Serious Fun With Bad Boys

Right now I’m wiping the sweat off the brows of a thousand evolutionary biologists who have toiled for ages trying to unearth the reason we take risks. It’s been a long day and I’ve gone through a LOT of tissues.

Flummoxed by thousands of years of idiotically flamboyant and dangerous behaviors they sit smacking their heads on their very nicely carved mahogany desks wondering why and how we manage to thrive anyway.
It’s like the first caveman to roll down a steep precipice and off the cliff before coming to an abrupt stop by hitting the warm mossy bottom of the ravine, standing up and beating his chest in relived horror before running up to the top to do it all again.

We just don’t fucking learn.

And that’s okay.

The roller coaster ride, the tragic attraction to  the leather clad bad boy on the motorcycle with the James Dean glower, strip quarters during the summer; all BAD ideas but after work weeks laden with monotony and sameness we all crave an irrational explosion of fun and fear. 

I’d never considered myself an adrenaline junkie with an affinity for risky behavior until I looked at my history of “I dare you” antics and weird lifestyle choices. One minute I was a terrified and shaking seven-year old standing just outside the line rope for the Rebel Yell rollercoaster and the next I was a steely survivor of what  surely  was as close to a near death experience as I’d ever had.  It had helped that I’d been goaded and teased about my refusal to ride but a pep talk from an uncle who whispered “if you conquer this rollercoaster, you can do anything else in this park with no problem. Scariest first.” put me over the line. Climb this mountain and everything else would look like an anthill.

There she is folks. I rode the red one.

It’s the same reason I jumped off the thirty foot cliffs into the water at Indian Lake and dated a guy who had a beard and a guitar after shacking up with someone who acted terrifyingly like “The Beav”; what’s life without a little fun?

At a certain point I began to realize that everyday things I’d done during my life were probably far more dangerous than any perceived daring risk I’d taken during my formative years. Things like using the chainsaw and the full-sized axe to increase the size of the woodpile outside my house and transferring kerosene into the tank while it was still running so as not to lose the warmth it radiated in our subzero kitchen should have rung alarm bells, but alas no. For a long time I suffered from the delusion that my life was mundane and simple.

We're as dangerous as a drugged up flash mob when we get in your kitchen.

Little did I know that most kids weren’t fighting off feral animals that lived in the walls or cooking over an open fire while wearing a full down coat…inside.

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19 Comments

Filed under amusement park fun, bad boys, fun and risk, I know how to use an axe and a chainsaw

19 responses to “Serious Fun With Bad Boys

  1. dbs

    I shudder at the memories of the many dangerous things I did as a youth. Now I have teenagers and I want to choke them for their capricious attitudes about risk-taking. Like them, I didn’t see it then but I do see it now: life is so valuable, their lives are so valuable to me. And hence I have become a hypocrite. And I sound 186 years old.

  2. I too gave in to sibling pressure and rode Space Mountain at age 7. Only I screamed my fool head off the whole time, then literally crawled out of the car onto the platform sobbing tears like JuJuBees. Maybe that’s why I never was much of a risk taker, except for all those stupid things I did in college when I was exceedinly drunk.

    Yeah, I never owned a motorcycle, grew a beard, or stuck with guitar lessons either. Shit, I may as well have been a dentist.

    PS – Welcome back!

    • PPS – Please tell us the story about fighting a feral Racoon in your kitchen.

      • dufmanno

        Also, it wasn’t one racoon. It was a family of five and they’d spent the night tearing apart our kitchen (it was only attached to the rest of the house by a closed in breezeway that doubled as a butlers pantry)

    • dufmanno

      Space Mountain still makes me crap my pants a little every time I go on. It’s the absolute pitch black that does it. Well, maybe that and the fact that you feel like you could come flying out of the seat at any second.

  3. chuck duffy

    Sometimes this recurring theme gives me pause. Am I reduced to being a bad Idea 🙂

    • dufmanno

      Aw honey, you were only a bad idea for the first month when you appeared dangerous and otherworldly. Plus you still have the beard. Huge points. xoxo

  4. The first question I am going to ask when I die is “when was the time I cam closest to dying before this.” I have at least ten guesses.

    • dufmanno

      It’s weird because I was raised by a woman who doled out fear sandwiches every hour on the hour. I had to fight against a tide of anxiety and absolute certainty that I was going to perish every moment.
      That’s probably why I kept it all secret, so she wouldn’t stand over my dead body and say “I told you so”.

  5. I hate roller coasters. The scariest ride I’ll go on is the Whirling Dervish. Life is terrifying enough. Plus you never know when a wooly mammoth is going to jump out and rip your face off.

    • dufmanno

      Will you go on the Tea Cups with me at Disney? I’m going to also admit to loving Small World and Dumbo but we are going to keep that between ourselves.
      On the other hand you just gave me another idea for filing away in my “roller coasters I’m going to build” cabinet. A Woolly Mammoth ride would bring some shock and awe to Disney.

  6. I went skydiving Wednesday to remind myself I am alive. Yeah, I risked my life to remind myself I am alive, but it worked. I am still in here. Floating over 1000’s of acres of beautiful, peaceful acres of green farmland and lakes…….screaming look the fuck out, I am coming!!!!!

  7. I am a chicken. Cold Play wrote a song about me.

  8. I was quite the wimpy delicate child, except for the time I punched a boy in our school playground when he kept on teasing about something I cannot remember. He never teased me again.

    Raccoons? Oh my god, that sounds awful in a hilarious tragic type of way…

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