Too many times to count, my husband and his brothers have regaled me with stories of their youth. It wasn't long until we all deduced that if they possessed a video camera, they could have been the original Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, and Ryan Dunn; more commonly known as Jackass.
First and foremost, I say this with the greatest of love. But seriously, if you knew what I know...well...judge for yourself.
My husband and his brothers grew up on seven acres of land situated along the Hudson River in picturesque Upstate New York. With said spacious land located at the bottom of a very...big...hill, these young boys would spend hours pushing a motorless mini-bike to the top of the hill fully intending to free fall back down. As I am sure you can imagine, this out-of-control craziness could shake the most adventurous of lads, so they did what any normal red-blooded American boy would do.
They would pile-drive into the elderly gentleman's peony bushes spaced so artfully along the street to stop the mini-bike.
And when this was not providing hours of fun for the masses, they would ghost-ride their friends bikes off the sides of hills. For those unfamiliar with this term, it is the science of pedaling one's bike really fast and jumping off just before it becomes airborne. How they made it through childhood without stitches is beyond me.
My oldest brother-in-law can tell you of the time he was the bag-man for his streaking friends (hey, it was the seventies, what can I say.) As the bag-man, it was his job to hold the clothes, watch out for unsuspecting travelers driving down the main road, and call to his friends to streak across the street in front of said vehicle. Unfortunately for them, my brother-in-law did not realize the approaching vehicle was actually a police car. I shudder to think how they were cuffed.
Those were the days before we lived in such a litigious society. My husband's yard, being the largest, would host all the baseball and football games. It didn't matter what size you were, you played. There are legends of football games where an ox of a kid running down the field to make a touchdown was covered in a dozen or so smaller kids trying to take his legs out from under him. The legend goes one little guy would grab one leg, one would grab the other, and the rest would ride him to the ground until he was tackled. Good times, good times.
Luckily, they all made it through unscathed. Had they possessed a video camera, we'd all be rich and I would be dictating this to my assistant as I received my daily massage. But alas, all we have are the memories, and if you could see us crying from laughing over all this, you would know they're priceless.