Thursday, June 25, 2009

I don't want to wrinkle my pretty dress ...

Me: I'm thinking about getting pads to wear while I'm roller blading.
Chuck: That's a good idea. And you can just use the helmet you bought for biking.
Me: [Blinks and looks of confusion] Helmet? I'm not going to wear a helmet.
Chuck: Why not?
Me: I'm thinking like wrist guards and knee pads.
Chuck: Why don't you want to wear a helmet?

And here I'm stuck. There is nothing that I can say that won't sound like that old woman in those 80's PSAs for wearing seat belts. "But I don't want to wrinkle my pretty dress," she crowed. The next scene she's just a pale bag of bones, wires sprouting out of her like a human outlet strip. "Let me fix your dress for you, mom," her seat belt endorsing daughter says, ironically, smoothing the threads on the comatose body.

I have no idea why I don't want to wear a helmet, but it has something to do with a hot head and a cumbersome accessory. And besides, what if the other kids in the neighborhood make fun of me.

Me: It's not like I'm going to crack my head open rollerblading.
Chuck: Until you crack your head open.

I can skate. I've probably only wiped out twice in my life: once in college when I fancied myself a trick skater, and once last year when some little phucknuggets spread a branch out on the path and then waited to see what would happen. [I hunted those little rascals down and gave them mean looks.]

I can see wearing a helmet for biking. All that takes is imagining what it would feel like to get my head run over by a city bus. But I skate on trails. No buses, no hills, no walls, no anvils falling from the sky. ... No helmet.


Sproactually said...

The whole purpose of cycling helmet is slow your head down and provide a cushion between your head and what ever the object it is striking. It is nothing more than colorful plastic and Styrofoam. It will not protect your head from a city bus.

Having survived both a bicycle (just some broken ribs and punctured lung) and motor cycle crash (Just a broken collar bone and shoulder blade) I can attest that wearing a helmet will improve you chances of being able to use the bathroom and eat on your own after an event.

Beret said...

This post reminds me of the episode of Doogie Howser where Wanda's mom got killed because she didn't want a seatbelt to wrinkle her silk dress. Sigh...

Whiskeymarie said...

Gah, I've been biking all summer so far without a helmet. I know, I know! I NEED to get a helmet, yet I'm torn. I only use residential streets, I'm really careful, and (yes, I'm going to say it) I don't want to look like a dork. Maybe I will get a helmet, maybe I won't. I have a feeling my not wanting to have a nurse help me pee, dress, and put the bendy straw in my wine will win out over looking cool.

My vanity will be the end of me...

Suber1 said...

Just wear a goddamned helmet already. They're full of vents, so they're not very hot. As mentioned, a car can still kill you -- RIP Willie Neal -- but it could turn a TBI into a mild concussion. You will be really self-conscious about wearing it for a summer, but then you'll start wearing it without thinking about it, and then you'll begin passing judgment on fools who don't wear one. Go to a bike shop and get all the straps adjusted, too -- a good place will help you for free. It does no good if the damned thing slides backwards when you smack your forehead on the asphalt.

At the very, very, very least, go to a big, empty parking lot and practice skills. Learn how to stop quickly, move around rocks, make tight turns at speed and, yes, jump over stuff. If you're going to do a somewhat "dangerous" sport, I think you're obliged to figure out ways to avoid some of the danger.