Saturday, September 17, 2005

Super Trampoline School Kid

First things first: I'm Suley. I usually roll over here, but in J.Star's absence I have been granted the position of (echo-y voice:) "almighty guest blogger." This means that, for the coming week, I control this blog. I plan on having a few other guest potato-mashers post on this and that during the coming week, so keep your ears open for the inevitable sucking noise. ;) Here are a few things about me:
  • I am a Southerner.
  • I wear Converse.
  • People tell me I look a lot like Doogie Howser.
  • My favorite alcoholic beverage is Guinness served at room temperature.
Now that you know me, let us begin with a tale of trampolinery:

Way back in the dizays when I was in elementary school, my next door neighbor had a huge red trampoline in their backyard with a zip-line that ran over it. They had two dogs, both boxers (with normal ears), and two boys more or less my age. Their backyard was the largest in the neighborhood and sat on a gentle incline. You could ride the zip-line from the top of the yard, down to the bottom, and let go just as you were over the trampoline. If other kids were jumping on it there was always the chance that you'd catch this super bounce that would launch you about 15 feet up into the air. It took a certain measure of chutzpah to pull that. Well, one day I was bounced too high and fell ass-first onto the padded metal rim on the outside of the trampoline. Hurt like the devil. That’s my first vivid memory of a trampoline trick. A trampoline trick that went wrong, but a trampoline trick nonetheless.

Every day after school I'd go over there and flop around on that trampoline until my skin got trampoline burns. Sometimes those big boxers would get up onto the mat (which wasn’t good for it) and we’d bounce them as high as their doggie constitution could handle, which usually wasn’t very high. We had wrestling matches, too. One of my favorite memories of that first trampoline is the neighborhood girls vs. boys backyard brawl. Looking back on it, trying to push eleven-year-old girls off the side of a five-foot-high trampoline seems awfully cruel, but then it was what they deserved for being icky and having cooties. It was war. Cooties had to be stamped out.

Despite a hard fight, the eleven-year-old girls easily defeated us.

I also remember that red trampoline ‘cause it was the first time I attempted yogic flight – and failed (I was a weird kid, and now a weird adult).

When my family moved out to the country after living some 12 years in the city, I thought I’d left the trampoline behind. But one day while riding around on my bike, I noticed a trampoline in a neighbor’s backyard. The girl that was jumping saw me looking and invited me over to flail around. I was only 12 then, but when a gal invited me up onto her trampoline it was like a religious experience. I’m tempted to say something here about the aesthetics of women jumping up and down on trampolines, but I’ll leave it alone. Why alienate all of the readers who aren’t going to read this? It soon became apparent how prevalent trampolines were in the country. Practically every other house had one. Round ones, rectangular ones, round ones with steel-cage style netting, and water trampolines, too. Today, my friends and I call them “White Trash Flytraps” because honkies like me are attracted to them like, well, flies.

I bounced on that trampoline often until my family moved once again (yeah, we moved often. I suppose that’s what kinda makes me a gypsy at heart), this time even further out into the boonies. In middle school I had another good friend who had a trampoline, a really honkin’ large one. When I went over to his house we either listened to grunge, metal, or jumped on the trampoline (sometimes grunge, metal, and trampoline all at once, which can be dangerous). I may have even listened to the song “Spoonman” by Soundgarden while doing so. I remember on one occasion nearly coming to blows with his sister, when, not watching what I was doing, I accidentally knocked her off the trampoline.

Then one day he moved away and the trampoline went with him. I wonder what happened to that kid?

In high school, I and my friends organized a backyard wrestling league. Lacking a ring, we turned to the next best thing: a trampoline. I and a friend, both avid fans of pro wrestling were the announcers, while everyone else invented various wrestling personae and created feuds and stilted attitudes for the camera. During lunch hour we would write and discuss story lines, determine who would wrestle who, and develop the personae of various characters such as the absurdly named “Blizzard” – who was in reality a wispy kid roughly five feet in height.

When it came down to the day of combat, everything fell apart. The equipment sucked, no one wore decent costumes, and people seemed more interested in engaging in a general battle royale rather than a planned series of matches. The announcers also couldn’t resist getting in on the action. During the course of the all-out-hardcore-trampoline-death-match I was: faceplanted, hit in the face with a metal trash can, hit again in the face with a metal trashcan lid, smacked by a metal folding chair, sprayed with a chemical fire extinguisher, and generally abused. And for those of you who think it’s fake. It ain’t. It hurts like all hell. The least painful was probably the trashcan. I bought that trashcan. I was also able to administer a “Walls of Jericho” to a friend of mine (Sweet, I know you’re reading this).

And I still have all of my teeth.

After the fire extinguisher was unleashed, everyone fled for the safety of the house. I don’t know whose idea it was to bring a fire extinguisher, but when you see them on wrestling shows they tend to just spray this innocuous-looking white smoke. Well, this fire extinguisher wasn’t like that. It sprayed a greenish smoke that hung heavy in the air and settled on everything like mustard gas. The trampoline was covered in the stuff. We really laid waste to that backyard.

Since then I haven’t set foot on a trampoline. In five years I haven’t bounced on one. I was eighteen when I last touched a trampoline and now I’m 23 and don’t have any trampolines in the foreseeable future. No woman has invited me up onto her trampoline. No one has asked me to join their backyard wrestling league (although lord knows I would love to perfect my trademark “Gucci Kick” in the ring, or rather, trampoline). I want to go back to those Southern summer days when I ran around in my stocking feet – white socks stained by freshly cut grass – and felt the burning sensation of trampoline mat against my arms and legs. The feeling of free-falling for just a moment, and the way your stomach kinda rises up into your body as you apex, and then gravity pulls you back down. At the risk of sound like a tool, it’s like jumping up to God and saying, see me?

No one will let me flail like a vertically challenged white boy on their trampoline.

All but J.Star, who has invited me to bounce on the trampoline that is this potato (or blog) which is aptly named “Trampoline Tricks.” ‘Cause a trampoline trick is something not just any ninny can do; it takes years of bouncing experience and the willingness to get hurt or look stupid – or even worse, to lose face in front of the ladies.

Thank you J., for giving me the opportunity to make a fool of myself on your trampoline.

“Boss Blog” Suley, over and out.


At September 17, 2005 10:14 AM, Blogger cmhl said...

I love the "white trash flytrap" comment. hahahah.

At September 17, 2005 11:01 AM, Anonymous Sweet said...

Don't be so smug, Suley. As I recall I hit you with the spear/gore/gear/spore during our Battle Royale with cheese. I still laugh and go all floppy-necked when I think of "Blizzard" leaping off the trampoline head first into a couple of sad, little boxes. Heh. He could have died. Oh, and Peanut breaking that window. And J.Park spinning me over his damned head. And yes, you getting your ass duffed into the ground by the stray trash can lid. Sigh. Good times.

We must've really needed that release. High school was alternately threatening, terrifying, and infuriating. Putting that all on the surface, spoofing it, and physicalizing the wounds was very therapeutic.

I just read your blog. My answer to your music meme will be coming along shortly.

At September 17, 2005 11:22 AM, Blogger Jenelle said...

Nicely done. J. would be proud 'o you Boss Blg...

At September 17, 2005 4:39 PM, Blogger Raehan said...

A terrific post, but also a reminder of why I don't have a trampoline in my back yard.

At September 17, 2005 10:35 PM, Blogger The Great Saphenous said...

Trampolines are requisite in Arizona. I got a 12-foot tramp (laugh it up) for Chirstmas one year when I still lived in Phoenix, and I doubt there was a single day in the next 3 years that I didn't jump on that thing.

Then, 2 years ago, my mom decided to get a dog/hellbeast, and now it owns the trampoline. 2 years of my life wasted without my beautiful "white trash flytrap". Sigh.

At September 18, 2005 12:10 AM, Anonymous Heather said...

Excellent potato-smashing, I must say. :) I enjoyed your entry, made me think of my own wonderful childhood trampoline experiences. I used to want a trampoline of my own SOOO much. Hmm, maybe I still do.

At September 19, 2005 10:58 AM, Blogger Indigo said...

I confessed a while ago on my QOTD blog that I have never been on a trampoline. How sad is that?

At September 19, 2005 2:33 PM, Anonymous atpanda said...

I had a very good trampoline trick in high school. It was: "Tear all the ligaments in your ankle while also tearing off a piece of bone down there only to leave you permanently stupid on one side and with a trip to the emergency room at least every other year as a result" hmmmm. Yep, I'm a clutz.


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