I get a chuckle out of watching My Summer Story (also called It Run’s in the Family) when Ralphy flies down a steep hill on his bicycle making a comment about how he was an adrenalin junkie way back then.
It was fairly quiet living in the country, but my brother and I also had our own form of adrenalin rush. It was called, (dramatic pause), the neighbor’s dog. The meanest, nastiest, two wheel chasing canine you would ever see. That dog could hear you coming a mile away and would lay in hiding so that he could spring into action as soon as you were in his sights. The minute he had a target lock on you, he would be right on your heels with his lips curled, fangs on full display, growling, barking and nipping at your feet every time the pedal came around.
This of course would be the challenge of many a dares, our own little proof of manhood. And it was upon one of these challenges that I was speeding by the venomous house on my three speed bicycle when a gear slipped. The adrenaline had my legs peddling as fast as I could, but the bike just kept moving slower and slower. I think the only reason the dog wasn’t able to take a chunk of flesh out of my foot was the fact that my feet were just a blur from pedaling so fast. Just when I thought I was dead meat the gear kicked back in and I took off like a rocket.
These days, a dog like that would probably be shot by law enforcement or the owners would be forced to pen him up, but back then it was just a part of life.