Monday, February 21, 2011

Another Random Memory (In Which Shawn and I are Stranded on Top of a Garage)

This happened back in the late 70s when I was still in elementary school. I'd have to know for sure when Mike Couch moved his old garage to where it is now (at least I think it's still where it was moved to... I haven't been back home for a while) to know for sure about when it was. It was pre-move, anyway.

For whatever reason, Shawn and I decided to climb on top of the garage. You have to understand, being Shawn's friend was often an exercise in "What to do if your friend suggested doing things that you know you shouldn't do." We have such hits as, "Pulling a little cart around behind the riding lawn mower, going as fast as possible to jump over our make-shift ramp", and "Elementary school kids take a drive out in the country while the adults are away", and "Let's see what chewing tobacco is like." What I always did, by the way, was go along while feeling very bad about the whole thing. Not "guilty" so much as "bad". Just a sick kind of, "We shouldn't be doing this, but I have to go along because that's what I do," thing.

So we climbed up on the garage. It had one of those corrugated metal roofs, and the roof was at a pretty steep slant. I don't know how long we were up there before my brother Wade (and a friend--Mike Stuart, I think) took the ladder down so we couldn't get back off the roof.

Luckily (not) for us, I realized the well house was right by the garage. All Shawn and I had to do was slide down to the edge and drop onto it. Three, maybe four feet, max!

Granted, the area around it was a brick patio, but that wasn't important. I had an idea, and we could make this work.

It did work, too. That is to say, we got down, and we didn't die, and there were no major injuries.

About one or two feet into our scoot from the apex of the roof, we started to slide. That would be an uncontrollable slide. There was no stopping us.

It was all great fun, while being a little frightening--but we were going to land on the well house (which seriously took up over half that side of the garage, so how could we miss) and I was thinking all would be well and I will have saved the day.

Of course, we missed the well house entirely. We both landed on our rears on the brick patio.

We subsequently laughed so hard we cried. I'm amazed we didn't try it again.

I feel this experience has tainted my problem-solving process, now that I think of it.

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