Among other things, Karter likes to skateboard. It is his 8th passion, after baking. Once, Karter took a wrong turn and accidentally arrived in Seattle. Karter’s 501st passion is cars, but he only has 500 passions, which means he doesn’t know much from cars, so he didn’t understand why the car stopped moving when the needle reached “E.”
“‘E’ for “Excitement’ - let’s go, you metal behemoth!” cried out Karter, but alas, the plastic Ford Fiesta did not go.
And so, Karter stepped out of the smoking behemoth and into the crowd of people that had gathered round. Half of them were in shock, tears rolling down their cheeks as they looked at the motionless bodies on the ground behind Karter’s Ford Fiesta, but the other half was looking north.
Karter followed their gaze, where he saw a man on a wooden board with four wheels attached to the bottom rolling up and down a giant structure that resembled a PVC pipe cut in half. Instantly, Karter thought, “That strange contraption that man is on resembles my skateboard!” Karter was, of course, referring to his own skateboard, which in fact was a wooden board with four grocery-cart wheels sloppily glued to the bottom. “I must investigate.”
So investigate Karter did, for that’s what Karter was known to do when he was not trapped behind the wheel of his Ford Fiesta. He pushed his way through the dense crowd, fighting through the stink of PBR and tapioca. He reached the bottom of the giant PVC pipe, looked up, and exclaimed, “YOU, SIR, ON THE STRANGE SKATEBOARD!”
He was ignored, at first, but after ten minutes of solid yelling, the man on the board, which for legal reasons I shall now note that he was also wearing a helmet, came to a halt at the bottom and asked, “Dude? What’s your problem?”
"Where did you acquire that device?" bellowed Karter.
"My board? It’s custom, man."
"So, what, Home Depot?"
The man on the board rolled his eyes and resumed his tricks, rolling up and down the sides of the pipe and using the momentum to launch himself into the air and spin. Karter was mesmerized. He raced back to his Fiesta and opened the trunk, hitting the back of someone’s head in the process, and retrieved his skateboard.
"Ow!" cried out the man who’d been hit by Karter’s trunk door.
"Allow my vehicle ample space, man!" warned Karter.
"I’m here treating the people YOU ran over, you lunatic!" retorted the injured man.
"Yes, they did not heed my warning either."
Karter slung the board over his shoulder and ran back to the PVC pipe. Two burly men in black T-shirts with nonsense written in white letters across the chest tried to grab Karter, but Karter had spent weeks developing and modifying his board for dual use as a weapon. Karter swung the board frantically, practicing a style he’d seen on the street, striking them both on the head. The burly men decided to retreat. This gave Karter the perfect moment to leap onto the PVC pipe with his board in hand. Once he’d climbed up, he looked back at the crowd and raised his arm. They all raised their arms too and cried out, either in fear or ecstasy, Karter couldn’t quite tell. He was just doing what he’d seen in a movie once.
Karter stepped onto the board with one foot and used the other to kick the ground, propelling him forward. He’d discovered this one day when he felt too lazy to carry his board back home from the bottom of the hill he lived on. Even the man on the other board seemed impressed at Karter’s strong calf muscles. Or perhaps angry. Again, Karter couldn’t quite tell. When he reached the top of the PVC pipe, Karter looked down, closed his eyes, and breathed in. He could hear some of the cries from the crowd now.
"Get off the half-pipe!"
Yes. The crowd wanted him to go, just as the other man leapt off and rolled up and down the pipe and made cool jumps at the ends.
When he opened his eyes, Karter noticed that the other man had gotten off the pipe. “Good,” Karter thought, “It might’ve been dangerous if we were both rolling up and down the pipe. These boards are unsteer-able.”
Karter released his breath, put both feet on the board, and leaned forward. He let the mystical force that pulls everything but birds and planes down to Earth work its magic on him, the rickety wheels making all sorts of horrendous noises that he usually tuned out. Karter felt a rush he hadn’t felt since driving the Fiesta over a crowd of people that hadn’t listened to his warning to get out of the way. It was exhilarating.
But Karter noticed something was wrong when he heard a loud “thud” noise, which was accompanied by the world suddenly tilting left and to the front a little bit - more so than it had when he’d leaned forward about a second earlier. Karter looked in the direction the world had shifted and saw a barrage of sparks flying out from underneath the board. He looked back and saw a tiny grocery-cart wheel bouncing off the pipe and into the crowd of adoring fans. “Hmm. Someone else must’ve ripped the wheels off a grocery cart,” thought Karter.
Karter realized something else was wrong when the world evened out, tilting slightly toward the right, and forward even more. His feet were no longer firmly on the board. You might even describe it as a feeling of nothingness underneath them.
But it wasn’t until Karter’s face hit the bottom of the pipe not a second later that he grasped the severity of the situation. His board had fallen apart from beneath his feet, and that mystical force kept pulling him down because he wasn’t a bird or a plane. And he’d started from a good distance above the ground, so hitting the bottom of the PVC pipe really smarts. His body soon followed, rolling over several times before the remains of his skateboard landed on him.
Several hours later, Karter awoke in a white room on a white bed wearing blue paper. It had bar handles on each side, his back was slightly elevated, and there was a TV on the ceiling across from his bed. Also, there were silver shackles on his right wrist and ankle.
"Oh good," thought Karter. "I didn’t know how to get home from the PVC pipe."