We called my brother Scooter, because he was always crashing his scooter and breaking his arms. In one corner of his room there was a pile of his casts that had been cut off. He called them his trophies. I just called them gross and smelly. Our neighborhood hero for his stunts, he always drew a crowd. His fans’ signatures covered all of his casts.
In preparation for his next big stunt, I made posters and taped them to the telephone poles all over the neighborhood. As his manager, I sold admission tickets for $.75 per kid at school and on the way home all week. This was our biggest box office yet.
On the big day, scooter emerged in his best Evel Knievel costume made out of a white jumpsuit he took from our sister Lindsey’s closet with the cape from his superman pajamas pinned to the collar. To get the crowd excited, he circled around the driveway on his bike popping wheelies and waving to his fans. The crowd started chanting, “Scoo-ter, Scoo-ter, Scoo-ter.” Getting louder and louder until they drowned out all other noises on our street.
Standing in the driveway channeling my inner Barnabus Bailey, I raised my hands to quiet the crowd. Sweeping my hands to Scooter, I shouted “Ladies and Gentlemen be prepared to be amazed! Scooter will attempt his most daring feat ever. He will climb up the ladder in the garage, cross the beams and jump into this pile of empty burlap sacks.”
A hush fell over the crowd as Scooter began his accent up the ladder and into the rafters. Barely breathing, we watched him balance as he carefully put one foot in front of the other to cross the side and center beams. He was halfway across, when someone yelled “Go Scooter!” breaking his concentration.
Suddenly his foot slipped and he came tumbling down catching the jumpsuit on a nail in the center beam, and hanging there for a moment. With a loud ripping sound, he came crashing down onto the pavement just two feet away from his safety pile of sacks. The silence was broken, when Scooter yelled “not the jumpsuit! Lindsey’s gonna kill me!” Trying to push himself up, he hollered “Ough!” Looking at his face contorted in pain, I realized that he was not able to get up on his own. The show was over and I raced for help.
After another trip to the emergency room, Scooter returned with 2 new casts; one for each arm. There was a line out the door for days of his fans wanting to sign his casts and bring him presents. When the excitement died down, it was just me and Scooter sitting in a hot living room trying to pass the time.
Curled up in a chair next to Scooter lying on the couch, I was making sure that he stayed still. I had strict orders to fetch anything that he needed. As the temperature continued to rise on this hot June afternoon, what he needed most was to cool off. When he growled at me, I stood up and began to fan him with my mother’s Family Circle magazine. For a moment it helped and then he was miserable again. Leaning her head in the room, my mother asked, “How is he doing?” I shook my head, “Not well I’m afraid. He really needs to cool off.” Thinking for a minute, I asked “How about we all go to McDonalds? A nice cold shake will make him feel better.”
Bellying up to the counter, I said “Give your biggest chocolate shake to my friend here.” Reaching into my pockets, I pulled out a fist of coins from the tickets sold for his big stunt. Scattering them on the counter, I smiled at the cashier as I counted out my payment.
Sliding into his seat and resting his two casts on the table, he waited for me to join him with the chocolate shake. Sitting next to him, I held up the shake and put the straw in his mouth. He took a long draw from the straw and said “Ahh, a shake fixes everything.” He finally smiled and asked “I was great, wasn’t I?” As his greatest fan, I agreed “The best! And, next time you’ll be even better!”