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Wine – slightly corked: Extreme Sports

What’s with this extreme sports nonsense? On television last night, somewhere between Desperate Housewives and the Cooking show, (secret ingredient bat guano) was an extreme sports event where motorcyclists were doing triple back flips. Other contestants were also defying death by zooming over a massive jump then flying either above, alongside, behind, but never on their motorcycle.

Don’t they realize that although falling 50 feet out of the sky onto their heads will draw a few “oohs and ahs” out of the largely sadistic crowd, being a quadriplegic has disadvantages. What is it about the word “ouch” they don’t understand? Just because James Bond can leap from a helicopter onto a 747 mid flight, and the indestructible Bruce Willis can drop from the Golden Gate Bridge to the deck of a passing freighter without mussing his hair, doesn’t mean it should be attempted.

I can imagine the kind of sponsors these events attract. Instead of the usual footwear, athletic clothing, Gatorade crowd, it would be health care providers encouraging you to choose a wheelchair and select a care home while you can still get around.

With any of these extreme sports, whether it’s riding a unicycle down the North slope of Everest or jumping off the neighbour’s roof unto the back of your equally stupid friend’s speeding truck, the thought that comes to a sane man’s mind is, there’s no margin for error. Unless everything works absolutely perfectly, someone is going to get hurt. Yet there they are, riding their long boards down the Grapevine Hill, up, over the ramp and… Ahaaa!!!! Right into that lamp standard.

Maybe the blame for these risky sports belongs to Evel Knievel, the guy with all the broken limbs and star spangled cape that would jump his Harley over the moon if the money was right or it was happy hour.

But Evel had an excuse. He was nuts. A hard drinking, hard living guy with no marbles to lose, a guy who would fornicate with a cow, just as soon as jump over it. A guy who seriously was not afraid of the word, “Splat!”

It could have been a diet thing, in Evel’s case, corn chips, hookers, and bourbon. But today’s extremists don’t have that excuse, unless there’s something in bottled water and Kale chips we don’t know about.

In the old days, homemade videos captured fond images of barbeques, birthdays, the occasional piñata bashing and, the family favourite, somebody falling into the pool fully clothed or better yet, getting whacked in the nuts by a four year old grandson.

Today’s videos always involve a wheeled device, bicycle, skateboard or shopping cart, and usually a metal railing for the inevitable crotch plant. Which is probably best, anything that can prevent these lunatics from mating is good for the gene pool. I, on the other hand, was always told before going out to play, “never straddle anything unless it’s good enough to marry. “

Young males of my era won no prizes for intelligence either. “Never underestimate the stupidity of an adolescent male,” was my mother’s motto. But there was a difference; it’s called self-preservation. Sure, we built jumps for our bicycles but never with an alligator pit behind them.

Don’t get me wrong; I took risks too, once risking my life in math class with old Mr. Spearing, who had a fuse shorter than a gnat’s penis. He was at the board, in the inevitable cloud of chalk dust, explaining the multiplication process when I blurted out, “Carry the seven Sir? To where?”

Fortunately I was quick enough to duck the chalk brush that came hurling in my direction. Which is more than I can say for Barry Horsfield, who, thanks to the tyranny of the alphabet sat directly behind me and to this very day walks around with an indented forehead. Just in case you’re wondering about the comb over.

Then on another occasion I asked Wendy Jackson to dance at the grade nine sock hop. The problem was Tommy Wilkins standing right beside her, his 16 inch bicep draped protectively over her delicate shoulder.

That Tommy had been in grade nine maybe eight times, had a full beard, tattoos and 100 pounds on me, not to mention a formidable mean streak, did not deter. But it was more biological imperative than reckless behaviour. You see, Wendy, though blonde, was the closest thing the town had to Annette Funicello. If you’d seen her profile in a tight sweater, even the Pope would have condoned my action. Besides, just the week prior she had laughed at one of my jokes. Well not exactly a joke, more of a stumble in the cafeteria line causing my soft drink to land on Frank Parrot’s butt, which I didn’t think gave him cause to do what he did with my hot dog, but Frank was like that.

So guys, all I can say is, if you’re on a first name basis with your orthopedic surgeon, it’s time to back off on the stunts. There’s no prize for being the first on your block confined to a wheel chair and while it’s always nice to have a secondary residence, the cast clinic shouldn’t be it.

My recommendation is to try something less risky, Paiara for instance, an Italian red about as good as it gets for ten bucks.


Delbert is the co-proprietor at Mahle House.

About the author: The Boss

The Boss

Marina is Editor of TAKE 5 Magazine.

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