If You Wheel It, He Will Roll

Groom just turned thirty-seven.

We gave him a unicycle.

He should never have said, offhandedly, as he bit into a piece of watermelon this summer, “By the time I’m forty, I want to be able to ride a unicycle.”

‘Cause then we gave him one.

And now he has to master the sucker.

Thus, Groom’s birthday saw him down in our dungeon, learning how to mount the thing (and, yes, we keep the house cold enough that indoor hat-wearing is called for; stop being such a wussy guest and hat-up already). Balance will come later. Even one day in to his training, he already maintains it will give him a core workout to rival the pilates class taught by the Ab Nazi at our gym.

Since I can’t have them myself, due to the chocolate-worshipping tenet of my religion, I do so appreciate rock-hard abs in others. When the census-taking ab-checkers come to our door next year, Groom’s unicycle-hardened belly will earn their respect. Just to get them to put X’s in all the right boxes, I’m willing to intensify the display and eat a smidgeon of lentil soup out of his belly button. Just ’cause I can. Those ab-census-takers will get an afternoon of entertainment beyond all dreams when they hit Unicycle House.

The unicycle is, indeed, a gift that will keep on giving.

supportive applause

The Wee Niblet can’t wait until Pappy can juggle flaming torches on the unicycle. Girl can’t wait to play tag with him and be chased by Unicycle It. I can’t wait to see him make stir-fry on the roll.

Face it: we are circus folk.

P.S. Stop coveting our orange shag carpet. Your desire is unattractive.



By Jocelyn

There's this game put out by the American Girl company called "300 Wishes"--I really like playing it because then I get to marvel, "Wow, it's like I'm a real live American girl who has 300 wishes, and that doesn't suck, especially compared to being a dead one with none."


  1. Happy birthday “Groom”!!!

    I just wanted to let you know we keep our house that cold too. We do turn the heat up for guests though.

    Is it snowing up der? It is here! WOOT!

  2. All of you are too much.

    I love the abandoned doll poking out of the picture of Pappy.

    I swear, the title of this blog should be: We Are Circus Folk.

    Seeing as how the holidays approach, perhaps Pappy ought to get a helmet and elbow pads for Christmas.

    Happy Birthday, Pappy!

  3. Happy Birthday!! Our neighbor at our old house rode his unicycle everywhere- even to walk the dog and pick up his daughter from preschool- very cool.

    Maybe you should get a pogo stick….

  4. Flat abs are also against my religion. Chocolate is not. It’s an unfortunate situation (or fortunate, depending on how you look at it).

    By my count, he’d got three years to master that beast. Better get movin’!

  5. Sweet ride. . . Is he preparing to ride cross country? Attempted one myself at school on 4th Watson luckily the walls were close enough together to stay upright.
    Happy Birthday

  6. Fun unicycle fact: the record for the fastest recorded speed of a human-ridden unicycle is 18.5 miles per hour.

  7. I now have the image of The Circus Folks going for an evening stroll complete with unicycle, cartwheels and flaming batons.

    The rest of the neighborhood will show up along the sidewalk waving small flags.

    Oh, how you spread joy in this world!

  8. Got my hat on. Happy Birthday to Groom, and tell him not to spend too much time on that thing, or certain body parts may suffer. 😉

  9. WSG–I would rise to your meme, but I don’t have an I-pod or a music player, so I can’t shuffle on anything except my own two feet. We have an old single-CD player that my mom gave us this summer, but that’s it, outside of playing discs on the computer as we type.

    And Diesel gives me crap for not buying his book. I keep trying to tell him the luxury money is tight. But on my “what to do with excess cash” list, buying Diesel’s book is #9, and buying an I-pod is #14. So that’s flattering, right Diesel?

  10. happy birthday groomeo! i think i must be circus folk too, only i have the tnedency to fall and make bones poke out of me when i fly without a net. much luckto groomeo. we all want to see evidence of his taut abs and skillful unicycling in 3 years or less.

  11. The unicycle is one of those things that give me the creeps, because I fear that riders will fall. Same with stilts — though they are worse. I was at a parade with stilt-walkers once. One of them fell. I think I accidentally willed that to happen.

  12. You guys are a riot! Why did Groom want to ride a unicycle? Was it a case of “careful what you wish for”?

  13. That carpet is special. Or maybe ‘special’. I’ll get back to you on that.

    As to being circus folk, if you grow a beard, your chocolate eating days are safe. Trust me. I’ve thought this one through – my knees ain’t what they used to be and someday I’m going to have to give up the trapeze. The bearded lady is my back-up plan.


  14. What a great idea! I could so see our#1 riding a unicycle.

    I hate the cold. I’d be wearing my coat – forget the hat

  15. It’s so important that we REALLY LISTEN to our spouses special wants, for it is only WE who can fulfill those wants… well done 🙂

  16. Oh that funny Groomeo. And yes I was coveting your orange shag carpet (circa 1978)! How ever did you know?
    Happy Birthday Groom, may you always ride your unicycle thru wind, snow, rain, and the occasional dungeon!

  17. That orange shag carpet is stylin’! It would go great with my lime green living room/dining room walls. Hee hee.

    So, in O Mighty Circus, what fabulous acts will the kids be doing? I’m buying front row tickets to cheer you all on!

    Happy Birthday, Groom! 🙂

  18. I turned 37 last spring, and thankfully have never expressed any sentiments regarding a unicycle whatsoever. Well, at least not when I was sober.

    Sorry I haven’t been around much. Things have been crazy lately.

    Don’t make me take up an offering to send you my book, because I’ll do it.

  19. Congratulations on both the best opening and closing line ever for a blog post.

    And excuse me while I nuzzle my sweater and pretend it is sweet, sweet orange shag.

    If only.


  20. A friend of mine in college had a unicycle. I’ve witnessed a lot of unicycle related accidents. You guys weren’t planing on having any more kids, were you? Hehe.

  21. Awesome! It’s good that groom is learning the unicycle before his bones get too brittle. I figure he’s got another 10 years or so before he risks breaking a hip while learning some new skill.

  22. LOVE the shag, baby. If only all families heard that well. I keep repeating Italy and Machu Pichuu before 40, yet, still no tickets. Well done mr. on your unicycle AND circus family. What is it “they” say? The family that performs together stays together. hehe, hopefully in a non Osmond way. They are just a little too cheery.

  23. OK, Groom’s got me beat by a long shot. I do, however, have big plans for climbing a coconut tree by the time I’m 50 (40 was a long time ago already).

  24. He might like my town — there’s a small contingent of unicycle riders who cruise these streets. Like a bike gang, only with fewer tires.

  25. To keep shag carpets in truly covetable condition, you need one of those little carpet rakes I remember from my seventies childhood. Only then does it reach its full potential. Apparently.

    And my hat is off in deep respect, to any person brave enough to ride a unicycle. It’s like a minor superpower, with some comic value.

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