Halloween was over and I removed all of the decorations from the front of the house. As I do every year, I place everything in a giant black bag and store it in the corner of the garage next to the sub-zero freezer. However, this “corner” of the garage had become the Bermuda Triangle and items that were stored there tended to get lost forever. So this year, I decided to clean out that area of the garage. And, to my surprise, I had a volunteer! Justin asked to help me, which I was very excited about (until I realized that he was using me – for my TV.)
GWE and I are in the process of cutting back Justin’s television viewing time (which is odd considering that’s how I make a living.) When I told Justin that I was going into the garage, he clearly saw an opportunity. He thought “Hey – there is a TV in the garage!” Then he thought, “Daddy’s a sucker and if I’m nice to him, he’ll let me watch a movie.” (I am and I did.) The television is on a stand facing my treadmill so I can watch it when I work out. Justin decided to sit on the bottom of the treadmill and look up at the television.
However, while looking up, Justin noticed all the “bells and whistles” on my treadmill and begged me to turn it on. Since HE WAS SUPERVISED, I decided there would be no harm in turning it on and I put it on the lowest setting – .5. He got up and began walking a half a mile an hour. He said “faster daddy, faster.” I agreed and then put it on 1. Now, he was “speeding” at one mile an hour. And, again, he said “faster.” This time I said “no.”
At that point, I saw him put his hand on the control panel and press “10” (the highest setting) – and then time itself slowed down. I heard the engine kick into high gear and then looked at Justin as he stared back at me. He then said “daddy?” and then “daddydaddydaddydaddydaddydaddydaddydaddy……” as his little legs tried to keep up with the track. I reached out, but it was too late. He lost his footing, fell onto his hands and knees, and then finally – his 62 lb body was “shot” backwards at 10 miles an hour into a cardboard box of winter clothes. He collapsed between the box and the rotating tread which continued to “eat” his arm and leg.
I quickly raced over to him, yanked the emergency stop cord, and lifted the treadmill off of him. He looked completely shocked and began to cry while holding his wounds. I quickly scooped him up and brought him into the house. GWE bandaged him up and made sure to kiss his boo-boos.
After the ordeal was over, he came over to me and said, “That was awesome, but I don’t want to do 10 anymore.”