We make holes in teeth!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Story Forest

This is a blog about Story Forest, a magical place in Massachusetts that has served to create 3 memorable stories I can someday tell my grandchildren, assuming I don't kill myself before that time comes. Given that Woody is about to move out of the area of Story Forest, it probably won't give me another chance to create more stories and, in the process, bring me to a premature demise. In the middle of this, the third of the Story Forest sagas, Woody asked me, "This is going into your blog, isn't it?"

Yes, I replied. Yes indeed it is. So here goes.

I left the house at 8:05 Saturday morning, the last really free weekend I will have before the pregnant wife blows up and produces the eventual producer of those very same grand children who may someday hear these stories. Here is a picture of the geyser, not quite about to blow but getting closer to be sure:

Anyway, this coming weekend is the baby shower, and 2 of the 3 weekends following that are classes about being a father, child care, heroin addiction - you know, standard parenting lessons we all should learn before it's too late and the state is pulling away with your kids while you lie on the front lawn, passed out from too much beer.

After a cheese burger and some other random food items, Woody, Cliffy, and myself geared up to go for a mountain bike ride in the bitter Massachusetts cold. The temperature was somewhere in the 25 degree range. We didn't expect to be out all that long, so whatever. It was a mere flat ride out and back, what could go wrong? Even though my bike had been acting fruity lately and Cliffy said he was in awful shape, it was a small ride - what could possibly go wrong? At least Woody didn't seem to have any inherent problems going into the ride.

Hint, as they say, hint.

I should pause here and give short versions of the first 2 tales of Story Forest. These were both almost exactly 2 years ago - February 23 and 24 to be exact. I was unemployed at the time and visiting Woody for a few days. The first event was a bike ride, much like this one. But at the time the ground was covered in snow and ice (mostly ice) and while Woody had studded tires, I did not. This isn't really much of a story except for the fact that I, the asshole, would go riding in 25 degree temperatures, ice on the ground, with regular tires on. My hands and feet froze, and I ran head first into a tree that day. But all in all, it really wasn't all that eventful other than how cold you manage to get being out there for 3 hours.

The day after that was the memorable winter camping episode, where Woody and I and Me-J (the faithful Husky) camped out in 10 degree temperatures overnight. In the cold. With 3 season sleeping bags. Rather, I had a 3 season bag whereas Woody only thought he had a 3 season bag. Turns out that there was a big tag on it that said summer. Whoops.

Anyway, these are stories long past. Ancient history. Far removed from today. That is, until we get about 45 minutes into the ride and Woody's bike breaks. His external freewheel got so gunked up over the past several rides that the slop on the inside went and froze on him, so the freewheel teeth wouldn't engage when he tried to pedal. After a few minutes of standing around and thinking about stabbing Cliffy and riding his bike back due to his ridiculous suggestions, we started to meander our way back to the house. At first, he was able to get a single tooth to catch, so he was able to ride for a few minutes until the mechanism gave out for good.

You know, I should probably mention that this happened probably about 200 yards from where we slept that fateful winter night.

After that the bike was just about done. After a little more of an attempt, with no luck, Woody did his best to jog on behind. That is, until he got the idea to help warm it up. He pissed on it.

Unfortunately, by then the internals were so iced up that he was only able to loosen things up a bit. He came jogging out of the woods to meet us at the road crossing saying as much. "Do either of you have to go?" he asked.

"I could probably work up something," I said. "You really want me to piss on your bike?"

So there I am, pissing on another man's bike. Now don't get me wrong, it's not like I was pissing on his wife, or his dog, or even his bathroom floor. But there's something just not right about pissing on a man's bicycle. Well, in theory. In practice it just had to be done. Like the kids in Red Dawn, pissing into the radiator of the truck, just doing what needed to be done. It was all in an effort to stave off the Ice Russians, to keep the Deep Red Freeze at bay. Ok, so maybe Red Dawn doesn't hold up so well at the time. But WOLVERINES!!! was an awesome movie in its day. Or maybe it's because I was like 11 years old. Whatever.

Anyway, it worked. I pushed the crank, felt it engage, and gave him the bike and yelled, "Get on, get outta here!" And like Woody Woodpecker and the magic broom, away he went.

It didn't last for long, and eventually Cliffy and I - with a little help from Me-J - ended up towing him most of the way home. But nevertheless, it is a story to tell. Possibly the last of the tales to come from Story Forest, it will be yet another reason why our wives get nervous when we get together. On the other hand, at least nobody got hurt, which is more than we can say for the last time we got together up there in the winter. Cliffy's shoulder can attest to that.

We made it home fine, and after 30 minutes we could all feel our toes and fingers again. We ate some pizza for dinner, drank some beer, and played poker until after midnight. In all, another successful cold weather foray into the wilds of Massachusetts. Someday my grandchildren will be bored as hell at having to hear "that stupid pissing story" again. Whatever, I enjoy it.

Accommodation in aviemore