Sunday, March 18, 2012
Nerd Therapy Session: Big Wheel Blues
This week, my pal Sharry is guesting the NTS spot and describes something we can all relate to, unrequited toy love (why don't you love me Stretch Monster?). Even as an adult, it's sometimes hard to get what you want.
More after the jump:
When I was a kid growing up in NYC, just about every kid on my block had a Big Wheel.
Since I lived just outside of Harlem, and bikes were a little expensive, Big Wheels were a little easier for most parents to come by. Every afternoon after school, or on Saturdays when the cartoons were over, you could always hear the clickety click sound of those wheels rolling up and down the street.
From the time I was about 5, every Christmas and birthday, I would ask for a Big Wheel. Would I get one? No! My mother was adamant, and always thought she had good reasons; "You'll outgrow it too fast", or "We don't have room to store it". The best I could hope for was to bum a ride from another kid.
A favorite game of the Big Wheel crowd was chicken. Since we lived on a hill, some kid would be standing at the bottom, while the kid on the cycle would come speeding down the hill, barely missing the first kid who would jump out of the way in the nick of time.
A few times though, I got hit by these, (when I wasn't even playing the game!), and once it even happened while I was walking w/ my mother! After that, I wasn't even allowed to mention the phrase, "Big Wheel", (though it didn't stop me from asking for one when Christmas rolled around).
The only riding toy I had when I was little was a plastic and wooden Tiger scooter that my mom got from the thrift store, hoping this would satisfy my need for a riding toy. As much as I loved that scooter, it just wasn't the same. And I couldn't even take it outside, b/c my mom was afraid someone would steal it from me.
When I was 7, I got a bike, and that was great. But since most of the kids had Big Wheels, (only the older kids had bikes), I still couldn't go riding around the block w/ my friends. Sadly, I never got my coveted Big Wheel, and it's just something that's left a little empty place inside. When I heard they were making adult Big Wheels, I thought that was great! But I was living in a studio apartment, and didn't have any place to put it.
Now that I'm living in a house, all the adult Big Wheels are sold out. It's just as well. None of the kids (or grown-ups) who live around here ride them anyway. So to all you 70s kids who had one of these beauties when you were a kid, consider yourself LUCKY!
Thanks Sharry! If you have a nerdy story that you need to get off your chest send it on down!