Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I Should Really Know Better

My mom drove me crazy when I was growing up with what I call "stupidisms" - folklore, old wives tales, superstition, all woven together into a huge tapestry of gobbledegook.  Though I'd never have smacked the old girl, I must admit that there were times when I was tempted when a choice adage would come rolling out of her mouth and get splattered all over me as if I'd been standing in front of a feces flinging simian's cage at the zoo.  It stuck and it stunk so bad that I could hardly breathe.

"You can't go swimming for at least an hour after you eat."

Um, Ma...

We had a 1 foot deep wading pool.  Nobody was going to go swimming no matter how hard he tried.

"You can't go in the water until St. John 'blesses it.'"

This one meant that there was to be no swimming (nor 1 foot deep wading) before June 24, the day on which the Catholic church celebrates the birth of John the Baptist.

There were countless others.  About how to peel potatoes the only correct way.  About whether baths or showers were more water efficient (though we had no water meters back then.), about whether a flush of the old toilet was warranted just for a small pee.  Of course, poor Mom didn't have Snopes nor Google with which to verify the dumb things she shared and insisted upon - only that time honored tradition of believing whatever one heard, I guess from somebody older, as if Jesus had dictated it to Saul when he fell to the ground on his way to Damascus, and as if old Paul (whose name was changed right then and there) was transcribing the discourse verbatim.

There's one particular of these sayings of my Mom that burned me up perhaps faster and hotter than any other, though it comes close to the ones that claimed that if a breeze from an open car window hit you in the neck you'd get a "cold in your neck."

And, it is this:

"The sun is hot, but the air is cool."

That was Mom's inarguable way of saying, "You're wearing a sweater outside today even if all the other boys in the neighborhood are naked and call you names." 

I didn't much care about that cool air.  It was the hot sun with which I had the problem, and still do, till this very day, when I'm the one in the room turning down the air conditioner's thermostat while the poor blue-lipped others reach for blankets.

Well, I did it again this afternoon.  Looked at the read-out on the indoor/outdoor thermometer beside my desk and saw that it was 82 degrees Fahrenheit which would be perfect for tee shirt and shorts scooter riding.  Or, it should have been.  I live on the kind of ONE-WAY street that, once I get to the STOP sign at the end, does not make the thought of returning to the house to change clothes particularly inviting.  So, knowing full well that the sun was hot, but the air was cool, I hung the left at the corner and gave any thoughts of returning for a change of wardrobe the full boot.

For the record, I do keep a full rain suit (And not just the thin as a grocery store bag kind.) under the scooter's seat, but it's so cumbersome to put on, and like a parachute to refold, that I'd never pull it out unless I was in a deluge and needed to get somewhere.  So, on I went, suffering more with each passing mile.

Oh, I didn't get the blue lips or anything like that, but still I'd wished that I'd checked the temperature at the airport (Where George Carlin reminded us that nobody lives.) rather than just here by my own desk.  I did enjoy the ride, but admittedly a bit less than I would have had I realized that "the sun was hot, but the air was cool."

Pictures that don't necessarily accompany this post, but which I'd like to include anyway...

I was pleased to discover yesterday that two cases of beer cans fit easily into the scooter's crate!

And I'm not the only kid on the block who has a scooter.  This one is a neighbor's.

These are the kinds of vistas that I can't seem to get enough of when I take the scooter on a moderate ride.  Within a few miles it seems as if Pennsylvania is more farmland than anything else.

I'll keep hoping for these blue skies, and perhaps more days when the air is as hot as it seems to be.


Deb said...

Funny post!

How about "Don't go near the cat during a thunderstorm! Cats attract lightning!" from my grandmother.

As a child I was really worried that my kitty cat was going to be electrocuted.

Glad to see I am not the only one riding in tee shirt, shorts, and yes, I even ride in Keen sandals when it's really hot. Always wear a half helmet at least.

If I had to "suit up" in armor and a full face helmet like many people do I would never be able to ride in the summer heat.

Barry Stackhouse said...

HI, I have followed your blog for years because I have the same year and color Piaggio BV250 that you have. I think you once mentioned putting a cup holder on your scooter. Can you explain how to do this? I would love to have one for cool beverages. BTW - my scooter is just about to 15,000 miles. :)

Joe said...

Hi, Barry! I hate to have to tell you this, but the drink holder I made was for my first scooter - a tiny Piaggio Fly-50. It had the ring holder under the front of the saddle and not where ours is, so it was much easier to contrive something for it. The BV250 just doesn't have a place to put a similar holder though there are some vent holes in front of the seat through which some kind of hook or zip tie might be looped to accomplish something similar to what I did with the Fly.

If you send me an e-mail address ( I'll send you a picture of the holder I made. Perhaps you can adapt it for the BV.