Considering Marsupial Genocide

Well folks, I did it again. I fell off my bike and crashed in a tumble of limb and flesh, and suspect that perhaps it might be time for my biking privileges to be taken away from me.


Last Friday afternoon, I decided to take Mona for a nice, long ride so that she would be tired enough by evening time to leave me alone for several hours. We set out and had a lovely ride, following the tail end of the Burke Gilman trail where it crosses under the Magnolia Bridge and comes to an end at the Sound’s edge. Mona has been such a good girl on these rides that I often leave her off-leash so that she can run alongside me and so that I can use both of my hands for steering and waving to fellow bicyclists. But on Friday Mona seemed extra interested in hunting squirrels so I kept her on the leash and held the leash with my left hand, as I usually do. For those of you who don’t know much about dog behavior, try to think of squirrels as some kind of canine crack—doggies go apeshit for squirrels even though there are consequences for such acts, thereby exemplifying the very definition of addiction.

But that day, it was not the squirrels who would have their victory over us—it was an opossum.  You might remember that it was a possum who defeated me on the bike several weeks ago, when I ran straight into a utility pole. Damn these seemingly non-nocturnal marsupials!

Here’s how it, or rather, I, went down: Mona and I were racing, as we very often like to do, going way too fast, when she spotted one of those ungodly creatures scampering up a hillside. Mona halted in her tracks and pulled my left arm with her since I apparently lack the wherewithal to simply let go at such moments. And down I went. I fell to my right side, my knee and hand absorbing most of the force. The bike fell on top of me, with my left leg up in the air and the rear wheel spinning. I laid there, stunned, for a few seconds before I could look up to see Mona staring at me as if to say, “Hey—retard, what are you doing on the ground?” Awesome.

 Luckily, there was no one around to witness my buffoonery. And luckily, I was mostly unhurt. I did bang my head on the asphalt but the superpowers of my Green Bay Packers helmet protected me. I pulled up my pantleg to see a nasty stretch of road rash on my knee (see above picture), and finally picked myself up and got back on the bike. I was extremely angry at Mona, even though she meant no harm, if for no other reason than to deflect my rapidly increasing embarrassment. A few stern looks seemed to have done their work with her, and she was a total angel for the rest of the ride home.

I spent the rest of the afternoon digging bits of gravel out of the palm of my hand and wincing at the bubble and hiss of hydrogen peroxide on my bloody knee. As one does with these kinds of boo-boos, I had to call my mom and tell her that I’d fallen off my bike and that I was bloodied, but would live. She didn’t seem nearly as concerned as I wanted her to be, but I am 28 years-old after all.

I’m planning a trip to REI later this week to pick up some biking gloves and a better-fitting helmet, and then I will have to get back up on that horse…er, rather that bike, and keep on riding. Also, I might make it my life’s mission to destroy every opossum in my neighborhood. Gross.


3 thoughts on “Considering Marsupial Genocide

  1. That opossum has got to go! We may also need to have an intervention with Mona: “Don’t you see what this is doing to your mother!?”

  2. The picture is priceless…..I know that look!! Please stop riding with Mona on a leash. I know its cool, but your head and your knees are more important. Love reading your blog, T. You are such a gifted writer….don’t ever stop.

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