I’ve lied about many dumb things in my life, but the weirdest of all is from my pre-teen days.
I rode my Banana bike around Forest Hill, a neighborhood of manicured lawns and three-car garages, going up and down the cobblestone hill on Vesta Drive. I had Trix spoke beads and had somehow hypnotized myself to try a dumb thing: I wanted to see what would happen if I jammed a stick into the front wheel as I pedaled.
So I did that and, not too surprisingly, flipped over the handlebars.
A woman yelled from across her lawn, “Are you all right?”
I hobbled away, my knee bleeding, my wheel wobbly, desperate not to explain my stupidity. However the problem lay ahead of how to answer to my mother.
I couldn’t come up with much of anything except that I had been somehow attacked. Forest Hill isn’t exactly a place of marauding gangs – although I had once been challenged to fight in the ravine by a dozen 9-year-olds – and so I came up with a story that I thought might suffice. “This kid came running out from behind his house and threw his hockey stick like a spear. It went right into my front wheel and I went flying.”
My mother scowled – she was good at that – and walked away. I don’t think she believed any of it but she was never one for digging.