Here are a few cautionary tales of warranted instant death that I learned from ma and pa:
- Quick sand! Watch out for it! It's the silent killer! First of all, don't be stupid enough to blindly walk into quick sand. Pay attention! If you are ignorant enough to get stuck in quick sand, don't thrash around. Just yell for HELP then start searching for a big stick so that someone can pull you out. But seriously, you shouldn't have ever gone into the quick sand in the first place. What a disappointment. Now hurry up and get yourself out of there, because it is time to shovel out the grain bin. Just stay to the edges because the center is a sinkhole vortex of asphyxiation by corn. Here's a shovel.
- Beware of thin ice! The ice, even on the coldest of days in January, is a trick! It is an unsafe place, even if it appears to be a foot thick. Ice skating is only for fancy city folk on their temperature controlled ice rinks. DO NOT GO ONTO A FROZEN POND AND ICE SKATE. You can fall through the ice and drown. It happens all the time... and children die. It's like quick sand, only worse, because it is really cold. Now here's an heavy, sharpened ax for you to spend an hour chopping through that pond so that the livestock can drink. Watch your toes.
- Bicycles are two-wheeled rigs of ruin! Riding bikes on the road=sudden death by speeding car. But the driveway is safe! Even if it is only 200 feet long and made from golf ball sized jagged stones. Stones so sharp that will take out an eye upon impact when they dislodge your bike tire. What's a helmet? Hurry up! We have some hay bales that weigh as much as you and they aren't going to stack themselves.
- Trampolines are only for expendable children! YOU MAY NOT USE THE TRAMPOLINE. EVER. You will break your arms, legs, or worse, YOUR NECK. You will either be dead or spending the rest of your life in a wheelchair. No child needs to bounce around that high off the ground on a tarp stretched with springs! Sure, you and your sister can try to jump between the stacks of big round bales, just don't push each other off the hay again. We also need you to ride in the bed of the truck on the way home because the cab is full of dogs and your father's guns.
- No diving! You will die! Diving can only result in severe head injury, a life in a wheelchair or sudden death. Just don't do it. Ever. It might be too shallow and you'll never know until it is too late! Now put on your boots and gloves because we need to separate these angry, over protective longhorn cows from their calves. It's weaning time!
- ATV= Absolute Termination Vehicle. Four-wheelers and motorcycles are motorized manifestations of fatality, or at least certain dismemberment and severe head injuries. Now, stand at this gate while I feed the hay. Open it quickly to let me out when I'm done. I'll come towards you in the tractor and the buffalo may be following. Make sure to close it AS FAST AS POSSIBLE or that entire herd of stampeding buffalo that is running straight towards you will get out! Ready? GO!
- Playing video games is the equivalent of volunteering for euthanasia. Video games will rot your mind and turn you into a sloth. Also, you will lose your ability to interact with real humans and work ethic. Death with ensue, after you have lived a boneless fatty existence in your parent's basement. Plus, you can't waste time on gaming because you need to help remove that asbestos siding from the shed, so get your gloves and move it.
- Your body is a temple. Don't pollute it. If you smoke cigarettes, your teeth will turn yellow and your lungs will turn black, causing you to hack up phlegm in front of attractive males. And then you will die. What time is it? Sure, you can have Tombstone pizza and Diet Coke for dinner again.
I was allowed to ride horses of all sizes! No helmets were required! As a small child, I was tossed on the backs of horses that ranged in size from 600-1,200 pounds. Horses, animals with a mind of their own, hooves shod in iron, and a deeply ingrained flight response, were totally safe. The rest of the world, however, was a certain crouching death, waiting to claim me for the dark side.
But here is a 1,100 pound random horse that your dad just picked up from the sale barn!Why don't you hop on him bareback and take him for a spin around the pasture....
Thanks Mom and Dad. I still fear death by ice, bicycle, quick sand, ATV's or canvas stretched on bungee cords, but I absolutely live for time spent on the back of a horse.
Let's see how much of this wisdom I can pass along to my own children.
I'll start with, "Snakes will kill you. And if you bring one into the house, I will kill you."
WATCH OUT FOR QUICK SAND!
Peace, Love and Licking Lead Paint,