“This is a pretty pathetic-looking park.”
Malia wasn’t really feeling the expansive farmland we had converged on while we were supposed to be hitting all of Belfast’s best skating destinations. Everyone but Mali’ herself of course. She was our acting camera woman once again, panning the sloping landscape even after her opening narration for her first video of the day ended. I just wanted to know if I couldn’t get a witness could I at least get a chicken sandwich?
Shet made the distinction, as we watched Jeff pick up some major speed. He was looking to hurdle a roasted steer standing more prone than Protestant in the tall grass halfway down a nondescript hill. This involved him kicking up plenty of dirt on the nearest rolling trail like a flaming box of twelve-piece nuggets was right on his ass.
Hold the mustard, honey; Lapaglia’s already going for the bodywrap!
“Oh my goodness.”
Malia didn’t know what to expect. Jeff committed to the twisting back-flip, but since his ankles barely cleared Patty Mayonnaise’s first two-ton lover he quickly went a-tumblin’ across Doug Funnie’s geek-free sweater vest.
We gave him a big hand, and after he dusted himself off Andy volunteered to assist him during the retake. Meanwhile, Pat squatted down in front of our newly acquired beef wagon on four broken wheels, smart phone in hand, so that we’d have two angles to play with once this fucker went viral.
Bodywrap 450. Andy vaulted his man overhead, as Jeff kicked his board out while twisting through a front flip. He brought his left foot in front of his right during the landing, and as he began pedaling away on solid ground Ape shouted, “Bangarang!”
Shet quickly urged her not to do so like ever again. As far as Malia went; just because she was staying behind the camera all day didn’t mean she couldn’t feel the earth rumble under her feet the righteous way too. Especially as long as none of us could tolerate listening to a dubstep album all the way through and OPM now officially stood for “Oh Please, Malia!”
* * *
“How else are you gonna keep up?”
I had her refining the art of mobile cinematography by speeding down a long, wooded gravel road on one of my old boards, camera in hand. We were probably cutting directly through some pretty f’n private property, not that we had been chased off that swelling cow pasture. We hadn’t even become pained by the sight of Li’s first blossoming dingle berry yet.
Forget the Irish clover field turned half-ply Charmin’ roll wasteland; the only wrestling heel within earshot had just gone soft on us again.
As Malia struggled to stay vertical on the ziggly line run, she asked me, “Can’t I just walk really fast?!”
Looking good, Li’. Now let’s try this in oncoming traffic.
* * *
“Wait for it. Wait for it.”
We all stood a bit aways from the dinky bridge we had found in Lisburn. Everyone but Ape, whom Shet knew was looking for “grind me” gold at the top of a brick-clad tunnel allowing constant road access to all traffic in the area running from north to south.
Ape maintained menstrual autonomy of all my lady Smack soldiers during the axle stall. She did so by standing legs-parted at either side of her board while it was tipped up towards the only crown jewel the Queen of England could never possibly inherit. The guys were certainly ready to bleed for all of our gender-blending convictions too, certainly once April transitioned into a suicidal rail-slide.
I urged her down the rolling earth barrier seemingly changing direction every five feet. April quickly compensated with one pivot after another during her daring descent, only she never really figured out how many meters deep we’d have to bury her if she kept this shit up for the rest of the week.
I hadn’t gotten my “kidnap Clara” call from Jayne yet, but before long Shet only had one word on the mind.
Hirsch knew Ape was falling too far too fast. She turned away, before my bestie freed herself up from her latest commitment to playing doll baby dress-up with her own severed head for the next four-to-six weeks.
Pat couldn’t believe April actually landed on her feet, and neither could I. Not after she proceeded to grab her loose board instead of a solid neck brace. She held it up with enough “Gut me, I’m beautiful” gusto to get the Olympic committee to rethink their next summer card lineup. Just not enough to get the anorexic bitch Mark had just become to update his figure skating references as he told her, “Nice dismount, Tonya!”
Ape was lucky she hadn’t clonked herself on the head, not that I wouldn’t find myself in far greater danger soon enough.
* * *
“Slow down, Val!”
Malia was having a hard time keeping up on her own board. She certainly didn’t attempt to follow my grind on top of a pretty extensive constructive fence lining the right side of the road. The driveways in front of the townhomes beyond the fence were only filled with loose rocks and celebrity midget cocks. That left me with nothing to choke on but four-lettered words after all these years, ‘cause I knew I was fucked. So very fucked.
I told Li’, “I wish I could!”
All hail The Princess of Precarious.
Before I saw anyone in front of me drop to bended knee, I heard Shet shout out, “Turn! Turn!”
The linked fence partitions ahead of me did just this at the cross street I was steadily approaching, so I quickly bailed before getting in position in front of the next residential block under construction.
Cut the cheese wedge already or just wait for me to place my hands cotangent to everywhere you want to be, Em.
She minded the grid-like mesh she’d be kissing had I been playing nose-goes with Gwen Stefani after Hollywood’s divorce went rate through an ungrindable roof again.
Thanks to my little boost, Hirsch transferred out of a sweet lip trick opportunity into a classic burntwist. She accomplished this by locking up all her joints while swinging through a 180° handstand rotation.
Kyla was in love, and the babysitter had developed a thing for compacted Power Wheels on active through streets apparently.
I shouted, “Li’! Car!”
There was no telling what was at the bottom of the hill, including a little local boogerhead we could convince to rescue the board Malia had just abandoned after refusing to change directions on a fact-laced fruit roll-up.
Learning during lunch was always fun, but identifying graffiti art for what it was without losing a part of yourself in someone else’s undercarriage first might as well have been more impossible than an impossible.
Love that move.
After giving the board I had lent to Li’ a few yanks under our perturbed motorist’s hood, she figured, “I think it’s stuck!”
April told me, “Leave it!”
Of course every skater’s credo I knew of clearly stated “No board left behind!”, so we got Li’ back in Bartman first edition business soon enough.
* * *
No, Ape wasn’t ready to get lit at record speed; she was just providing a running commentary for Mark’s best fence folly of the day.
He angled his board towards the low hill on his left while grinding on his front wheels, before a 180° wraparound and back wheel burnout.
He lost all of his shit after that. Pat was right behind him for the crook big spinflip crook. This was a similar but much more dangerous grind combo, and that was before he got to the F5 kick flip.
Whatever The Speckled Hen was remained a distant enemy, as these guys continued to tear up the country roadside scene with me in Northern Ireland like a new pro wrestling contract from Anthem Sports two days before the old one expired.
A “No Trespassing” sign? Delete!
* * *
“Grind that shit!”
Shet directed Andy not to clear the service van below the rail he had just mounted but to hit the transfer instead.
“He’s gonna do it!”
Mark knew Andy couldn’t resist. The parking lot to his immediate left was about six feet above the one he completed his latest ollie over after a pretty sick tailslide. He grinded on one of the double roof bars stretching the length of the van, which kept his body control top notch this time out.
Grinds were about more than leverage, luck, and skill. You needed some raw muscle, otherwise we’d remain at the mercy of everything stronger than our own mismanaged toe wings and poorly calibrated heel thrusters.
We were anything but loose curb stalkers about to get our Bono on a thousand miles away from a unified Berlin, which meant we hadn’t gotten stuck in a Christ air late triple flip that we couldn’t get out of.
At least not yet.
* * *
Malia wanted all of us up on the steps, like immediately, before we defamed not The Lord’s House but his front porch one time too many. She was across the street directing foot traffic to some extent, as she asked in a series of wild yelps, “Is everybody ready?! Okay! Hit it!”
There were two staircases leading up to front entrance of the church. In-between the main doors was the bell tower, but closer to the road sat the concrete bow of an oceangoing vessel none of us would consider to be as far out as our favorite seaborne level on Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2.
The right staircase featured a standing rail, which Jeff started to grind while Andy ollied the top run of steps on the left-hand side. There was a short reprieve halfway down, and since he knew the second run was way too long to clear he double-hardflipped his way down to street level. This basically forced his board into a recurring spin until there was no more “Poison Martin Luther!” pond left to skip R.C. rocks across so-to-speak.
Before someone asked an approaching deacon whether or not there was a skating trick already named after his country’s most famous car-bombing to date, Jeff was compensating for the closed gate on his side of the entrance. He lipped his way up and over it out of his first grind into a hasty second, before landing a pop shove-it. This basically consisted of him kickflipping his back tongue through a full rotation for a pretty great finish.
Meanwhile, Ape and Em grinded the curving rail converging at the top of the elevated platform directly in front of the church. They met up hand-in-hand an instant before I took a dip in Leo and Kate’s still frame shadow and landed on Shet’s board. She had her arm fully extended to the sky directly below me, as Ape and Em landed their grinds at either side.
Malia only had one thing to say from the legendary tear duct of Forest Whitaker’s lazy eye.
“That was sick!”
And the healing begin wouldn’t begin until the catering for Jayne’s next “Come To Jesus” meeting was confirmed by someone that had never been caught salivating where Kyla was surfing sine waves next.
* * *
“That looks like fun.”
Andy grinded an undulating sidewalk fence separating a local shopping center lot from a row of curbside parking spaces. Li’ knew Shet couldn’t resist following Andy’s lead, so she kept filming after urging her up on a tenth grade chalkboard with no hand eraser in sight. Nothing but Shutterbug’s broken tailbone to come if she bit the end of a billy club on the way down.
The police here didn’t even carry guns, right?
There was a Turkish kebab pizza house, a burrito bar, and a corner bistro in plain sight but not these nuts, baby, ‘cause the entire world was still gobbling them up!
Shet had quite the difficulty maintaining her balance while grinding a squiggly fence frame, given her incessant need to reverse her given orientation with one front 180 after another, and she wasn’t shy about letting us know about it.
“I fucking hate trig!”
I reminded her, “Who doesn’t?!”
More importantly, who didn’t love baseball?
* * *
Everyone took a turn skating into a homerun hit, or at least attempted to, after we converged on a little corner street adjacent to a big open field. One without any cows.
“Even you can try this, ‘Li,” I told our faithful camera woman. A couple neighborhood kids had provided us a ball and bat, before letting us go on the chase. Nearly everything turned into a competition with us, so we of course kept track of who landed the hardest hit, and wouldn’t you know? Jeff still had a pretty decent arm after banging on an American bodhrán for about three decades straights.