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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Larry Simoneaux
Bio: Larry Simoneaux
Date:  May 13, 2007
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Topic category:  Other/General

Answered prayers.

My youngest son - now 22 years old- hates it when I write about him. This doesn't bother me because some other parent might read this and realize, "Hey, Iím not alone out here." And, when youíre a parent, every little bit of support helps.

My sonís a bit of a daredevil. Likes rock climbing and scuba diving. Goes snowboarding in strange and, sometimes, out of the way places. Wants to sky dive.

Anyway, several months ago he bought a motorcycle.

Iíll state my feelings on motorcycles straight out.

Iíve never owned one because they scare me.

And I come by that fear honestly.

Back in the early 1960ís, a friend of mine got his parents to buy him one. It looked cool and wasnít all that expensive. I actually thought about asking my parents to buy me one too.

That thought lasted until the day someone opened a carís street-side door directly into his path.

He spent most of the 8th grade wearing a leg cast and probably walks with a limp to this day.

Hard not to when one of your legs is an inch or so shorter than the other.

Then there was the time I was on an entrance ramp following a guy on a motorcycle.

It was a nice day. Warm and sunny. No speeding involved.

The entrance ramp had a gentle right hand turn and, as the motorcyclist entered it, his bike slid out from under him. Luckily for both of us, Iíd left enough space to be able to stop before giving him a tour of the underside of my truck.

I have a friend at work who loves to ride trail bikes.

One day, he decided to do some jumps in a vacant lot behind our building. He ended up - over a period of more than a year - working his way from a leg cast to crutches to a cane and, finally, to a walk that looked pretty painful to me.

Then came the good part. When things finally healed, he got on the bike again and immediately broke his shoulder.

For you motorcyclists out there, Iím not saying that these things are evil or anything like that.

You want to ride them, more power to you. It's just that Iíve just made a personal decision that, even though theyíre obviously a ton of fun, I donít want to play a game wherein the odds arenít in my favor.

Thatís mostly because, motorcyclists ride on two wheels while the rest of the population is on four. Too, those riding on four wheels are protected by several thousand pounds of crash tested plastic and metal. Motorcyclists have a helmet and a set of leathers.

The worst problem, though, is the fact that humans are operating both types of vehicles and humans are notorious for doing things that sometimes bring two and four wheel vehicles into contact.

When such contact occurs, physics comes into play. And what physics says is that, in such instances, the motorcyclistís body is going to suck up a lot of energy that it wasnít designed to absorb.

For all of the above reasons (and many more that I donít have space to recount), youíd never get me on a motorcycle. That is, you wouldnít unless: (1) The road was flat and had no telephone poles, potholes, metal plates, expansion joints, stray dogs, signs, nearby trees, loose dirt or gravel; and (2) The nearest car or truck was at least two states away.

Wouldnít hurt if it were a cold day in hell too.

Thus, when my son bought his motorcycle, I began sleeping less and praying more.

A few weeks ago, however, there came a glimmer of hope.

He mentioned that he was considering selling it because some ding-a-ling had blown a stop sign and missed him by about the physical length of this sentence.

That got him thinking, but he was still leaning toward keeping it.

Then, a few days ago, while making a turn - you guessed it - his bike slid out from under him. Gravel, dirt, oilÖwho knows? But it was enough to move him to my side of the argument.

So heís going to sell the thing. Which means that both the good Lord and I get a bit of peace.

Because, out of the gazillion-and-one things we parents get to worry about, a really big one (for me) just went away.

Larry Simoneaux

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Biography - Larry Simoneaux

Larry Simoneaux is a regular columnist for The Everett Herald in Washington state. He is a retired ship driver for the US Navy and NOAA.

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Copyright © 2007 by Larry Simoneaux
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