My cousin’s ankle was trapped under his bicycle, which was being weighed down by a bull named Boris. I don’t recall that Pete and I had climbed any fences to get to Boris. In fact, I do believe the bull was tied to a post outside the farmer’s market, as though he was someone’s pet labradoodle waiting for its owner to return with a bone. Nor do I recall ever thinking that perhaps the two of us, being kids and all, shouldn’t approach a full-grown bull, let alone bring along bags of sugar cookies with pastel-colored sprinkles on them.
While Boris helped himself to my cousin’s cookies, he pinned Pete down under the bike, and I looked around for help. But there appeared to be none. It was as though the adults in the parking lot didn’t notice or didn’t care that my 70-pound cousin was being held hostage by an 1800-pound bull with a penchant for baked goods. So I pulled and tugged at Pete untill Boris shifted, presumably to retrieve another cookie, and suddenly, I was able to pull Pete and his bike out from under Boris.
Pete dusted himself off, inspected the freshly bent seat of his new bike and off we rode (with no helmets, of course) back home, as though he hadn’t just been held hostage by an animal nearly as big as my mom’s Ford LTD station wagon.
Now that I look back at this event with the eyes of a mother, I can’t help but wonder: Where the hell were the grown-ups? Because if we pretend for a moment that a bull could be tied to a stake outside a New Jersey farmer’s market (now an A & P supermarket) in this safety-first era, we must assume the following:
- Adults would step up and shoo the children away from the bull.
- If no adults are quick enough to intervene, then they would rush to the rescue of the child trapped under Boris.
- Once rescued, they would ask, “Where are your parents?”
- Those parents would have “just run inside for a second” to use the bathroom, having ridden there with their children on their own bicycles.
- The rescuers would give those parents dirty looks upon their return.
- The rescuers would also shake their heads disapprovingly at the bags of big ole sugar cookies billed as “snacks.”
- Those parents would feel ashamed, thanking the rescuers profusely while praying nobody took video to post onto Facebook their parental errors.
- The rescued children would await for their remaining parents to arrive with a large vehicle, likely an SUV or mini-van, to retrieve the children and their bikes because nobody can be trusted to go anywhere now, thank you very much.
- Those parents would ride their bikes home in humiliation, waving feebly as the SUV containing their children and bikes passed by.
- A government agency would take Boris away.
Instead, Pete and I pedaled home, where I shared my remaining cookie with him, his having been eaten by Boris the bull. We attempted to unbend his bike’s seat with his father’s tools. We may or may not have mentioned the incident to our mothers.