Neighbor Bob and I were doing what we do best which is to say that the weather was a little iffy and we decided to do what we do when the weather is iffy which is to sit in the garage behind the Miata and by the open door and watch the neighbors walk their pets.
One guy in his mid 40s was carrying his kids skateboard as his wife was walking the dog. She was about fifty feet ahead of him as the dog was really walking her. I snickered and Bob smirked. I noted the skateboard.
Target of opportunity.
"If you really had a pair you would be riding that skateboard," I said to him.
He didn't have much of a sense of humor, which is a part of being that age. He is getting older and doesn't like it. Then again, he looks like he doesn't get a whole lot of exercise which would do him a little good.
"Want to show me how it's done?" he shot back.
Now I am in my 60th year and have come to the realization that I am a little long in the tooth to go roaring down the hill I live on going like the hammers of hell on a a skateboard. Then again, I am not quite too old to take one out for a nice, slow, careful ride.
"Don't mind if I do give a youngster like you a few tips and pointers," I said, getting up off of my ass and onto my dying feet. I made it a point to be a little cocky.
I got on the damned thing and slowly wove my way back and forth across the street making a special effort to bleed the speed off by going uphill just before I'd turn and start going downhill. It was a careful, well controlled. slow ride. I took my time and made out OK.
I also made a mental note that my skateboarding days are pretty much over. Even at that slow speed I really didn't feel too comfortable. Had I taken a dive I could easily have broken something.
I hopped off and handed the board back to him.
"Learn anything from an old man?" I asked, in a cocky tone.
To a lot of guys the mid 40s are a rough age.
Even in the services forty is pretty much a cut-off age. A lot of schools are closed to those that have reached that age. They know that in an awful lot of cases things are starting to break down a little and that people are no longer made of rubber. I know of a guy that went through Ranger school at about 40 and it probably damned near killed him and he works out daily. I think he had to get a waiver to go through that particular school, but I'm not 100% sure. Still, you get the point.
Guys this age are no longer young and many of them fight it. This guy was one of them. There was no way in hell he was going to let that one pass. He stood on the skateboard and gave a shove and off he went, straight down the hill. In a few yards he was moving along at a pretty good clip and went whistling past his wife. When he tried to turn to start weaving and bleed off speed he was going a little too fast and went ass over teakettle.
Bob and I, standing at the edge of the driveway, looked at each other in feigned looks of horror. The man's profanity and the way he staggered to his feet told us he wasn't hurt much more than a good case of road rash and a beaten up ego. We returned to out lawn chairs in the garage.
We both picked up our beverages, my diet coke and his beer, took a sip and I reached over and pushed the button and the garage door closed. Then I'll admit the pair of us laughed like hell.
Five minutes later I reopened the door and we sat there watching the next dog owner pass by.
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