September 23, 2008

Discombobulated Turkey is Discombobulated

Gobble.jpg

Isn’t he fantastical? He was running down the middle of the Silver Comet Trail. It’s a bike/hike/skate paved path the state put in over the old rail road line that goes all the way across Georgia. There are places to eat and bed and breakfasts and hotels spaced out along it, so you can plan multi-day jaunts down it.

This young fellow was jogging right down the middle of it. No doubt he was trying to stay slim as November --- a dangerous time for fat turkeys --- approaches. He was VERY irritated with Scott, who was BIKING and who did NOT cede the right of way, as all the signs say bikers are supposed to do for foot traffic. Scott pointed out that “foot traffic” does not include things with wings, and if walkers have the right of way over runners who have it over skaters who have it over bikers, surely FLIERS should be at the end of that list.

The turkey was not having any of it. He sped up and sprinted AHEAD of Scott for as far as he could. It was long enough for Scott to dig his camera out of one of the thousand secret places you can clip things to his bike. (or maybe from a secret bicycle shorts pocket? I am not sure, but the bike and the shorts together probably have more compartments and gadget clips than Batman’s utility belt.) After Scott snapped the pic, the turkey pulled over into the grass. As Scott passed he let out a BLISTERINGLY ENRAGED gobble that made Scott very glad he does not speak turkey, because he had no doubt that Strong Language was being vigorously employed.

My son and husband have both joined the cult of the bicycle. They went 33 miles on their last outing together, and Scott, on his own will go 40 or 45. I wanted to try it – nevermind that I have not been on a bike sicne I was FIFTEEN YEARS OLD, so we went and rented me one.

Here were the parts of biking I like: Spending time with Scott.

Here are the parts of biking I do NOT like: All the parts that have biking.

I did enjoy the endorphins as I cranked my way UP each hill, but what goes up then has to rocket heedlessly down to its doom. I screamed my way to the base of each cliff-like plummet, every time. Hills are TERRIFYING, and calling them GENTLE SLOPES does not change them INTO gentle slopes (cough SCOTT cough). Those were MONSTROUS KILLER hills and they all personally wanted to be the one to cause my death, either by helping me careen into a tree and perish, or by causing my mortal terror to crest all the way up to heart-stop level. The hills had malevolent intentions. I could FEEL it.

Also, a HUGE BLACK BUG came zooming down the trail on the wrong side of the road and he PINGED off my forehead and exploded into bug parts. After I ran off the trail and bumpetty-thumpied my way to a stop in the grass, I clawed frantically at my forehead. Scott pulled up by me and looked and ASSURED me I didn’t have any bits of LEG or INTESTINE stuck to my face, but I could still feel the INTERNAL BUG JUICINESS that he had spattered ALL OVER me. He was a very large bug and I think he was nothing BUT juice inside. Repulsive.

ALSO I kept remembering that scene in ANACONDA where Eric Stolz has a bee fly down his throat and sting him and he spends the whole rest of the movie "in a coma down in the hold" which is movie speak for "off the set in France cashing his huge paycheck for one days work on a film that needed a name brand actor because no one knew who Jennifer Lopez was yet." I asked Scott if he had a pocket knife to perform an emergency tracheotomy in case the NEXT bug went right down my throat and I spent the rest of MY personal life movie "in a coma down on the hold" which is BICYCLIST SPEAK for deadeaddead. Scott did NOT have a knife---even with all the secret bike and short clippies and compartments he probably DOES have a rapelling rope and a juicer and a defibrillator----so I had to bike the rest of the way sipping air through a little PINHOLE PRUNE MOUTH much too small to allow bug access because my nose was stuffy because we were OUTISDE which is where they keep the bugs AND the pollen.

We went twenty miles, and I am glad I did it and all, but this morning, peacefully paddling along in the air conditioning on my COMPLETELY STATIONARY elliptical machine with the TV set on the 80s-n-90’s music station and Marky Mark assuring me that Donny D is on the back up and he is drug free so I should put the crack up, I understood how Odysseus felt, setting foot onto his homeland after his hell-fraught journey. Good Vibrations, indeed, Mr. Mark.

Now, you know I don’t like songs all that much. Dead inside, etc etc. But you know what I have learned I like even LESS than songs? Nature.

Posted by joshilyn at September 23, 2008 10:28 AM
Comments

You're the (healthier) opposite of me on a bike ... I love those downhill runs, but hate chugging up the hill (endorphins? what endorphins? I left those in yoga class...). Since I live in one of North America's hilliest cities, I just say no to biking. I take the dog for a walk when my husband takes the kids on their bikes, and we all meet up at the park later.

Posted by: TrudyJ at September 23, 2008 10:47 AM

I'm glad someone else had a run in with indigenous turkeys. We have a whole flock(?) of them in my neighborhood and the other day I was trying to get in my car to meet some friends and they decided they wanted to hold it hostage. I am not one to pick a fight with six creepy looking birds that want to sit on my car so I just waited it out until they moved on. It was, however, interesting telling my friends why I was 20 minutes late.

Posted by: Danielle at September 23, 2008 11:13 AM

Yes, I've always felt that nature is out to get me. It's so pollen-y and buggy, and so often humid.

I've never felt endorphins. Not once. At least you had that!

Posted by: ccr in MA at September 23, 2008 12:24 PM

I just forwarded this to all the bicyclists in my house. YES to your downhills--they are NOT fun. I could pedal uphill happily (okay not THAT happily) if things just flattened out on the other side. My husband occasionally coerces me onto the back of the tandem, and then I must go (literally) screaming down hills with NO BRAKES of my own. :)

Posted by: Becky Levine at September 23, 2008 12:47 PM

You and Kira keep babbling on about these MYTHICAL ENDORPHINS and I feel strongly that it is a big in-joke being perpetrated against those of us who feel that the safest place is on the couch. I'm just sayin'.

Posted by: Mir at September 23, 2008 1:01 PM

Your story reminds me of my honeymoon! You would have hated my honeymoon. Hawaii - good. Mt Haleakala volcano - good, only on the condition that it isn't erupting. Hour of dawn - bad. Bike ride down - bad. Mt Haleakala is a state park and therefore, thanks to Lady Bird Johnson, there are no guardrails on the windy road DOWN, WAY WAY DOWN - very very bad. Whole head helmets - you would think good but no. Bad. They acted as blinders to the edge of the cliffy road. Pineapple bugs pinging off of helmet - also not good.

We actually have a photo of us half way down with the lovely state of Hawaii behind us in the background. In the near background, though, is a woman with her head in her hands clearly DONE with the volcano/bike/bug/nature ride or possibly wildly shaking the pineapple bugs from her hair.

So thank you for the fond memory and the up to date reminder why I don't do bikes. Maybe you could get a tandem bike and enjoy the view while Scott does the pedalling. Hold everything - RICKSHAW! Problem solved.

Posted by: Em at September 23, 2008 1:54 PM

Another endorphin debunker, here. Lies, lies, lies. And even if they did exist, there aren't enough in the world to make up for those bike seats. Don't tell me they couldn't make 'em comfy -- they just want to sell $80 padded shorts, shorts which exist to taunt us with the knowledge that even where we do have padding, it's the WRONG sort. Ptui.

Posted by: rams at September 23, 2008 1:54 PM

Clearly some people were issued better endorphin genes than others. The best I ever get is "well, that doesn't hurt quite so much any more" - shortly before complete collapse occurs. That is, actually, what endorphins are FOR - to help one forget the pain while doing some evolutionary necessary behavior, like running from the crazy tribe from over yonder. My body has clearly descended from a population that evolved to the state where it realized that the crazy tribe from over yonder has guns, so what's the point of running?

And I googled it, and apparently plural turkeys constitute a rafter. There was a rafter of turkeys on your car, Danielle! Definitely late-worthy.

I like nature. I like walking gently in nature and looking at nature and enjoying nature supporting my life systems and providing curious plants and animals for me to examine at my discretion. I do not like speeding through nature on inventions requiring balance or catching nature between my teeth.

Posted by: Diane (TT) at September 23, 2008 3:34 PM

At least you didn't get the bug in your teeth. I also can say from personal experience that taking a dragonfly to the head while driving a 3-wheeler at about 30 mph or more hurts like heck. They don't go splat they hit you in the head like a rock and ping off leaving a welt.

Posted by: Sarah at September 23, 2008 4:00 PM

I'm with you on the biking thing. Here are the things I don't like about biking:

1) Getting dirty
2) Getting sweaty
3) Getting smelly
4) Getting hot
5) Bugs in my face/teeth

Nature's OK to me, but not when it involves the things listed above.

Posted by: Trace at September 23, 2008 4:21 PM

Em - I loved the bike ride down Haleakala. It is one of my all-time most favorite things. Ever. Loved the assault on all the senses - the smells of passing through the pine forests, the pinapple fields, the eucalyptus and ending with the smell of the sea. The scenery was unbelievable, too. Just gorgeous. Well, you get the picture...LOVED it!

But apparently the assault on people's BODIES was a bit too much. Joshilyn and Scott will never get to experience this treat as they've stopped the Haleakala bike rides, at least from the summit. Too many people have been killed over the past couple years. Seriously! Killed!! That would have really made it not so much fun.

btw - I don't know if they've cancelled the annual ride UP the volcano. Lord knows I've never made a trip to Maui for THAT event.

Posted by: Charmi at September 23, 2008 8:58 PM

Charmi - SHUT UP! And I mean that in the Elaine Bennis, chest push, I-can't-BELIEVE-it kind of way. Killed? I told you it was dangerous!

In reality, I'm glad we did that. Its a nice thing to have done. Just not something I would ever do again. A nice stroll down ye olde volcano would have been the same treat to the senses without the constant feeling that you were defying death only because death was allowing you to defy it for that minute.

Since you forcebly reminded me of the good parts of that ride, and brought up my mood against my will, let me remind you of two things - first remember how you passed through something like 7 climates? From freezing wind to beachy warmth and you had to adjust your dress along the way to account for it? Also please remember on the curvy, scary way down, the leader cheerfully demanding that people "keep up" and stop breaking so often. No wonder so many people accidently took a short cut over the side.

A good experience but we didn't see any turkeys so I think a good Georgia bike ride on a late September day is a fair competitor for "most interesting bike ride" title.

Posted by: Em at September 23, 2008 10:14 PM

I've never felt anything remotely endorphin-y, even when I walk in the woods for 6 hours straight, or when I used to NordicTrak (with a slope on it!) for about 45 minutes. I also think it's a lie.

My MIL freaks out at anything remotely involving nature, even cute things like little tweety birds nesting in the wreath on her door. She makes me just have to laugh at her!

Posted by: Brigitte at September 24, 2008 6:33 AM

Gah! Bug juice. Just reading about it, I'm semi-convinced I have bug parts on me. Ugh.

I love that turkey picture, and your description of the Gobble of Extreme Profanity.

Posted by: Aimee at September 24, 2008 11:00 AM

I am with Mir and the others-- there is an endorphins conspiracy!

Bug juice, ugh. My daughter had a cicada fly into her forehead while she was in the backyard with my husband a few weeks ago and insisted on wearing his motorcycle helmet the rest of the night to prevent it from happening again. She looked like Marvin the Martian with that big helmet on her head.

Posted by: Jill W. at September 24, 2008 12:57 PM

I just wanted you to know, that despite all the pie-in-the-sky promises of a mailing list and PRIZES, FABULOUS PRIZES, I really, really enjoy your blog and writing as a whole. Enough that I gave you a sparkley award.

Posted by: Rikki at September 24, 2008 9:46 PM

I think people who talk about endorphins are just relentless optimists who really, really want endorphins to be true.

Posted by: Amy-Go at September 24, 2008 10:54 PM

No, I insist on believing that THEY have them and I don't get them - which is why they exercise and I don't.

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