Thursday, July 21, 2011

Where Was My Sir Walter Raleigh?

  Chivalry is clearly dead -- at least in my backyard.
Sir Walter Raleigh: In Life and Legend   Recently, the bossband and I went for a walk around the block, a regular attempt at exercise. Of late, some old teens/young adults have decided to turn our newly paved street into LOVE Park, that is skateboard central. Thing is, they don't seem too adept at balancing on a board with wheels while staying atop it.
  On our outbound journey, I was grumbling about the damage to the street. Yes, I've become one of those. Now that I'm on the neighborhood committee that makes decisions about things like paving the road and general curbside appearance, I'm a cranky old lady that's irked at the skid marks left behind by the Tony Hawk-wannabes/ain't gonna happen types.
  Anyway, as we walk, talk, complain, the bossband and I do our one-mile trek around the area. Thirty-minutes later, we neared our street's entrance. The skateboarders were still at it. I heard a screech, was about to say, "See, that's what I mean -- not good for the pavement," when I saw a skateboard sans skateboarder from the corner of my eye hurtling toward me at Concord speed. I screamed and went down for the count as it rammed into my ankle. My husband picked me up off that new pavement, and I cursed. My ankle hurt, my shoulder hurt, my wrist hurt.
Tony Hawk: Professional Skateboarder   The skateboarder, who himself had flown off in the opposite direction onto the grass, but appeared none the worse for wear, apologized profusely and kept asking if I was OK. When I said, "No, I sprained my ankle," he said one more sorry and vanished, Houdini-style, from the general vicinity. I limped home. This time I was grumbling about how these things always happen to me.
  Then it occurred to me. The bossband was walking next to me on the outside. How come the skateboard didn't hit him? I enquired. "I stepped out of the way," he said, matter-of-fact.
  "How come you didn't save me?" I persisted.
  That led to an intense several minutes about primal instinct versus concern for your loved ones. His instinct was to save himself -- each man, or woman, for himself/herself. He didn't have time to think about anyone else. I should have been paying better attention when I heard that initial screech and jumped for dear life. I should have saved myself, in other words. This is, after all, the 21st century, equal rights and all.
  That has its share of sense and logic in it, the bossband's forte.
  But am I unreasonable to expect my one and only to take the fall for me, or at least grab me out of harm's way? A little chivalry would have been nice, don't you think?

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