RX: "No, really, the shoes were a total surprise. Leather-upper trainers, lotta Vans and Nikes, superkewl colors..."
Tam: "Yeah, skateboarders love 'em. Converse whaddaya-call'ems, too--"
RX: "Chuck Taylors? Didn't see any there."
Tam: "Must not be Converse dealers. Hunh. Chuck Norrises, that's the ticket. Chuck Hestons!"
RX: "'You can have these shoes when you take 'em from my cold, dead feet!'"
Upon reflection, I'm certain the Chuck Norrises can whup any other shoe made, single-footed.
Oh, and under "two wheels and noise?" One of the two guys workin' the counter in the skateboard shop had his commuter vehicle parked out front, a nicely-ratted Honda motorcycle in flat, flat black. I took that as a good sign.
Insight: watching the vids playin', I suddenly got the last bit of the puzzle. Yeah, y'see these small-but-deadly stunts and think "adrenaline," and that is a big chunk of it; but the other part, especially when there's a whole series of nifty/dangerous tricks in a row, all of which have to be right the first time, is a mental state called "flow." It's highly addictive and that's not hyperbole; generally, you need to be doing a complex task that calls for good coordination, exact timing and quick thinking. Dancers get into it, so did Top 40 disc jockeys in the back old days.* I suspect some kinds of improv comedy can trigger it and so can mountain climbing (though at a slower pace). Skydiving, motorcycling twisty roads... All of 'em can drop you into a wonderful totally-here Zen state. And that's part of the reward that gets your neighborhood lookit-that-lunatic skateboarder back up off the concrete and onto the stair rail until he gets it right; that's what tilts the risk/reward scales far enough to make the effort and the price worthwhile.
* In hindsight, that kind of radio wasn't near as interesting to listen to as it was to do. Shuddup and let me hear the music! Over the long run, those guys were the best Walkman and then iPod salesmen, evar.
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
9 months ago