Danny and the Demoncycle


Courtesy of Boing-Boing, I give you Danny and the Demoncycle:

In 1972 the Highway Safety Division of Virginia published a comic book for kids about bike safety called Danny and the Demoncycle.  It stars a young sociopath named Danny who enjoys riding his bike in such as way as to cause the death of innocent people. He changes his ways after having a dream involving Satan and a “demoncycle” that takes him on a ride so wild that even Danny can’t handle it. After that, he becomes an exemplary lad, following bicycle safety rules to the letter and admonishing anyone who doesn’t.

Our Danny is certainly not a sociopath, but he has had to face some demons while bicycling.  The first time he faced the demoncycle, he paddy whacked a Cadillac.  I’d taken Dan and Dave to the Park.  Dan had a new bike.  Many times since I’ve seen other parents make the same mistake.  The Park’s bike trail is not for novices.  I was hanging back with Dave and Dan had gotten ahead of us.  At the intersection ahead of us, I noticed a commotion and I knew something had happened.  I raced ahead and found Dan crying in the middle of the intersection and being comforted by a couple of joggers.  Also in the intersection was a late model Cadillac, with a big dent in the driver’s door.  I checked Dan and determined that other than a few scrapes he was OK.  The driver asked me so and I affirmed that he was all right and with that the driver was back in his car and off like a shot.  Apparently, liability trumped a little body work.

The second time the demoncycle rode we were back in the Park again.  This time I had Anne along for support.  There must have been a little demon in Dave’s bike also that day, because just after we got on the bike path, Dave strayed across the line and into the other lane.  This sent a passing roller-bladder careening off into the grass.  Again just a few scrapes, this time on the roller-bladder.  We apologized and then headed on our separate ways.  About a mile later, not too far from the first accident, I was bringing up the rear with Dave again.  Anne and Dan were ahead of us.  Dan was in the lead, when he announced that he needed to go to the bathroom.  They were just passing one and Anne pointed it out to Dan.  He stopped too quickly and fell over.  Anne, following closely, ran over him and then also fell.  It wasn’t clear at the time, but she had fractured her wrist.  Again Dan had a few scrapes.  To this day, when recounting this story, Anne will launch into her version of the Willie Nelson’s song, “Momma don’t let your babies grow up to be speed bumps.”

The last time the demoncycle struck, we were in St. Joe’s State Park.  There is a bike path there also.  Again there were the four of us and again Dan got out ahead.  The paths was under construction in places and on a steep, gravel section of the trail, Dave went careening out of control and crashed.  We limped back to the parking lot expecting to find Dan waiting for us, but no Dan.  Increasingly frantic, we searched.  Eventually, on a closed section of the bike path I found him.  He was dazed and confused, but walking what was left of his bike out.  We made a beeline to the emergency room, but not before Anne got stung and signed up there for a two for.  The ER nurse was doing triage when she asked Dan how old he was.  When he looked at his watch to answer the question, the nurse’s and Anne’s eyes met and the nurse mouthed CAT scan.

It was about this time that Dan refused to ride with me anymore.  He claimed, I was trying to kill him.  All these events are well in the past and Dan and Dave do bike now.  They have been accident free since then.  I guess that they have exorcised their demoncycles.

Today’s header shows crocuses blooming.  It was taken a month from now, six years ago.  I dry brushed the image to handle a focusing issue.

I also have offer another Taylor Mali shout out to my favorite teacher, a Miracle Worker, my wife.  Can I borrow a pen?

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