On the surface, there isn’t much connection between Great Danes and pink bicycles, but this week, they collided in my mind.
While peddling around the neighborhood on my pink Schwinn one-speed bicycle, I passed a little girl wearing a bike helmet and standing in her driveway beside a small bike with training wheels. She looked to be about five years old. She pointed toward me and called out with a voice of authority, “How can you ride a bike? You’re too old.”
Immediately, a voice I presumed to be her mother’s shushed her from the front steps. I suppose I should’ve or could’ve been insulted or hurt. But I laughed, and called over my shoulder, “I’ve been riding a bike all of my life. It’s something you never forget.”
A couple days later, I called my oldest son to ask about Bella, the two-year-old Great Dane he and his daughter had recently adopted and needed to housebreak. My son didn’t answer the phone, so I left a message. It was close to sundown after a long busy day, so I had a lot on my mind.
Prompted to leave a message, I said, “Hey, how’s Bella the ______ doing?” Suddenly I couldn’t remember what kind of a dog she was.
I tried again. “Um, how’s Bella the Dalmatian today?” I knew that was the wrong word.
Again, I tried to clarify myself. “Sorry, all of a sudden I can’t remember what brand she is.” That didn’t sound right, either.
“I know she’s not a Dalmatian. I just can’t remember what genre she is.”
That was the end of my message. I’m surprised my son didn’t call back to ask if I was okay. That’s okay. It gave me a good laugh.