by The Milkman
A memory from my past. Names are changed to protect the not so innocent.
Tex: all of his friends had called him that ever since he was a boy. Not because he came from Texas. Not because he was a cowboy. It was simply because his father had a porcelain statue of an old worn out cowboy and his horse. The figurine was called “Tex and Old Paint”, and he had the misfortune of looking like “Tex”.
This ornament showed the cowboy looking as if he and the horse had ridden their last mile together years before. The cowboy was bowlegged, weak in the knees, and had wore a goofy expression on his face. The horse wasn’t in any better shape. He suffered from the weak knees, the sunken back, as well as a forlorn expression. The two made a good pair. For years they sat on the shelf together where no one paid any more attention to them except for their weekly dusting.
So one day, when Tex was in his mid thirties he took his two sons, Carl and Sean, for a bike ride up to Glenwood park. It was fall and the small in-ground wading pool was closed for the winter so they made up a game called "back tire tag". How was the game played you ask? Well be patient and I will tell you.
The object of the game, if you were the one who was "It", was to chase the other two riders around the shallow cement pool trying to tag one of their back tires by rubbing it with your front tire. Then that person would be "It" and the game would start all over.
So the first thing Tex did was to think of a number between one and five. Of course the one who was closest would start off by being “It”. Carl guessed four and Sean guessed 2. The number Tex had chosen 5. So Tex and little Sean took off riding around the circle of the pool, the sides of this pool which were banked at a thirty degree angle. Now remember I did say that it was autumn and the pool was located in a wooded area of the park, so there were leafs everywhere including, even in the pool.
They are riding around this pool having a great time, changing turns being "It". After about half an hour or so, it revolved once again to be Carl's turn as "It". He got tired of handing off being it with his younger brother so he made a daring move down the banked sides into the middle of the pool and he tagged Tex. So after they saw Carl do it they all tried it. Well it was Tex’s turn to be "It" and now the two boys had riding through the center of this pool mastered and Tex was having trouble tagging someone to be it. He tried a daring move, and it was so daring that I don’t recommend that you do this at home, he tried to stop his bike cold in a pile of wet leafs. Yep I said wet leafs. Remember I said this was a round pool, ok then so here he was going to stop on these wet leafs in a round pool so he hit the brakes and turned the handlebars, the bike slid, Tex went one way the bike went another and...
The three of them heard this sound of something of a denim material ripping. It turns out that Tex had gotten his pant leg caught in the pedals and ripped his pants. Actually he ripped almost the entire inseam of his jeans. What do I mean entire in seam, the only thing that kept his pants from falling off was his belt and a bout four inches of seam on one leg.
Now the three of them were a good distance from home and Tex really didn’t want to be seen with everything he was proud of hanging out for the general public to see. So in his quick solution he had Carl and Sean remove their shoelaces from their sneakers. Once they removed them he took them and he did the best he could to tie his pants shut. Then they started to go home. Tex couldn’t ride his bike home, too much breeze still. He started walking and the boys slowly rode in front of him. Every time a car drove, even remotely close to them, Tex would stop walking and put his legs together. After a good deal of walking and time passed, the boys and Tex were in sight of home. So Sean and Carl rode ahead and stopped at there Grandma’s house. She and Mrs. Tex, as we will call her, were sitting on the porch drinking lemonade and talking.
“Hello boys” grandma said.
“What is wrong with your father?” said their mother.
The two boys look at each other, and look down the road at their father and then they start laughing. They finally lose their cool, their composure and they keep laughing until they can’t breathe, until they have tears in their eyes, until their sides hurt. Of course grandma and mother were both looking at them and wondering what is so funny. They look down the street and they see Tex walking bowlegged, with weak knees and the goofy look on his face...