Friday, September 28, 2007


We've completed our comparative analysis of suburban vs. "urban" skateboarding. But there's another oft overlooked genre, rural skateboarding (hick-boarding, bumpkin-boarding, hillbilly surfing*) of which I was a youthful practitioner.

Back in Possum Holler** where I came up, we didn't have fancy skate parks or empty swimming pools or ramps or stairs or rails or sidewalks or smoothly paved roads. But we had hills and we had gumption.

Having mastered the smaller slopes, I decided to tackle the "big hill". I made the long, slow trudge up, reached the crest, and turned to survey the great expanse before me. Donning my father's old motorcycle helmet (a fortuitous if dorky decision), I planted my feet and began the descent.

The pines rolled by. The breeze blew cool on my face. The sun shone bright on Appleberry Mountain. I gathered speed. The pines blurred. The asphalt raced beneath my feet. I accelerated. The wind stung my eyes. I was flying!

Then it started, a subtle wiggle in the board that rapidly amplified in wider and wider oscillations until, suddenly, the board was gone. Wipe out. I was flying.

I landed with an unpleasant thud on my (mercifully cushioned) noggin and skidded to a stop on the coarse gravel. Standing up, I saw the patches of missing skin on my hip and elbow. (I still have a scar.) Gazing up at the mighty hill, my vanquisher, I vowed never to ride it again. I, Hillbilly Icarus, had flown too high and paid the price.

My bloodied limbs swung heavy on the slow walk home.

Reading comprehension:

Is this narrative an example of:
a) man against man?

b) man against nature?

c) man against the bone-headed idiocy of youth?
Explain your answer.

* I made those up. Shh...

** That's actually true.


  1. Anonymous9:16 PM

    I choose c for the simple reason that anyone riding a skateboard down the hill you are talking about could only be suffering from the idiocy of youth!!

  2. d) none of the above? I think it's an example of the existential angst that rural america felt in trying to fit into media projected messages of what was hip at the time.

    Just kidding.

  3. Anonymous6:16 PM

    Did you keep your vow?

  4. Anonymous10:26 PM

    Then I choose B. By virtue that 1)you fortuitously donned your Dad's dorky helmet, 2) you kept the vow, and 3) Appleberry Mountain sounded such an overpoweringly alluring challenge (I, too, would have wanted to conquer a place called Possum Holler (for real, for real???)) showed a glimmer of foresight, and wisdom in the defeat...and because of that, I say you were foolhardy rather than foolish. Definitely B.

  5. Anonymous10:44 PM

    In my high school lit. it was Man vs. Society, Man vs. Nature, Man vs. Himself. Clearly this is a case of the third.

  6. Possum Holler: for real real real.

  7. Anonymous9:45 AM

    Is Appleberry Mountain for real? I had a similar mishap on Cinnamonraisin Mountain.

  8. Appleberry Mountain: for real real real.