Saturday, January 29, 2005

Desperately Seeking Pogo Sticks



The lovely Jessica, who has a website way cooler and more trendy than this one, asked the Y Bird to study the topic of pogo sticks. Luckily, this one was easy, and wonderfully, wonderfully painful...

Desperately Seeking Pogo Sticks

I can't remember the exact day that I learned there was allegedly no Santa Claus, and that it was allegedly all your parents, but I had a definite period of non belief in the big fella, especially when Claire's grade 4 project mentioned the current Santa was created by Coca-Cola. Of course, now I've rediscovered my belief if Santa, and indeed in Christmas magic, a love rekindled by the 1962 Judy Garland Christmas special, in which she slaughters poor Mel Torme, and sings in one of the most amazingly lit TV sets ever created. My love of Christmas is in contrast to my experiences on the day, which are usually ruined by having to see my once a year relatives who talk about ferreting and their newly found love of Shakira, 2 years after the album came out. Still, I get through it with a smile on my face, and songs about snowmen in my heart.

When I turned 10, I was aware that it might be my parents that performed the miracle of Christmas, and that whether I had naughty or nice really had no bearing on what I wanted, so much as whether Dad had been naughty or nice enough to get a Christmas bonus. All I knew was that whatever it took, I had to get my hands on a pogo stick. "If you think you're ready for some extreme pogo action" proclaimed the Toyworld brochure, next to kids who looked far more radical and extreme than me, in my GO TEAM! t-shirt and board shorts could ever be. I had briefly considered as to whether I could hand extreme pogo action, and whether I was more caught out for extreme Connect 4 action, but my mind was made up when I went out one day for a swim, and on my way to the pool, had what you might call my first experiencing of fancying someone. I had my kickboard (you're never too old for a kickboard) under my arm and my little junior bathers on under an all white Adidas tracksuit, and was strolling down a local Richmond boulevard, when there he was, the coolest boy I had ever seen.

He was holding court on the street corner with his peeps, a vision in blonde, long flowing hair, wearing an AFL football jumper and a pair of bright blue board shorts. More importantly, he was leaning up against the wall of the newsagency, next to a limited edition blue Gravity X-Treme pogo stick, just like the one in the catalogue. I literally couldn't speak, so struck was I by his aura of unspeakable cool. Instead, I just stood for a moment, leaning against the post office wall, until an old woman shoulder charged me in the rush to mail her parcel. We exchanged some cross generational angry glances, and I lost my focus. I was sure when I regained it, he would be gone. But no, he was still there, and he was staring at me, in all my white tracksuited glory. We looked at each other. He was the first boy I'd ever seen with no fear of girl germs. He swept his fringe out of his face, and began talking to his mates again. He looked back at me though, as he talked, and nodded in my direction. I nodded back, too scared to do or say anything. What should I do? Should I go over? Should I make a move? This whole dating thing was hard for me. I reached into my bag and pulled out a diet coke, hoping to look sultry. He smiled. I smiled back. We were making progress now.

He flexed a muscle to impress me. I flashed a smile to impress him. His mates were speaking, but he wasn't looking at them, he was looking at me, and I was looking at him. He pushed the conversation forward. He exchanged a street style, ghetto handshake with his peeps, and audibly said FUCK, just to impress me. Then he said it again - I was very impressed and giggled at his audacity. Clearly, we were getting on fine. Then, he got on his pogo stick, and he dazzled me with a trick, he took the handlebars, and bounced off...at least, that's what happened in my fantasy dream sequence...in reality, he pushed off, and the pogo stick hit a large crack in the pavement as it bounced, and he fell, sprawling awkwardly on the pavement. My heart cracked. I was crushed. I had given and given, for nothing. He was a benny. I bowed my head and ran off, almost in tears, to the swimming pool, swimming with the additional weight that came that my first experience with boys had been a dismal failure - I wondered if it was me, did my smile put him off? Did he do it deliberately to put me off? It was a sad moment, and I've thought about it very often. My first experience with a boy, ruined by a pogo stick? I wrote a pretty furious entry in my diary about it that night, even going to the trouble of writing in red pen. That's just how crushed I was.

I still got my pogo stick for Christmas though, and I practiced furiously. All my life, I thought I better be prepared, just in case the roles were reversed, and my future happiness depended on my ability to bounce carefully on a pogo stick. I never again saw any boys I liked with pogo sticks, but I still had to be prepared, just in case. Luckily, when I met my future husband, he had a surfboard under his arm, and a cute look about him. I didn't have a pogo stick, which was lucky, because I never did master the thing, and it wound up in the garage, next to the ice skates and the hockey stick that symbolised my other sporting "attempts".

That said, I still wonder what might have happened on that fateful day, had the boy of my youthful dreams not stumbled and fell...I guess some people just aren't cut out for extreme pogo action...

2 Comments:

Blogger Jessica said...

Haha, what a great story! My sister had a pogo stick, they really are quite difficult to..um..pogo, aren't they?

1:08 PM  
Blogger Alyson with a Y said...

It's very difficult! I feel some sympathy for the boy now, bless, he was just trying to impress me...

But still, he was cute! You'd think he'd combine being cute with an ability to pogo X-treme style!

Alyson

11:04 PM  

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