My Scar Stories

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I Can’t Help Myself!

As a result of my regular self-disfigurements, Mom and Dad began keeping a closer watch on me. But then I was set free by the most reckless device known to boy: A Bike!

We lived in a hilly suburb that facilitated lots of bike-flying. First it was No Hands, then Steering with the Feet, and finally Standing on the Seat! Yet, despite my reckless two-wheeled exploits, I got nothing worse than bruised limbs and stubbed toes (my toes had so many mouth-like little splits I could have staged a muppet show). Until one day…

Dad was a newspaper dealer, so I acquired a paper route at the ripe young age of 9, and was parentally equipped with a black Schwinn Wasp with heavy duty shock absorbers! I rubber-banded my transistor radio to the butterfly handlebars, and away I flew!

My glide down those suburban slopes was made even more rapturous by riding close to the curb at one particular corner so I could raft my bare foot through the lush, damp ivy. It was weird and refreshing all at once!

Unbeknownst to me, however, the gardener who resided there had upgraded from old-fashioned hose watering to that marvel of 60s lawn care, the automated RainBird system. How it works: heavy duty steel sprinkler heads pop up out of nowhere, saying, “Chicka-chicka-chicka-chicka–pppptttttthhhhhtttttt!” as they spray arcs of aqua-pura across the yard. Mavelous. And lethal.Rainbird

It was a torrid July day. As I rounded the corner I slid my foot into the cool undergrowth, when an alien object suddenly popped up like a u-boat conning tower! “Chicka-chicka-chicka-chicka—CRACK!” My blue-jeaned shin struck the evil vessel with full torpedo force!

“Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!” I shouted as I pulled away from the corner. The devious device had ripped open the bottom ten inches of my new jeans!

I figured I’d have a black-and-blue shin for a week. But the news waits for no boy, so I pushed up the volume on my radio to drown out the pain and pedaled on. My favorite song came on, “I Can’t Help Myself” by the Four Tops. My shin was smarting, so I sang at the top of my lungs: “Sugar fried honey buns…”

A moment later, a man at another corner yelled, “Stop, kid!” As I braked, he ran up and pulled back my torn pantleg. My shin was a miniature Rio Grande, gouged open all the way to the bone, and flowing red from the Colorado of my knee to the Mexico of my foot.

“What’s your phone number?” the man demanded.

Mom picked me up fifteen minutes later. As we were leaving, the man yelled, “And it’s ‘Sugar Pie Honeybunch,’ kid, not ‘Sugar Fried Honeybuns’”!

Really? All I could think about on the way to the E.R. was how embarrassed I was about getting those lyrics wrong.

To read my next Scar Story, click here.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Memoir and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to My Scar Stories

  1. Hilarious and gruesome. I think if I had read your escapades prior to my grandson’s birth, I might have seen him as a little more on the mild-mannered side. Your “Scar Stories” are enlightening and enjoyable.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Eliza says:

    Oh my gosh…. your stories are, just are…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. tracykard says:

    “I rubber-banded my transistor radio to the butterfly handlebars . . .” Nice. Antenna pointing straight up, or out ahead, Don Quixote style?

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I totally get it – wrong lyrics way worse than a Rio Grande of blood flowing on your leg. Makes perfect sense. and the jeans – dude, not the brand new jeans!!! I’d be crushed.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bill Sweeney says:

    Your poor mom and dad, they must have been in agony worrying about you.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Alien Resort says:

    The Four Tops had a lot of good songs.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nancy Ruegg says:

    Our two-year old granddaughter is sporting her first scar–a 2-3″ slash on her right thigh–after a run-in with a stand-up mirror. I sure hope it becomes her ONLY scar story. (Just how many do you have, Mitch?! This series is becoming quite epic!!)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. rothpoetry says:

    Ouch! I remember those songs! Great one!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. anitashope says:

    Its a wonder children make it to adulthood,,,but we do…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. fipwmum says:

    Love these stories

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Jennie says:

    This is a great scar story, Mitch. Getting the lyrics right is definitely important, especially as a teenager. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. nancyehead says:

    My husband has a similar interpretation of oldies’ lyrics to this day. God bless your poor mother, Mitch.

    Liked by 1 person

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