Braedon’s Adventure

“You no superman,” said the tall, dark skinned man, his heavily accented English tinged with a mixture of amusement and mild disgust.

A very embarrassed Braedon Clark, his sandaled feet bright red, his head festooned with a cartoonishly large silver helmet, tried desperately to balance on the old scooter, as his girlfriend Caitie McRae stood nearby, shrieking with laughter.

Just when he thought things couldn’t get any worse, a fully loaded school bus pulled up, the young children pointing, laughing, and yelling at the silly pink man.

Under the blazing hot sun, Clark pondered his mistake.

Just a few days earlier, in early May 2011, Clark, his girlfriend, and a couple of friends flew in to Santa Clara, Cuba, and took a bus down the dusty dirt roads through the beautiful, bountiful countryside to their resort, where they would be met with perfect white sand, sparkling turquoise ocean, and bottomless drinks.

The only problem with their all-inclusive resort was that it was a cultureless bubble.

Twenty-three year-old Clark wanted to see more of the bucolic countryside, the colonial Spanish architecture, and the American cars from the 1950s. He wanted to tip his fedora hat to the million Che’s staring back at him lifelessly from the walls and shelves.

His plan was to rent a scooter, the ubiquitous Vespa-moped hybrids he’d seen on his bus ride to the resort.

The only problem was, Clark wasn’t exactly fresh from the Dakar Rally. He’d never ridden a motorcycle or scooter before, and hadn’t even been on a bicycle in years.

“I’m notoriously incompetent at this stuff,” he later recalled. “For some reason I just can’t get the balance right.”

His “scooter tutorial,” in a parking lot near the green rental shack, wasn’t going well. He’d be fine for a few seconds, then “teeter and fall, teeter and fall.”

He smiled awkwardly at his prospective passenger McRae, thinking, “I can’t even do this by myself let alone with someone hanging off of me. You’re gonna die, or I’m gonna die if we do this.”

He couldn’t blame the kids laughing at him.

“I probably looked like an idiot,” he said. “They’re just calling me out for looking like an ass.”

Meanwhile the man who was trying to rent Clark the scooter was looking “kinda pissed.”

He finally admitted defeat.

“I can’t control this machine.”

In the end he let the man keep the 15 bucks or so, and disgracefully fled back to his safe bubble, his girlfriend in tow, still giggling.

“I was just so ashamed by my incompetence.”


Written as a “scene recreation” assignment.


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