The Canadian years, 51 the bikers

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Saturday 03 January 19:35


Barff boy

After driving for half an hour, we stopped along the side of the road.’ Hey man, ‘Richard said, we are not there yet’. ‘Something I must do’, said our cowboy friend ,’I'll be back’ and he ran into the bushes. From behind the trees we heard heavy bellowing sounds. There was a pause and then the braying sounded back in full force. Don emerged as a broken greenish cowboy from the bushes. He stumbled a bit and there were tears in his eyes.’Pfooh,’ he said, ‘that was hard going.’’I'm glad you stopped’, Beverly laughed, ‘because I do not like puking macho’s, next to me.’ I could picture that and I would not like that myself. I tried to save him by saying that he had to consider to quit smoking or at least cut down. When Don, heard the word smoking , he almost gagged again. ‘That ought not to be difficult,’ thought Beverly, ‘you can still stop easily, when you have not started.’ ’Richard asked, ‘how is our tough Don doing?’’ It was the tobacco’, said our once tough cowboy and he shuddered when pronouncing the word alone.

‘Well,’ I said, I don’t  smoke and I like it when we off without that nice smell aroundme head.’ ‘Okay,’ said Don, who regained his normal complexion again,  ‘only because you’ve asked me.’

Happy valley was fun, everything cost money and you had to stand in line at the more popular attractions. We first walked a lap around the area which was the size of a large fair, to explore things. You can only spend your money once. There was a boating lake, but nobody was interested in it. Happy valley actually aimed at younger children. We followed a sign motorbikes and came to a field with a trail leading through some manmade hills. There were a row of motorbikes waiting to be ridden. The motorcycles were different from what you see on the street, they had been adepted. They were wide with very wide balloon tires and very low. We watched them for a moment and saw that they had no gears. Those wide tires I understood, would help you ride through loose sand.


We decided to wait and see how some things went. A couple of boys bought a ticket and the guy who sold the tickets came from behind his table. He pulled a rope hanging from the engine block and there was a simmering that died away again. He did it with more strength and the little monster caught on and roared. After some refusal the second bike was running as well. They had a bit the sound of a lawnmower, a high pitched whining. The boys mounted the bikes and opened the throttle. It seemed that they drove very fast but that was because the bikes were low to the ground. They arrived at the first bump and were launched, they jumped a few feet up in the air, and then back on the trail to find the way to the second larger bump. ‘That looks really nice’, said Beverly, with shining eyes. ‘Then that’s what we’ll do’,  said Don and he  walked to the table. ‘How much for a ticket,’ he asked. ‘Per quarter hour a dollar’, said the boy's. ‘For the love of God,’ said Don, I don’t want to buy your business, I  just want to  tour about.’ ‘A dollar or nothing happens,’ the boy said. ‘Hey,’ I said, ‘we can divide it amongst ourselves’ and gave him a quarter and Richard and Beverly followed suit.

Don was not a gentleman, he went to sit first on the bike and sped away, but in reality if you looked to the background of the hills that he passed, the speed cannot  have exceeded 20 miles per hour. After five minutes we were waving and jumping up and down. Don stopped and switched places with Richard. ‘Oh man’ said Don,’it was so cool,’ not to be believed.’ We heard Richard’s cackling laugh above the engine noise, when he was with the wheels off the ground and made his first jump. ‘Keep track of the  time Bev,’ I said, ‘because I have to do something.’ ‘No puking I should hope,’ she laughed, and looked with small children’s excitement at racing motor bikes. ‘No madam, I do not smoke’, I said. I walked to the table and picked up a dollar bill’ can I have a ticket,’ I asked? The boy tore off a ticket and wanted to stand up and start an engine. ‘No’, I said,’ no need, we will use the same bike.


Don and Bev followed with fixed gaze our racing Richard. ‘Yes,’ Bev said, ‘the five minutes are up ‘ and started waving and jumping up and down and me, yes,  I waved back with my stool. As our sacred virgin tore away laughing her head off, she was just about launched from the bike at the first hurdle. A smiling Bev came ploughing passed, she looked cool, I thought. After her 5 minutes she stopped next to us, the quarter hour had passed. ’Did you like that,’ I asked? ‘And how, boy this was swell,’ she laughed. ‘Then go again,’ I said and pulled out my ticket. ‘C’mon 'easy rider' I said, show us what you got.’ ‘Won’t you go,’ asked Richard? ‘No dude, I can ‘t thanks to our Ben and I pointed to my ankle, but I am really enjoying myself.’ ‘Home is not nice,’ Richard asked seriously?’ ‘No’, I answered, ‘but now we are here and that's what counts.’

The bike was put back between his kind and we walked away, that is, the rest walked, I limped obediently along. ‘We’ll go to the picnic area,’ said Bev and she pointed to the sign with an arrow that sent us to the boating lake. When we arrived at a wooden table with two benches, she said,’ Mama Bev will spoil you sily.’ ‘Right here on the table,’ said Don. ‘Oh man,’ said Richard, ‘you are not normal,  do you ever think of anything else?’ ‘ Boys, boys,’ said mother hen, at the table no fighting.   ‘I prepared,’ she said, ‘three hard boiled eggs and I have  got some bread.’ It came out of her pocket in three silver foil packets. ‘Won’t you eat,’ asked Don? ‘I have brought an apple,’ said Beverly.

We peeled the eggs and swept the shells neatly in a pile. Richard tore his aluminum foil open. ‘Ha,’ he said, ‘peanut butter and jelly.’ I opened mine. ‘Ha,’ I exclaimed, ‘more peanut butter and jelly’. Don let his hands hover over his packet, he closed his eyes,’ hmmm hmmmm’, it sounded. ‘I have the gift of sight, I feel that I have two peanut butter sandwiches.’ He had it right the first time, and we laughed and laughed and enjoyed each other's company while we ate like a king. We gave light, I cannot describe it differently, we shone out innocent pleasure.


‘Okay boys,’ said Bev,’ I'm proud of you,’ when we had cleared the last bite. ‘You have left not a single crumb. ‘The shells in the silver paper, and throw them in the trashcan, ‘and she pointed to a bin in the distance. ‘On the way back you may take a sip from the fountain’. ‘Thanks, thanks,’ exclaimed Richard and stood up, hence breaking the magic of the thousand-year meal. I suddenly loved these people with a so deep intensity that it could not be described, I'd  have liked to press them against me and have hugged them. ‘We’ll do this again next week,’ Don said. ‘No,’ Bev answered, you should never do the same thing twice,’ with a wisdom that I would only reach years later. ‘Otherwise it becomes normal’.

The day shortened and we drove back to Calgary while the radio of Don's car sounded wistful country western songs. Don felt in his pocket.’ I thought I had lost the pipe,’ he said. ‘Your father's pipe,’ asked Bev? ‘Yes ,’ said Don, ‘stupid huh?’ ‘No, ‘said Bev, ‘I would rather call it lovely, you were trying to make an impression because you were unsure.’ And everyone understood her.

San Daniel 2015

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Reacties (3) 

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you should not do the same thing twice ?

I always need to practice.
Thank you Josh.. 'you should never do the same....' (more idiomatic)
Just for fun ,

I `did have to do the same work every day.
I rather want to do something else., no routine

I know people who never look the same movie on tv again.
It`s a shame , but I do.