It took her years to get the joke, but that only made it more amusing.
My wife saw a recent Facebook posting from a childhood friend, who was a buddy of her younger brother, and it reminded her of a long-ago summer at the New Jersey seashore where she picked up on a verbal chiding that the boys often would holler when a cyclist rode past: “Hey, why ride a bike, when you can wear one?”
She didn’t get it, but it sounded good at the time, and she whole-heartedly joined in the fun. All summer. And from time to time from then on. Never really gave it much thought.
Wasn’t until 12-13 years later, while working in newspaper advertising and retrieving an ad proof from a sporting goods store in Fairbanks, Alaska, that she noticed BIKE athletic supporters in the display case. Suddenly, she was 13 again, and seeing bikes on the boardwalk.
Red-faced, she phoned her brother in Philadelphia to share the revelation and got the horse laugh along with the admonition, “I thought you knew!”
Silly girl. Product of Catholic grade-schooling. Probably never heard a limerick with “Nantucket” in it, either.
Her brother is now gone, but the memories remain sweet and precious. No word yet on the friend’s recollection.