David Lee Beowulf
Ink 19 Editor Emeritus
What’s the stupidest thing I’ve done? I don’t really do “stupid” things — at least, not as an adult. Dangerous, sure, idiotic — looking back, yeah, I suppose. But years and years of being on the receiving end of hyper-ridicule for even the slightest, nay, the most infinitesimal potential digression from common sense constructed an anti-stupid armor that I wear every waking moment.
I’ll grant an occasional chink in that armor — but, believe me, it’s repaired ASAP.
But here’s one that no one ever saw me do, and I did it in plain sight of everyone.
Back in late September of ’76, I was skating alone on the Lynbrook ES blacktop. (This wasn’t my normal turf, so maybe that’s why it never surfaced.)
It was my first and last attempt at “extreme” skateboarding.
The pull-up bars were located as far away from the basketball courts and kickball diamonds as possible, and therefore, I felt deliciously alone. I made for the bars, taking off hard and gaining speed…
Faster, faster, faster! There it is…
I grabbed the bar and…
…was launched into space. My skateboard zoomed into the nearby chain link fence — and survived.
I survived, too, but I wasn’t sure for a minute or so. Once the stars cleared and I’d found all parts in working order (including teeth — braces and all), I was none the worse for wear.
I think I had this vision of me doing a full 360-degree rotation on the bars, but I lost my grip after a mere 90 degrees. I’ve never gotten into the physics of the problem, but I figure that air friction and angular velocity losses due to friction between my hands and the bar made for a softer landing.