Arrow-right Camera


The Slice: That pat on the helmet happily accepted

Philosophers, poets and priests have addressed the question countless times.

Why were we put here on this Earth?

Perhaps somewhere along the line you have stumbled across an answer that felt right. But maybe it does not always have to be a grand insight, detailed dogma or lecture on love. Maybe the answer can be more bite-sized.

At least that’s how it seemed the other day when I was riding my bike home from work. For a moment, I knew how to answer that question: I was put here on this Earth so that I could be riding by a harried mother in a front yard at the exact moment she was trying to convince her balky young son to don his helmet before he got on his bicycle.

I was put here so that she could point at me going by on Adams Street and say, “See? He’s wearing a helmet. And he’s big!”

By the time the moment had truly sunk in, I was well past them. Still, I have been wondering if I should have said something to affirm her message. If so, what?

Here are the choices I have come up with so far. Feel free to weigh in.

A) “Yes, but remember, son. Wearing a helmet does not absolve you of the responsibility to ride in a safe, sensible manner.” B) “If you are worried about peer pressure and wanting to look cool, you might as well realize something now. A lot of your peers are dopes.” C) “Pick your battles, my lad. If you fight with your mother about everything, life is going to be a slog. Work with her.” D) “Some of the adult riders you see will not be wearing helmets. That’s because one of the following is true … 1) They like to send the signal that bike-riding shouldn’t be viewed as this dangerous, scary deal. 2) They never learned about rejecting peer pressure. 3) They don’t have heads worth protecting. 4) They revel in being scofflaws. 5) Wearing a helmet simply never occurred to them. 6) They didn’t wear helmets as kids and see no reason to start now.” E) “Hey, I’ll give you something to cry about.”

Today’s Slice question: What’s your nickname for your boss?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Early birds are welcome at The Slice Blog at It seems like there used to be more snow in snow globes.

Tags: The Slice

Click here to comment on this story »