March 17, 2020

Playing with words - A Unicycle and a Nightclub Escapade

The Callers
Emil was good at balancing on tracks, rocks, the boats - solid and strong - he was known to be a fairly good acrobat in his time. His extended family, excluding his wife, would laugh as he climbed down the stairs or walked the rail of his brown, wooden porch on only two hands. But over time he had to leave these antics at the door as he had a family to care for during the depression's economy.

A phone call he received in the early morning revived a sense of adventure into his work-a-day-week, yet also rattled him. Sitting down after slowly putting the phone back in its cradle a smile finally came to the surface. He was very familiar with the mysterious callers, spent hours in their company, and had no hesitation in knowing what he’d do.

Taking his hat off the hook by the door, Emil told his wife perhaps the first fib of his very long marriage. He told Olivia he was going to walk to The Lake in order to think, which he never really did as his wife was fully capable of thinking for him.

The north wind blew strongly as he forced his body to lean into the November gale working his way down Baraga to the Queen City Bicycle Shop. The flimsy door flew open as the wind whipped up from The Lake. This didn’t faze Kevin, the shop owner, as they were used to the winds fighting against their door.

Emil explained that he was looking for a unicycle and wanted to have a lesson in riding the one-wheeled contraption. Kevin stifled a laugh, after all, even though Emil was 70 something, he was a paying customer, so promised to teach him the basics in the alley behind the shop.

Surprisingly, the lesson was successful as Emil was a quick learner; he bought the unicycle and headed home up Baraga where he would hide the new bike from his ever-present wife, as he knew the consequences of her tongue.

Evening came and so did another lie ... he told Olivia he felt like going to the pub to have a beer with his friends. So again donned his cap while she sputtered on. Sneaking down to the lower porch he picked up the hidden unicycle then continued fighting north through the wild wind.

Instead of a left turn on 3rd toward the pub he turned right down the hill where the nightclub's brazen lights enticed him. He was more than aware that Olivia felt the devil lived in the club and she would never allow her husband to grace its doors. But surprisingly, this only increased the thrill he had on this secret mission, oddly reminiscent of boarding a Norwegian ship in similar weather on that dangerous November night in 1914.

Emil on the stolen tricycle
Feeling like a young man again, Emil was getting excited about the prospect of being a celebrity and began visualizing the headlines in The Mining Journal. He also imagined the tongue-lashing his wife would give him on its publication. These thoughts ran through his mind as he neared the nightclub when a blast of wind grabbed the unicycle, which he was holding gently, and sent it flying down the hill toward Lake Superior. It was too far for him to run and retrieve it as he had to be at the nightclub in five short minutes.

“Dang it” he blurted and started thinking of a solution on what to do. Holding his head in turmoil, he happened to spot Peepee Pants Peter’s tricycle sitting on the wind-protected porch on 3rd. Letting the pent up tension from his cheeks, he snuck up to the porch, reached over the creaky rail, grabbed the small tricycle and let his long legs carry him quickly to the club.

I hoped you enjoyed the beginning of this partially true uncompleted story.
I invite you to fill in the ending. "It will be fun" they said!

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