The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Sign of My Age?

Riding my bike after dropping of my kid at school, I passed a young attractive indie-dude (I don't like the term hipster - too mean), looked a little like Viggo Morgensen from Lord of the Rings, so you know he feels invincible. He's riding a skateboard, no helmet, fast, darting in and out. We come to a light at Bergen, and over the previous block I had rehearsed this statement, and gather the huevos. Thus spake the old dude:

As a human being I have assessed that you are most likely a son, brother, nephew, and/or grandson. Trust me when I say they don't want to get that call. Don't do it for you. Do it for them. Just think what it would feel like to get that call.
Then I tapped my helmet. He looked at me funny. But then he got it. Don't know if it will make a difference. Young Viggo may never get hit or suffer a catastrophic fall. But some Viggo, somewhere, will. I'm no Viggo, but damned if I didn't nearly shuffle off this mortal coil last spring.

If you're reading this, you are also most likely a human being, or a resident of planet X4F3non, in which case your brain is encased in a two foot layer of blubber that protects you from even the blow of a piano falling on your head. (Ever wonder where Looney Tunes got the idea? X4F3non'ers visited us in the early '30s and gave a demonstration out at Area 51.)

Wear the stupid helmet. After awhile, you forget that it's there.


diak said...

I read this great book a few years ago:

Convinced me. I won't bike a block without a helmet.
'Cause I'm an old fart? Yep. And plan to get much older...

Anonymous said...

There definitely is a belief among kids that you're tougher and better the less gear you wear. In our efforts to not appear to be helicopter parents we can still tell kids it's okay to be concerned about basic safety. I had my preschooler in his helmet and knee pads to ride his scooter and a little bit older boy we know in the neighborhood actually made fun of him to his face for wearing the helmet and pads. The coolness of danger annoys me. Kind of undermines us in getting our children to always wear a helmet whether now or at age 25 and hip.

diak said...

I hear you Anon 11:58...One way to counteract the peer pressure and re-inforce concern for safety is to teach by example. Don't you see it all time: the biking helmetless parent with toddler junior all safely strapped-in and helmeted sitting behind? The message here? Helmets are just for little kids. And don't do what I do, do what I tell you.
And you can just picture the scene, right? Car hits bike; junior is on the ground screaming in her seat; and dad is no help 'cause his brains are on the pavement.
Don't understand why such people can be so careful to protect their kids' body but completely indifferent to turning their kids into orphans...

Anonymous said...

This will make your head explode, Q (it did mine): A dad, self-consciously hip looking, riding a bicycle through our neighborhood with no helmet, balancing his young preschooler on his knee, also not wearing a helmet. Granted they were riding slowly on the sidewalk but it still left me gape jawed because it wasn't for a short distance, they were clearly going home from school so they'd have been riding several blocks. You don't even have to be hit by a car to get seriously hurt in this scenario - he could merely hit a bump in the sidewalk and the child would get a head injury getting tossed a few feet down onto the sidewalk. But back to the discussion of teaching by example, good luck dude in getting your child to ever wear a helmet in the future.