Thursday, November 11, 2010
A Fate That Sometimes Protects Idiots
I don't know... this book doesn't have any vampires or werewolves or zombies. Who'd want to read a book like that?
Well, YOU might. How Angel Peterson Got His Name, by Gary Paulsen, is dedicated by the author "to all boys in their thirteenth year; the miracle is that we live through it."
Paulsen writes about some of the stunts he and his friends tried at that young age: shooting a waterfall in a barrel (He would have drowned, but the barrel hit a sharp rock and shattered.), breaking the world speed record on skis (pulled behind a car), hang gliding with an army surplus kite, inventing the skateboard, jumping a bike through a hoop of fire, and, well, you get the picture, right?
His buddy, Wayne, received a shock from the family's new television, which "slammed him back into the wall and left him unconscious for several minutes. He later claimed that the incident was what made him the only one in our group who could actually talk to girls."
"In all of us was the thirst for what can only be called scientific knowledge, the need to know the answer to the question: What exactly would happen to Carl if he went over seventy-four miles an hour on a pair of army surplus skis?...
"So we went to the army surplus store... We found flight goggles - the kind with the large, soft rubber wraparound frame - and a leather flight helmet. A leather flight jacket used up four dollars; it was on sale because it had three holes that were kind of stained. We did not say the jacket might bring him bad luck even though some of us were thinking it...
"I can't see through the goggles," Carl said. "Should they be all fogged up like this?"
"Don't worry," Bruce said. "Once you're outside and moving in back of Archie's car they'll clear right up."
"We... approached the second most important ingredient in the record attempt: Archie.
"No," he said. "Absolutely not." ...
"We'll give you five dollars." ...
OK, that's enough. If you want to read something guaranteed to make you laugh, try How Angel Peterson Got His Name.