Yours truly, standing beside his brand new scooter, about four years ago.
My Crazy, Hair Brain Scheme To Be Fonzie
By Richard Mabey Jr.
About four years ago, I got this crazy idea to buy a motorcycle. Well, I settled for a scooter. But, hey, it’s close. I don’t know what it was. I blame the old sit-com, “Happy Days.” For too long, people had seen me as Richie Cunningham. And, deep inside, I had this craving to be Fonzie. Or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof.
Another photo of myself, in my attempt to become Fonzie.
To tell the painful truth, I didn’t have enough folding money in my wallet to buy a motorcycle. So, I convinced myself that a scooter was pretty close to having a motorcycle. At the time, I was working in the Security Division of this large gated community in Central Florida. I have to confess that my sole motivation for buying the scooter, was to try to impress some of the single women that drove by my gatehouse.
Standing at my gatehouse, greeting people and checking them out as they entered our gated community. Hoping some of the single women would be impressed by my new scooter, parked across the street from my gatehouse.
Well, here’s the thing of it all, the bottom line, the whole kit and kaboodle. I nearly killed myself on that silly scooter. I was buzzing around my neighborhood and I nearly fell off taking a turn. When I say, nearly fell off, it was actually closer to the scooter skidded. And, it fell to the pavement. It fell on top of my left leg and I got my leg all scraped up. I was wearing shorts at the time. Not a bright move, I admit.
A view of my “home away from home.” Otherwise known as the little blue gatehouse.
I actually did ride my hot scooter to work a few times. But, people would stop at my gatehouse and ask whose scooter was in the little parking space, reserved for the security guards. I would tell the person that it was mine. They would laugh and say something like, “YOU….YOU bought a scooter!” Then they would chuckle a little and go off on their merry way.
Me, smiling as a local resident chuckled when I told him that the scooter in the little parking lot was mine.
Well, after about a month or so, of buying my scooter, I sold it. In some ways, I was sad to say goodbye to it. In some ways, I was relieved to say goodbye to trying to be Fonzie. It was kind of nice, in a way, going back to being Richie Cunningham.
The first rule of being a good Gate Guard is simply, “always keep a smile.”
Life is funny. Sometimes you just have to sit down and accept being the Richie Cunningham guy. And, you have to accept that you’re just not ever going to be Fonzie. I think it’s part of growing up. And, at 63, I guess I’m still growing up. Although there’s a part of me that would still like to be Fonzie, if only for a day or two.