Rakes Will Hit You in the Face & Other Lessons

July was hotter and stickier that year than we ever remembered. We spent more time lazing about on the merry-go-round than zipping past the neighbors on our bikes, pretending we were Zack and Ivy on the prowl for Carmen Sandiego. Aaron (named changed) and I lay on the teal disc with our arms dangling off the sides, lazily pushing ourselves to keep a light breeze.

“Do you think that you can really slip on a banana peel?” Aaron inquired as I watched the russet wood chips pass by under the questing tips of my stained fingers. It was an intriguing question, and we hadn’t had a decent experiment since the time we disastrously tried to fry an egg on the sidewalk. After procuring the fruit in question, Aaron consumed the banana while I watched with disgust. I had never developed a penchant for the bland, mushy produce.

We carefully placed the banana’s flayed skin on the sidewalk and proceeded to stride across the yellow peel with great gusto. We were unable to get even the slightest bit of movement out of it; the grooves of the pavement gave it too much traction to slide. Disappointed with yet another botched endeavor, we left the playground for the backyard.

We reclined beneath the apple blossom tree and watched the emerald leaves sway in the wind. The gate creaked as a gust jostled the latch. A delicate sprinkling of jade leaves dusted our shoulders as we contemplated our next steps. After discovering that we had used the last of the bananas with our previous trial, we moved onto a new test. Aaron and I were determined to find an iconic cartoon sequence that was not entirely based in falsehood.

My mother and I maintained a small garden on the back porch, and I had a small green hoe that I used for groundbreaking and gathering leaves. Carefully laying the hoe on the ground with its tines pointed sharply heavenward, I stepped back and nodded at Aaron. Aaron gingerly placed one foot onto the tines of the hoe, and the gleaming wood handle shot up directly toward his face. He scrambled backward and narrowly avoided a braining; I crowed with elation at our success.

“Do you think if you drop a safe on my head I will end up inside the safe?” I inquired excitedly, caught up in the excitement of our success. My mother had a small fireproof safe in her bedroom closet where she kept candies and other treats. Both of us were in high spirits thanks to our accomplishment, and I thought it was the best time for us to proceed with another experiment while the taste of victory was still fresh.

Luckily for me, Aaron had more sense than I did and argued against any trials with the safe. He reasoned that we would likely get into trouble if we popped the screen out of my bedroom window to drop the safe onto my waiting head below. Instead, we retrieved our swimsuits and frolicked with the hose, aquamarine droplets spraying through the air like a wealth of diamonds as we idled away the afternoon.


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