (Clay said the steering got easier at that point).
As with most Johnson stories they get wilder. According to these two wild young honyaks, about half way down the drive a deer jumped out of the brush on the side. So Clay (being’s how I’m sure he has seen what a deer can do to a car and he wasn’t driving a car) jerked the steering wheel and they ran off the road. (Can you imagine what that deer must have been thinking; here he was minding his own business. Stepping out on a driveway to cross and almost getting run over by a radio flyer with two boys bungeed in and a cinder block bouncing along behind them. Bet he told his buddies, “You should have seen what I saw! It had four legs, four arms, two heads and four wheels! Its tail had a big square rock in it and it was yelling as it as it tried to run me down!)
Anyway, they crashed through the brush into a ditch. The brush slowed them down enough that they did not go all the way through the ditch, they ended up with the wagon nose down and tail up. This of course means there is some pressure on the bungee cords, now they couldn’t get out! So there they sat. Strapped in a wagon, unable to get out, with their butts in the air and staring at the ground. After a bit, I’m sure to let their hearts get back to normal, they start trying to figure out how they were going to get out. But, to no avail will the wagon release them. So red faced (from going through the brush, I’m sure), they had to call their Grandmother and ask her to come down to the end of the driveway and help them out. Not sure what Omi thought of this whole spree….but I bet it’s funny now!