I grew up in the '80s, when skateboarding first became cool. I was always envious of the mean punk kids who skateboarded down the street and scared the little old ladies. I thought that if I could just learn to ride one, I would be instantly rebellious and, well, rad.
I grew up in the country, and there were very few rules about how and where I could play after school. Rule one: stay within listening distance. My Dad can do that really loud call-a-taxi whistle, and I had to go home when I heard that. Rule two: don't jump on the Goodwins' trampoline unless there is an adult watching. This was back before the manufacturers figured out that fewer kids would die on those things if they put handy little net fences around the trampolines. (I broke that law only once, and within five minutes of jumping alone, I landed on my back on the circular metal bar. Then I flopped out onto the ground. My Dad had looked out the window long enough to see me jumping without an adult, but he didn't see me fall, so I still got in trouble, limp or no.) Rule three: No skateboarding.
So the first chance I got, around age 10, I convinced one of the older kids across the street to let me sit on his skateboard. (Can you tell how rebellious I was? Not, Lemme take that thing down a half-pipe. Not, Hey man, where can I get one of those? No, it was Can I sit on that for a second? Shocking.) I sat down and pulled my feet up on the board. SHOOSH! The board zipped down a hill that I swear hadn't been there two minutes before. I screamed and rolled off the board, sending myself into a concrete gutter and the board into the street. It was then that I learned the meaning of asphalt rash. My heroic skateboard adventure took all the skin off my left knee and planted a dozen little rocks in my forearms. I have no idea what story I made up to tell my Dad about what happened, but I certainly didn't admit the truth. In retrospect, I think my parents probably didn't have anything against my becoming a skateboard punk... they more likely took one look at my lack of grace and figured they'd try to head off this disaster.
So, given my lame skateboarding skills, this little dog really pisses me off.