Uneasy Rider


     Garbage pick-up in Ships Point happens on various days but you can almost always find a box of free offerings and this makes the stroll that much more fun. Maybe you intended to just go for a walk to the mailbox but found yourself bringing home a really ugly lamp or a perfectly good pair of cross country skis.

     Our local mutt Stanley is much the same. On this particular day he was wandering along Little Way and inspecting each box of unwanted stuff. And there it was. The one thing in life that Stanley had always wanted but just realized now. Poking out of a box was a black motorcycle helmet. It was a full size skull cap and it had a spike on the top. Stanley picked it up and felt his heart pound and his blood rev up. Thrilled, he jammed the helmet in his backpack and raced down Little Way, looking for a motorcycle. Any motorcycle.

     And there she was, his dream-girl, parked at the top of a driveway and gleaming jet black in the morning sun. He knew the moment he saw the bike that it was meant for him. Stanley stole cautiously around the house but didn’t hear or see anyone. He nipped a beer from the cooler on the back step and put it in his backpack for later.   

     Now, how to get onto the bike? Stanley weighs about 55 pounds and about 30” to the top of his ears if he’s standing still. From a straight stand he couldn’t jump on the bike and the second side-saddle attempt failed too. Determined, he took a running leap at it, grabbed the handlebar with one paw and executed the full turn with a half-twist and landed smack in the seat.  Owwww!!!

     Now that he was seated Stanley checked out the gears. The key was still in the ignition! He fished the helmet out of his backpack and put it on. A man’s head and a dog’s head are vastly different. It sat so low on his bony head that he could only see what was below him and his ears hurt from the pressure. But he could see the ignition and stretched one leg out as far as it could go and gave it a kick. It was the kickstand he kicked. Slowly, the bike sank to the driveway with Stanley locked under it. He passed out and had the best ever bicycle trip.  Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda were on either side of him and they were singing ‘Born to be Wild’! The hogs roared so loud that Stanley threw everything into it and howled as crazy loud as he could too.

     The owner of the bike had been over at the neighbours but came running when he heard the noise. He righted the bike, picked the dog up and gave him a shake. Stanley gave a sheepish and apologetic grin, struggled out his grasp and escaped down the driveway. He made it back to the box and dropped the helmet back in it. As we know Stanley cannot read but if he could he probably would have given the whole adventure a miss. People put their stuff out in any old carton. This one was marked Pandora’s Box.