TUESDAY: I Shouldn’t Have Asked


Copyright is held by the author.

PLEASE ALLOW me to introduce myself: My name is Michelle.  I was a nerd in high school. A short nerd. I still am!  Short, that is.  I could stand upright in a locker, and would just offer to get in, no need to shove me, thank you very much! I could actually stand in there quite comfortably.

My husband, Mike, on the other hand, was not a nerd in high school.  He was one of those tall somewhat cool guys who would drive to school in their own car, and rev the engine just so everyone could hear it.

So, when tasked with writing about “stupid things”; I turn to Mike, who, as it turns out, is a fountain of information and inspiration.  In fact, he enthusiastically tells me several things I wish he hadn’t.

He starts by telling me that he and his friends used to ride their bikes down concrete stairs, under a tunnel, not unlike ours here in Alliston. When that got ‘boring’ they’d jump their bikes down, hoping to land on the ground and not half way down the stairs.

“And we used to see who could ride his bike the fastest toward a brick wall, stopping just before we crashed!”

I furrow my brow, not sure why anyone would do this.  On purpose.

“Whoever got closest and didn’t smash into the wall and ruin his bike, or get hurt – was the winner!”

I shook my head and he continued: “Then there was the time I tried to make gun powder in my bedroom! I started a fire on my desk!” He laughs.  I had nothing to say, except, of course, “Why?!” And he shrugged his shoulders.

“To blow stuff up!” Still laughing, as if that answer should have been obvious.

“What stuff?” I asked, as if any answer here would be a good one.

“Nothing in particular,” he says, having stopped laughing, but still reminiscing; obviously enjoying the memories. I am at a loss.

What takes the cake for me though, is his pool story. He tells me about how when he was in high school, he and two or three friends would go to his place after school for a swim.  That seems normal enough.  Then he describes how they would climb up on to the roof of his house (thankfully it was a bungalow) and jump into the pool from there. He proceeds to tell me that it wasn’t as simple as just jumping, though.

“We had to jump far enough out not to hit the edge of the pool.”

That goes without saying, I think to myself.

“But there was a Hydro wire running diagonally across the pool.  From the house to the street pole, you know?”

Yes, I understood.

He smiles as he adds, “So we had to make sure we went underneath it, which meant some fancy jumping and ducking! It was awesome!”

When I ask if his parents knew, he quickly replies, through laughter, “Are you kidding me? This one time, my mom came home early, and we were still in the pool, and she could see all the water dripping off of the roof.”

When asked about it, all the swimming boys dutifully responded, “I don’t know.”

So, Mike’s mom was in a panic when Mike’s Dad arrived home, assuming that the solar heater on the roof had been leaking! The sun eventually dried everything up, like it usually did before Mike’s parents got home, but that afternoon found his dad on the roof checking all of the pipes for the pool’s solar heating.

He grins and evil grin. “We have three boys. You have no idea what you are in for.”

As he walked away, I found myself wondering if I should have found any of this out before we decided to have children.


  1. Michael Joll

    Thanks for the memories, Michelle. Those of us who survived puberty turned out okay, possibly as a result of this weeding out process and the handing out of the Darwin Awards.Thank goodness I had daughters, though this was a whole different kind of scary.

  2. Walt Giersbach

    Wow! Suburban legends are wonderful, and so’s this story. Reminds me of my growing up around fire crackers and inventing exploding ammunition for our Daisy BB guns.

  3. Isolde Ryan

    It is not only the boys that do crazy stuff as kids, trust me. Sometimes I think how did I make it so far already. I do believe that Kids have a guardian angel to protect them. Love the story!! Thanks Michelle!

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