The Eighth Page

Features Faceoff: Jimmy

I’m scared to wake up in the morning. I really am, and you should be scared too. If you’re not, there’s something seriously wrong with you. Every morning from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed, there are dozens, hundreds, thousands, even millions of things that could kill you, paralyze you, or leave you utterly crippled for life. Every morning, my radio alarm clock blares whatever song is on KISS 108 at the moment, waking me (and everyone else in my dorm). Being the considerate person that I am, I rush to turn off my alarm before it wakes up someone considerably brawnier and grouchier than myself. For the sake of the institution, every morning, I run the risk of having my face imprinted into a wall. As I make the 5 foot leap out of my bed (a good use of my long jump skills) toward my alarm clock every morning, the disarrayed pile of clothes on the ground act as obstacles I need to hurdle over (making me good at obstacles). There is, however, a life or death component. Suppose I catch my feet on the clothes, sending me flying, and hit my head on the corner of a cabinet or a desk. INSTA-KILL! I suppose if I’m still alive by next spring, I should really go out for track. I make a quick dash into the 1-person bathroom and fiddle with the lock. I’ve had the unfortunate experience of being in the shower when somebody opened the door because the lock didn’t catch. Needless to say, there were more screams than the time my dad and I showed off our new dance moves at Nathan Hale. Getting ready for school, I heave my 10-ton backpack onto my shoulders (and pray my spine doesn’t break), and because I live all the way in Abbot, I have a bike to speed up my commuting. For people who have bikes, you know what a pain in the (word for donkey) it is to ride up Main Street. Getting hit by a car is always a present threat, particularly to the people who disregard Mrs. Chase’s warnings and scurry across the street in between light changes, or in between rushing cars. You know how those cars are, especially after 6: filled with hooligans, most of whom are known as Andover High kids. Also passing from time to time are gangstas in leather on their motorbikes. You might think, “And we tempt fate running across the streets when those people are roaring their engines trying to run us down?” While riding, we also entrust the safety of our lives to how sturdy the bike is. A little while back, in fall term, I was riding my legendary Roadmaster bike. It worked fine for the first day. Second day, the handle started wiggling and became kind of loose. Third day, I discovered that I couldn’t switch to half the gears. On the fourth day, it rained and it changed the color of the bike from blue to rust. On the fifth day, the back brake cables broke suddenly while I was riding down Main Street, and I had a very narrow shave with a large tree that appeared out of nowhere. From then on, I just used my front brake, which I soon discovered made a hideous screeching sound every time I stopped. A couple of days after that, as I was riding down Main Street yet again to my dorm in Abbot, the wiggly handlebars came off in my hands entirely. At this point, one of the aforementioned hooligans tore out of a side street, blatantly ignoring the “DO NOT TURN ON RED” sign, and gunned his engine. [Sorry about that -Ed.] I was thinking my last thoughts (because everyone has to have cool last thoughts, right?), but all I could think of was “wow, that guy would look much better with his nose pierced.” Although I lost complete control of my bike, fate was on my side, it took me on a swerving turn away from the car. Unfortunately, I met a wall instead. I took more than my fair share of bruises, scrapes, and bloodied spots, and learned a lesson: Roadmaster bikes are [the last word of Jimmy’s article had to be cut due to libelous content -Ed.].