Shoe Column: The great Steps ride
By Tim “Shoe” Sillivan
It was in April of 1985. Early Spring. Time for some yard work. My girlfriend Mary Ellen dropped by. We went into the basement to get the rake and shovel.
We moved a few things around. Then she pointed to something and asked: “What’s THIS?” I answered: “What does it look like? It’s my motorcycle.”
She said: “I didn’t know you had a motorcycle! Does it run?”
“It runs fine,” I replied.
Mary Ellen countered with: “Then why is it still in your basement?”
A good question. I said: “Well, as you can see, what we have here are ten steep steps, a pole, and a landing. I don’t think one guy can really get this cycle up all those stairs by himself. But I keep it down here over the winter.”
“Let’s bring it up, ‘’ she suggested. “I’ll lift one end and you carry the other.”
That indeed was a possibility. Then I looked around the basement some more. I spotted a beautiful new bungee cord hanging from a hook. And a dandy wooden plank came into view.
“There’s an easier way to do this.” I offered. “First of all, we’ll back my Firebird right up to the door. Then we’ll tie one end of the cord to the thing on the back of the car. After that, we’ll tie the other end to the handlebars.
Then we’ll place the plank on the steps, starting from the bottom.”
“Then what,” she asked.
I said: “Here’s the deal. You will get into the Firebird and start it up. And roll down the window. I’ll have the front tire of the cycle on the lower end of the plank. Then I’ll get on the cycle. When I give the signal, you SLOWLY drive away from the door.
The car should pull the cycle and me right up the steps.”
I gave the signal. Mary Ellen slowly drove the Firebird away from the door. The cycle and I went up one step. Then two. Then three.
It was still in neutral, a good sign.
Seven more steps to go. Then six to go. Then five.
The cord snapped in two. Mary Ellen turned off the car, got out, and rushed down the steps.
She found me lying on my back on the cement basement floor. And I had a motorcycle right on top of me.
I wasn’t hurt at all. And I started laughing. She laughed, too.
She said: “Well, you know the Law of Gravity. Everything that goes up must come down.”
There wasn’t a Plan B. And that cycle stayed in the basement for 35 years.
And Mary Ellen ran off with a married doctor.