Memorial Day is the unofficial start of Summer, Modern Philosophers. This means many more motorcycles will be out on the roads as riders seek to take advantage of the warmer weather and safer road conditions.
Every year, there are numerous serious motorcycle related injuries and deaths that could have been avoided if the victims had only been wearing helmets.
Because of this, the State of Maine is producing a series of Public Service Announcements urging motorcyclists and their passengers to wear helmets before they speed off down the open road.
These PSAs will feature The Headless Horseman, the star of literature, movies, and Fox’s breakout hit “Sleepy Hollow”. The Horseman, who knows a thing or two about the importance of keeping one’s noggin safe, stopped by The House on the Hill to talk about his latest project.
“It goes without saying that I take protecting the head very seriously,” my guest stated as we chatted on the front porch.
It should be noted that we had to scream to be heard over the hundreds of Decapitators (the name The Horseman’s most dedicated fans have bestowed upon themselves) who had gathered on my lawn and in the street to get a glimpse of their idol.
“In my case, I was lucky enough to lose my head,” he explained. “Death was quick and painless. That would not be the case for someone who gets into a motorcycle accident while not wearing a helmet. In that instance, the victim would most likely survive, but have to deal with the effects of a serious brain injury for the rest of his life. No one wants to go through life in such a manner. Especially not when that trauma could be easily avoided by wearing a helmet.”
The Horseman brought several helmets with him for me to try. As promised, putting one on was easier than tying my shoes… an every day task that I might no longer be able to accomplish should I ever suffer a traumatic brain injury in a motorcycle crash.
“Then it is yours, my friend,” The Horseman said and autographed my new helmet. “I will rest easier knowing that your head, and all those crazy ideas inside of it, will be safe should you ever go for a ride.”
So why should Mainers worry about motorcycle helmet safety? Do you really need to wear one if you’re just going out for a joyride on Memorial Day Weekend?
“Motorcycle helmet safety is not a trifling matter,” The Headless Horseman scolded me. “Let’s say you’re a beautiful young mother with a few kids. I’m sure the guys are lining up to take you for a ride. You probably like the way it feels when the wind blows through your hair, and you’re thinking the person you’re riding with is an excellent motorcyclist, so nothing can happen to you, right?”
I nodded in agreement even though I am not a beautiful young mother.
“Well, how are you going to explain to your kiddos after the accident why they can count to 10, but Mommy can’t? How are you going to get them to stop crying whenever they look into your enchanting green eyes and find them forever crossed? How do you get them to understand that Mommy thinks everything smells like burnt toast now?”
I shrugged because I had no idea how to answer any of those questions.
“And it’s not just the young ladies who need to wear helmets,” The Horseman continued. “It’s also the burly, macho men who have been riding since they were teens. People are horrible drivers, and sometimes even the best motorcyclists can’t avoid a drunk driver or a moron who can’t read a stop sign. “Better safe than scrambled brains.” That’s the tagline of the PSAs.”
That’s a very powerful tagline, Modern Philosophers. If you won’t listen to a headless undead being about the importance of helmet safety, perhaps you’ll listen to a klutzy guy in a toga…
It’s cool to be born to be wild, but it’s certainly not nerdy to be safe and alive.
Be careful out there. Wear a helmet. Enjoy your Memorial Day!