Rough, no. Tough, definitely. The
riders as well as their bikes. Intense
conditioning, constant practice, and
an unrelenting drive to win keep the
edge hard and polished.
THE CHOICE OF CHAMPIONS
By John Basher
It started innocently enough. I was
working on some arcane project in the
garage when my wife came calling.
With the baby in arm, she asked me to
take a break from what I was doing and
change my son’s diaper. No big deal, I
thought. Changing a messy diaper was
like installing an air filter. Take the seat
off and swap out the old with the new.
Since my son Brayden was born, I
had prided myself on my diaper-changing skills. I’ll gloat by saying that
I have been an excellent husband and
father. I had earned the red badge of
courage several times over. How so?
I stood by my wife’s side when our boy
was born—I didn’t even faint!—and
catered to her every wish in those early
days. When Brayden woke up crying
at 3 a.m. in those early months, I was
there for him. The same can be said for
his immunization shots, teething,
troubles sleeping and hunger pangs.
I don’t claim to be Mr. Mom, but I’ve
been very active in my son’s early
months. Leaving the solitude of my
garage to spend a few minutes with
Brayden was no trouble.
Like most men, before my child
entered the picture I had zero
experience and limited knowledge of
fatherhood. I chalked life as a parent up
to feeding my son every so often and
putting him down for a nap whenever
he wasn’t stuffing his face. Rinse and
repeat. Eventually, he would be old
enough to play with, at which time the
fruits of my wife’s labor would be truly
appreciated. We could play catch and
go fishing. It’d be great!
Truth be told, I had never changed a
diaper before Brayden was born. I had
opportunities to swab out the bottom
end on a baby, but I always slithered
my way out of it by making excuses.
My favorite television
show was on. Diaper
wipes made me sneeze.
I was busy planning an
intergalactic flight to the
Carina Dwarf. Parents
saw through my lies, but
I didn’t care. It didn’t take
a brainiac to realize that
diapers weren’t as fun
as holding a baby and
passing him off when he
cried or needed to be
changed. Besides, I didn’t
want my day ruined by
some overanxious baby
with a peanut-sized
bladder. Evel Knievel I
was not, and I didn’t
foresee myself navigating
over a shooting fountain
without crashing and
The day that the gate
dropped on my son’s life,
I discovered that his throttle was stuck.
Brayden hit the kill switch from time
to time, but he let it be known that he
wasn’t fond of slowing down. He didn’t
want to nap when the race called life
was going on around him. He didn’t
want to miss a moment. So my wife
and I kept him active. Brayden would
roll around the house like a tumbleweed
and terrorize our dogs to no end. He’s
a spunky boy with a great demeanor,
but he doesn’t sit still.
I’m to blame for his restlessness. Idle
hands are the devil’s workshop, and
mine are always going. He must have
picked that trait up from me. Brayden’s
hands were full of toys and ripped-out
dog hair as soon as he learned motor
functions. Just like a motorcycle, my
boy needed fuel to sustain energy
output. Naturally, his appetite grew with
his body. Just recently we started
feeding him “people food.” It was the
equivalent of switching from 87 octane
pump gas to VP U4.4—horsepower
output and smell included. Brayden’s
engine started roaring, his hands
slamming his tray like titanium valves in
a cylinder head as he shrieked for more
carrots. And carrots going in don’t
smell as good as carrots coming out.
At this point I could go into great
detail about my son’s diaper changes,
but I’ll hold my tongue. Parents know
where this ship is headed, and I don’t
want to scare off future mothers and
fathers. Suffice it to say that I suggest
you approach your child’s diaper with
caution, because the bottom-end might
be blown up. Tread lightly.
Back to my story. After my wife called
me inside to take care of Brayden’s
business, I grabbed my wiggling son and
got down to the nitty-gritty. He giggled
and gave me an angelic smile, at which
point my heart was overcome with love.
How could I have such trepidation over
my little bundle of joy’s diaper? No big
deal. Just then Caesar’s fountain came
to life. I ducked for cover, but
not before getting roosted.
Brayden cackled. No big deal at all.