Monday, June 27, 2011


I, nor anyone else who knows me, would ever describe me as a harum-scarum
 type of person.  In fact I'm not sure that I or anyone else I know would even know what harum-scarum means and be able to use it in a sentence.  Speaking for myself, I would not have known that it was even a real word, had it not been week 8 of the ABC meme that I am participating in; which means today's letter is H; which also means that I looked in the dictionary under H's to find an unusual word that I liked the sound of.

So getting back to me not being a harum-scarum person.  I would describe myself more of a keeping my feet safely on the ground type of person.

Obviously you would never find me standing in line waiting to get on one of these things:

I have never seen, nor do I want to see Halloween's 1-10.   Nope, not a big fan of Nightmare on Elm street and wouldn't know Freddie Krueger if I ran into him in a dark ally....I have to stop, I am scaring myself.

Well except for that one time...
     I was barely 20 years old and in the throws of a new relationship.  I was sitting outside waiting for him to pull up in his red Corvette convertible.   This was to be our fourth date.

While I was waiting, my cool friend, who lived across the street from me, was riding up and down the street on her motorcycle.   

Now before I continue, I have to explain something about my relationship with Cool girl.   The very few times I behaved in a harum-scarum manner was when I was with Cool girl.   I am not entirely blaming her, but there was just something about the combination of the two of us that screamed HARUM_SCARUM!

Getting back to Date Four and Corvette Guy.  

So, as I watched Cool girl on the bike, a bright idea was formulating in the tiny part of my brain that would even entertain such harum-scarum thoughts.
"Wouldn't it be cool if when Corvette Guy pulled up he would see me riding up the street on a Harley" 
   Okay maybe it was more of a Suzuki 50CC like this:
Anyway, I walked over to Cool girl and mentioned how cool she looked riding "that thing".  Cool girl says, "Why don't you try it?  It's easy, here's the break, here's the shifter, here's the gas."  
Oh, I thought, yea that does sound easy.  Completely forgetting that I didn't even know how to drive a stick shift car.

The street we lived on had an intersection at either end.  The intersecting street at one end was a quiet little block. The intersecting street at the other end was a busy highway.

So, harum-scarum, without a helmet, I climbed on the bike and took off down the street towards the busy highway.  Halfway down the road, I saw cars whizzing by on the highway, and I panicked.   I forgot which was the gas handle and which was the break, and where that shifter thing was.  The bike skidded and both the bike and I slid into the curb right before the end of the street. 

Whew, I'll never do that again...not so fast, here comes Cool girl running down the street towards me.
She says to me, "Don't you want to try that again?  I'll get on the back with you this time."  

Wow, what a great harum-scarum cool idea, I thought.  So I climbed back on and she hopped on the back.  We took off in the other direction towards the quiet little street.  As I  approached the stop sign, I again panicked and couldn't stop the bike.  I heard Cool girl yelling, "Stop! Stop!  There's a car coming!"  
But I couldn't stop. 
I crashed into the car, the bike slid out from under me and I hit the pavement.  Sharon flew up in the air and landed on her leg.  

It's true, you know what they say about tragic events seeming to happen in slow motion.  I can still picture the young man who had just gotten his license getting out of the car looking so scared.  I can still hear myself screaming for help for my friend Sharon.   I can still see my parents along with what seemed to be a crowd of people running towards Sharon and I.  

Sharon and I were taken to the emergency room in separate ambulances.  

I was banged up pretty badly.  But they were minor injuries.  

Sharon's leg was badly damaged.  She had to have several surgeries over the next few years.   She never fully recovered and I am sure probably still walks with a limp. 

My harum-scarum behavior certainly had somber and severe consequences.  

Due to time, distance and circumstances, I have not had contact with Sharon in over 35 years. 

Corvette Guy, came to the hospital emergency room to see how I was doing.  I wanted him to take me home in the Corvette, but my father gently, okay not so gently, said NO!

When I think back to the time before that incident, I actually do remember standing in line for this ride:

I do remember how it felt to be wonderfully frightened by this masterpiece.

   Yes, that very traumatic event had its lasting effects on me and may have curbed my harum-scarum behavior, but...then there was that one other time...

For more H posts look  here



  1. I giggled - I admit to initially thinking  you were going to go all "Elvis classic movie"... oh well, a girl can dream.

  2. A guy in a red Corvette convertible?  We don't get a lot of those in Wiltshire.  Loved the story. 

  3. My harum-scarum moment also included a motor cycle but I wasn't driving. Should have known better but that is what growing up is all about. 

  4. Wow!!!  Can I tell you, I was amazed reading along and then, you retold a somewhat similar story of an incident I had when I was 14!!!  My name is Sharon and I was in a bike accident with a friend!  She was riding with me on my bicycle and to avoid a car, we swerved, hit a rock and I flew off and tore the cartilage in my knee!  Not nearly the same as a motorcycle but the similarity was crazy for me!  Oh, and I went on wild mouse as an adult and had a near heart attack of fear!!!!  Thanks for the crazy memory!!

  5. Whoa! That is scary!  A few more lessons and you might have been riding your own bike today. 

    I'm glad you weren't severely damaged.  

  6. What a good story! And I'm glad you weren't seriously hurt. now I want to know about that one time... =P