Life, limb intact, but reputation …
I gained some real insight into humanity while standing statue-still inside the so-called Globe of Thunder on Friday night.
Now I know why public executions used to be so popular.
It was opening night of the annual Inland Northwest Motorcycle Show and Sale, and a sizable crowd had gathered in a section of the new Spokane Convention Center.
As I explained in a previous column, Steve Cody, the event organizer, told me he had a position open for a Crash Test Dummy. I told him to look no further.
The Globe of Thunder, by the way, is a 12-foot round, black cage made out of steel slats. The Ives brothers – Cody, 15, and Kyle, 17 – travel far and wide to perform incredible motorcycle stunts inside the globe.
Up and down. Round and round …
And to spice up the act, the Ives Gang sometimes lets a gullible stooge experience the gravity-defying action firsthand.
Enter Daredevil Doug.
I won’t make any claims about being brave during my time inside this medieval-looking contraption. But I am quite proud of not soiling myself. Especially after noticing that “Globe of DEATH” was printed on the back of Dad Ives’ jacket.
There’s a confidence booster.
Maybe it’s just me, but the crowd actually seemed a bit let down after Cody managed to work his motor magic without crushing my noggin like a peanut shell.
Don’t blame me. I did my best to provide the lad with a more-than-ample target. Cody said he never before had to share his globe with such a plus-sized obstacle.
This is one cheeky kid. While orbiting me, Cody kept reaching out and rearranging my lilac fedora.
That’s OK. I was hardly in any position to protest.
Besides, I’m just grateful the teenager didn’t have any de-pantsing tricks in his repertoire.
Oh, yes, I did say lilac fedora.
As you recall, I solicited readers for advice on the proper attire to wear into the globe.
As usual, my peeps didn’t let me down.
For example, a couple of characters in Ritzville offered me use of a body bag costume complete with gory hanging body parts.
Rob McCoy urged me to wear a red, white and blue jumpsuit with white cape a la Evel Knievel.
Marshall Smith thought I’d look good in a Spokane Police Department uniform. “And no matter what happens, you will be put on paid leave, no one will be held responsible and you will get your job back.”
A self-described longtime reader of “your crazy Doug-World column,” Linda Fabrizius, submitted the following poem:
“Little Dougie Boo-Boo,
“Standing in a muumuu.
“Hoping that the Globe of Thunder,
“Doesn’t make him start to hurl,
“Screaming like a little girl.”
(Note to Linda: You can’t keep skipping your meds.)
In the end, however, I disregarded all the snarky wisdom and decided to class up the motorcycle show with a tuxedo.
Not just any tuxedo. The affable folks at Tuxedo Gallery rented me a suit to capture the hue of the Lilac City.
Plus they tossed in a lilac fedora rent-free if I clipped a plastic card onto my lapel that read: “Tuxedos Provided by Tuxedo Gallery.”
No problem. In this economy, a guy’s gotta snap up every deal he can find.
And already reviews of my fashion statement are coming in.
“I worked at the SR for 20 years and only saw you in your ‘lawn work’ clothes,” wrote Mary Enders, who saw me during a KREM-TV news segment. “I about fell off my sofa when I saw you in an actual suit tonight!!”
I don’t know what took more guts.
Letting a smart-aleck kid dive bomb me in the Globe of Thunder.
Or going out in public in a purple monkey suit.
Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at email@example.com.